The Plantations Owners and Condominium Associations
Annual Meeting – September 18, 2010
The Lewes Public Library – 1:30 PM
The Plantations Owners Board: Board Members Present – Carol Reed / President, Nick Fiorino / Vice President/Treasurer, Sal Somma / Secretary, Paul Carey, Bill Deist / Board Members.
The Plantations Condo Council: Council Members Present – Carol Reed / President, Sherry Minear / Treasurer, Sal Somma / Secretary, Sophia English, Maurice Spraggins / Directors.
Absent – Sherry Minear, Maurice Spraggins
Barry Nichols informed attendees there was a verification of Quorum through Proxy or Attendance. Announcements were mailed to everyone on Aug 28 and we have 131 people who either attended, submitted an absentee ballot, or voted via proxy.
The President, Carol Reed, then called the meeting to order at 1.36
Carol Reed informed everyone of the format of the meeting, they are welcome to ask a question at any time.
The President asked if there were any corrections of additions to the minutes of the July Board Meeting (7/17/10). There were no corrections or additions and Sal Somma made motion to accept the minutes as presented. Bill Deist seconded the motion. All approved.
The President then asked if there were any corrections of additions to the minutes of last year’s Annual Meeting (9/18/2009). There were no corrections or additions and Sal Somma made motion to accept the minutes as presented. Bill Deist seconded the motion. All approved.
There were a limited number of Community Directories are available and they were distributed by Barry Nichols. The New Owners present, Vincent & Rita Di Maio and Bob & Catherine Wheeler introduced themselves to all present. They were warmly welcomed.
The Condo Council Treasurer, Sherry Minear, was not present so Barry Nichols presented the report on the Condo Council. The account balances for the Condo Association are:
Reserve Fund – Vanguard $ 12,125,09
Barry Nichols also reviewed the Budget to Actual statement, noting the year’s high expenses for snow removal, landscaping and irrigation repairs.
A question was then asked about the Title 25 Law mandatory reserve fund and the life expectancy of roofing shingles (20, 25, 30 years).
Barry Nichols pointed out that guidelines are very clear on the Title 25 Reserve Funding. The funding requirements for capital expense items are continuous, as an example, once a roof is installed the funding for the replacement roof starts the next day, i.e. you start to put the money in the bank to replace that same roof within the next 20 years. Attendees were also told that the Finance Committee and Board did their best to cut down expenses to reduce last year’s increase as much as possible.
Barry pointed out that Seascape Management would work with owners to accept payments on a monthly basis, if that is more convenient for the owners. He repeatedly stated that if owners are experiencing financial problems, they should talk to Seascape and arrangements will be made to work out the payments.
New banking laws make it mandatory that the delinquency rate of homeowners associations be kept to a minimum. Should the rate appear to be too high, owners applying to re-finance or potential buyers will be denied loan approval, even though they may have a great credit rating.
As for the roofing shingles, Barry pointed out that the life expectancy of the shingles by the shore is dramatically reduced. The shingle manufacturers are compensating the reduced life with pennies on the dollar.
The delinquent condo Accounts were reviewed for the Condo Association and the Board / Council were informed that owners in arrears over 60 days are turned over to legal counsel for collection, as per the community guidelines.
The Owners’ Association Treasurer, Nick Fiorino, then presented the report on the Owners’ Association. The account balances for the Owners’ Association are:
Reserve Fund – Vanguard $ 7,080.18
TOTAL $ 47.833.13
The delinquent Owners’ Accounts were reviewed for the Owners’ Association.
A question was then asked about the difference between the Condo Account and the Owners’ Account. Barry Nichols explained the difference between the Condo Association’s responsibilities (all exteriors of buildings, roads & parking lots of the condos, the courtyard walls, steps, lawns around the condo, insurance for the condos, and the crawl spaces) and the Owners’ Association’s responsibilities (the main roadway, the ponds, gate house, fountains, flag, the landscaping & grass cutting around the entrance, a portion of the insurance, street lights along main roan and by the single family homes, and the trash pick-up). He reminded the condo owners that the windows are the responsibility of the unit owner, giving a brief history of this issue.
