The Plantations Owners and Condominium Associations

The Plantations Owners and Condominium Associations


Board Meeting – October 16, 2010

The Lewes Public Library

1:30 PM




The Plantations Owners Board:  Carol Reed - President, Nick Fiorino - Vice President, Sherry Minear - Treasurer, Sal Somma - Secretary, Bill Deist - Director.

Absent – Bill Deist


The Plantations Condo Council: Carol Reed - President, Sal Somma – Vice President & Secretary, Sherry Minear - Treasurer, Bob Dickey, Elizabeth Wulkan - Directors.

Absent –


Owners’ Forum (15 minutes):

1- Dean Costas spoke to the audience re: a recent submission to The Plantations newsletter.  He usually submits items on: water, electric rates; the flag; info for retirees; etc.  Mr. Costas stated that the last submission he sent in was censored when it appeared in the newsletter.  He had received responses (e-mails and/or phone calls) from the President, Carol Reed and Directors, Sal Somma, & Nick Fiorino; but not an “official” board response.  Carol stated that there was no Board meeting since 9/18/10, thus the Board did not meet to discuss his comments and issue a “Board/official” response. It was pointed out that 28 words were omitted in the newsletter.  Barry Nichols, as Property Manager, stated why the editing took place – it stated a political point of view, which is deemed inappropriate for The Plantations newsletter.


Ron DeCosmo asked, “If the change of wording changed the message?  Mr. Costas stated that with the editing, the membership was not advised that the Democratic controlled assembly changed the rates.  Barry Nichols also pointed out that the information in the newsletter should be factual, without taking one political side or the other. 


Bob Bloomquist stated that he wants to be at Board meetings to hear about Plantations business and not political views/news and he requested this information not be presented within the newsletter or on the website.


Sal Somma stated that he took offense with the Mr. Costas’ statement that owners are not permitted to express their thoughts or ask questions at the meetings.  He pointed out that there is an Owners’ Forum at the beginning and the end of each Board meeting.  The meeting itself is conducted using Roberts’ Rules of Order, which prohibits public participation during the body of the meeting.  This is standard practice for most organizations.  At the Annual Meeting the owners are permitted to ask questions at anytime during the meeting. 


Called to Order

The President, Carol Reed, called the meeting to order at 1:50 PM.



Carol Reed noted the July Board Meeting Minutes were approved at the Annual Meeting on September 18th. 

Treasurer’s Report:

The Treasurer, Sherry Minear, reported on the Owners’ Association balances:

          Wilmington Trust Checking                    $ 25,139.68

          Wilmington Trust Savings (Reserve)          25,629.75

          Reserve Fund-Vanguard                             7,080.18

                    TOTAL                                       $ 57,849.61


Reviewing the Budget vs. Actual, Sherry noted we are over budget in snow removal and landscaping.  We are under in insurance and several other areas.  Overall for the year-to-date, we are slightly under in expenditures.  We will be under for the year.


Sherry Minear then reported on the Condo Association balances:

          Wilmington Trust Checking                    $ 36,496.67

          Wilmington Trust Savings (Reserve)          93,142.18

          Reserve Fund-Vanguard                           12,125.09

                    TOTAL                                      $ 141,763.94


Reviewing the Budget vs. Actual, Sherry noted we are again over in the same areas – snow removal and landscaping.  We did realize a savings in labor.  We are under in expenditures year-to-date and will be under for the year.


Barry Nichols then reported on the Delinquent Accounts (Owners and Condo).  He stated we have delinquent percentages of 3% for the Condos and 4% for the Owners.  This is pretty good and certainly much better than many other communities.  If a community’s delinquent percentage goes above 15%, underwriters will reject loans / refinances for the any owner applying for a loan.

For collection of delinquent accounts – phone calls are made, letters are sent and then long overdue accounts past 2 quarters are referred to our attorney.


There was a motion (made by Nick Fiorino) to accept both reports by the Treasurer.  It was seconded and then accepted by all Board members.


President’s Report:

Carol Reed welcomed the new Board / Council members – Bob Dickey and Elizabeth Wulkan, re-elected members – Bill Deist, Sherry Minear and Sal Somma.  There was a clarification of the Board / Council titles.


The Committee Chair and membership list was reviewed and corrected.  It was noted that there is no chairperson for the Nominating Committee.  Carol Reed informed the attendees that anyone desiring to be on a committee should see her at the end of today’s meeting.