Bill Deist made a motion to accept the Owners’ Association Treasurer’s Report. Nick Fiorino seconded the motion. All approved.
The President, Carol Reed, then spoke about the ballots – reading the bio of the write-in candidate Bob Dickey. (Mr. Dickey’s name had been added to the ballots distributed at the meeting, as he announced his candidacy after the ballots were mailed to everyone There was a brief discussion on the process and the fact that some ballots did not have Mr. Dickey’s name on them. As permitted, Elizabeth Wulkan nominated Mr. Dickey as candidate. This was seconded and all approved.
The candidates then spoke to the attendees – Elizabeth Wulkan, Bill Deist, Sal Somma and then Barry Nichols. Barry concluded his remarks with the request that his name be removed from the ballot for both the Condo Council and the Owners’ Board. This withdrawal was accepted.
A motion was then made that since there were only two candidates (Elizabeth Wulkan and Bob Dickey) running for two positions on the Condo Council, there was no need to count ballots and they should fill the positions. This motion was seconded and all were in favor.
State of the Association – President, Carol Reed, stated that much was already covered and the balance will be covered by other reports.
There was an extended discussion on the topic of Sandie LLC signage at our entrance and having “free pool.” This issue will be further discussed at a future meeting.
Architectural Review Committee (ARC): Bill Deist, Chairman, said there is nothing to report. All is quiet. Bill will remain on the committee for 2010-11.
Documents Committee: Paul Carey, Chairman, stated that the Owners’ Association does not have By-Law in place, which is required by the new Title 25 law. This needs to be done with our attorney, so it is recorded. Most likely the Owners’ Association By-Laws will mirror what the Condo Council already has in place. Paul will remain on the committee for 2010-11.
Finance Committee: Sherry Minear is not present today. The Finance Committee will be meeting to prepare the budget. The DECOIA Law states that before budget is adopted for the community, the community must review it and approve it. This year, there probably will be very few changes. A notice will be sent to the owners regarding the budget, prior to the next Board Meeting – Oct 16. The Finance Committee needs to meet earlier, so the budget can be prepared and sent to the Board and then on to the community. In order to reject the Board / Council recommended budget vote of 51% or more of the unit owners is required.
Sherry will remain on the committee for 2010-11.
Flag Committee: Dino Costas, Chairman, and Eddie Edison recommend that we fly a smaller flag ( 12’ x 15”), instead of the 15’ X 25’ flag that we now fly. The large flag is very difficult to handle (raise and lower) with any wind. The smaller flag should also fly better in the wind and not wear out as quickly. The lower price of the smaller flag would also permit us to purchase three each year, compared to the one large one. They also recommended obtaining a larger crank to raise and lower the flag and finally, to chain the storage box to the flagpole.
Dino will not continue on the Flag Committee.
Landscaping Committee: Carol Reed, Chairperson, reported that we are retaining the same Landscaping Contractor (Scott & Sons). With this winter’s heavy snowfall, the plans for February were totally changed. In October there will be heavy trimming, and some additional items left over from early spring. We are looking to update areas around some of the older buildings. Owners should contact Carol with ideas or questions they may have.
The edging will be addressed. Initially, it was done every other time, but in some areas it was not done at all. Carol reported that we are now seeing a lot of “stuff” (statues, bird baths, flower pots, pictures, flags, etc., etc.) outside of the buildings. While there may be appealing to some individuals, they may be offensive to others. Items in the courtyards, on steps, on railings, etc. may affect our insurance. Also, we are reminded that the owners should not plant in the ground, they should use flowerpots.
Nominating Committee: We have no chairman, so we are looking for volunteers to handle this committee.
Owners’ Forum: Elizabeth Wulkan, Chairperson, acknowledged the work of the many, many people who worked on the picnic and throughout the entire year. Anyone who has not yet signed-up, is certainly welcome to attend today’s picnic - $3.00 fee payable at the picnic.
Sue Spencer has volunteered to Chair the Owners’ Forum. We welcome Sue.
Security Committee: Nick Fiorino stated there is nothing new to report.
Nick will continue on the committee for 2010-11
Website: Terry Prindle reports the website is running very well. He invited Sue Spencer to post dates of the upcoming Owners’ Forum meetings.
Carol Reed asked if The Covenants could be made available to everyone, since they are public information?
Terry will continue handling the website for 2010-11
Carol Reed invited any owners who want to help with any of the committees, to contact any Board member.
Carol Reed then reported on the Election Results
OWNERS’ BOARD: Bill Deist, Sherry Minear, and Sal Somma
PROPERTY MANAGERS REPORT:
- Completed extensive building / ground inspections
- Replaced 3 roofs (bldgs 5, 7 & 11)
- Painted 4 buildings (6, 7, 11 & 16), touched up another 4
- Replaced siding on 4 buildings (partial)
- Replaced sidewalks – 3 buildings (partial). Buildings 5 & 9 were just completed.
- Repaired / replaced stairs at ___ buildings
- Purchased 2 new fountains for the ponds
- Replaced or relocated 30 parking bumpers
- Stripped and stenciled approx. 100 parking slots
- Replaced 2 well pumps
- Major landscaping improvements
- Sold dump truck & tractor (reduced maint., storage, fuel and insurance costs)
- Established procedures for making amendments to covenants
- Addressed numerous ant problems
- Removed 40 tons of snow, landscaping debris
- Replaced, repaired and painted 500 road markers (only 226 in the community)
2010-11 Goals / Projects:
Short Term (Condo)
- Sell tools & equipment (reduce storage shed rental costs)
- Stair replacements / pressure wash & stain
- Crack filling (parking lots)
- Mailbox replacements (units showing decay to be done by Post Office)
- Crawlspace remediation (ongoing evaluations will be done)
- Minor landscaping improvements
Long Term (Condo)
- Make covenant changes (requires major time & voting)
- Make landscaping improvements
- Paint 4 buildings
- Replace 1 or 2 roofs
- Replace siding on 2 buildings
- Remediate 4 crawlspaces
- Major irrigation improvements
- Blacktop 1 or 2 courtyard parking areas
Short Term (Owners)
- Replace 2 fountains (buy in December & install in Spring)
- Replace bridge walkway (to be done in the near future)
- Improve lighting on entrance island
- Replace the bulletin board (decisions to be made)
Long Term (Owners)
- Make covenant changes
- Improve security system at gatehouse (cameras, etc. need to be updated)
- Pave community parking lot (to be negotiated w/Sandie)
Red Ribbons will be distributed for use during snowstorms. Owners at home in the units will tie the Red Ribbon on their front door or garage, so those units can be shoveled first. Then the other units will be cleared later.
Single Family Home
Big Trash Day – the recent event cost the Association $770. Even with prior warnings, paints and computers were deposited in the bins. In the future, residents will be told where to bring electronic equipment and paint.
Trash Pick-Up – some residents are putting out trash on days other than Monday or Friday. Notices of fines have been sent to the owners. Sometimes there are health and other issues with offending unit owners.
Animal Control Issues – animals are getting into the trash, people are not picking up after their pets and some pets are not on a leash and running freely. This is a violation of the covenants and State law.
Property Damage – gates, road markers, continue to be knocked over or damaged by cars.
The next Board Meeting – October 16, 2010 at 1:00 PM in the Lewes Library.
Recycling in DE starts in 2011. For the Communities, it will start in 2012. We are still waiting for details.
Carol Reed thanked Paul Carey for his many years of service to the community as a Board member. She also thanked Sophie English and Maurice Spraggins for their service on the Board. Finally, Carol thanked Barry Nichols for doing a fabulous job as the community’s Property Manager.
Carol Reed adjourned the meeting at 4:24 PM.
Sal Somma, Secretary