Newsletter & Website – Carol Reed read a letter from Terry Prindle, who could not be present today.  It stated that the Covenants section will now be open to everyone (no password needed) and pictures from the Annual Picnic are posted on the website.  He also asked about the length of time items should be posted?  After a brief discussion, it was decided that all items should be posted for 6 months, since a resale certificate requires 6 months of minutes and newsletters.  He also questioned whether there should be some type of statement regarding a policy on postings?  It was stated that all information posted should be for the betterment of the community.  Presently, information is sent to Barry, Terry or Warren Fuller (webmaster).  These individuals do use discretion and any questionable items will be sent to the Board for approval.  It was stated that no political opinions should be posted.


Sandie Contract Update – Carol Reed reported that there was a recent meeting with Mr. Pack and the general feeling was that it went very well.  At one point he (Mr. Pack) suggested that Sandie LLC would pay for resurfacing the entire community parking lot.  However, a letter recently received from Mr. Pack was then read.  It restated a mandatory requirement to obtain a sign for Sandie LLC (DMTF) on the road.  It then also asked for $50 from each owner for the upkeep of the pool. 

Looking at the attendance records for the pool, it was noted that less than 5% of The Plantations owners use the pool.  The contents of the letter were discussed and in an attempt to look at and discuss all alternatives – the idea of requesting a variance for the sign and obtaining free pool was debated.  The owners in attendance were asked how they felt about a Sandie sign on the road?  5 owners said “yes” and 12 owners said “no”. 

The present Sandie LLC contract will expire on 10/31.  The possibility of closing down the community parking lot was also discussed.  The current monthly fees will continue to be in effect.  We will now ask our attorney what our options are?  We really don’t want this negotiation to drag on.  We will state a specific date by which the contract should be signed.


Committee Reports:
Architectural Review Committee – Committee Chair Bill Deist is not present today.  It was reported there is one request form a delinquent owner to put on a new porch.

Bill English raised an issue – to remove the spindles to enable him to better clean the veranda windows.  He also requested to pressure wash and stain the wood on the balcony.

Barry Nichols reported this will be a problem – pressure washing in the past has put a sheen on vinyl windows.  He added, that the owner asked if ALL owners in the building sign a waiver, not holding anyone responsible, could the wood be pressured washed?  Sal Somma asked if the pressure washing would put a great deal of water into the verandas with screening (no windows).  These units on the second floor could then leak into the first floor.  In addition the pressure washing may damage windows, screens and furniture.   Barry said that the vendor - Wilkins Enterprises will be consulted and we will then draw up a waiver form for the owners to approve. Trip Wilkinson and Bill English will be asked to gauge the feelings of the other owners in the building.


Documents Committee – Committee Chair Paul Carey was absent.  We want to get this committee up and running, maybe by November.  We need to take the Documents to Jane Patchell, requested that she get us in compliance with Title 25.  The rest of the items are discretionary and should then be put in a priority order.  Above all, we need to get the By-Laws done.  It was agreed that we should let her get started on this right now.  It was recommended that the committee members review the Documents. 


Finance Committee – Committee Chair Sherry Minear reported that the committee met last Saturday.  She then reviewed the Cash Flow, looking over the Budget to Actual.  It looks like both associations (Owners and Condo) will come out slightly ahead at the end of the year. 
          We have now worked under the Title 25 law for one year.  It has been good and we were wise to add the money to the reserve account in one year.  We are able to plan ahead. 

For the 2011Owners and Condo Budget we are able to hold the same expenses for next year.  There will be no fee increases for next year. 

The 2010 vs. 2011 Owners Association budget figures were reviewed.  Sal Somma made a motion to accept the report.  It was seconded.  There were no questions.  All approved the report.

The Condo Association budget figures were then reviewed.  There was a motion to accept the report.  It was seconded.  Again there were no questions.  All approved the report. 

The Condo and Owners’ Capital Expenses were then reviewed.   Elizabeth Wulkan asked why we have two fountains in each pond.  It was noted that the two fountains are for the health of the ponds, not just for aesthetic appearances.  In fact, at one time there were three fountains in each pond. 

After some discussion, it was noted that the roof on Building 14 needs work very soon.  There was a motion to accept the bid by BallPeen Construction for the roof.  It was seconded.  All approved. 

Sherry Minear made a motion to move ahead with the Capital projects in RED ink on the list provided and wait / revisit the BLACK ink items in the spring.  Sal Somma seconded the motion.  All approved.

Sherry Minear also noted that we have received the Annual Review from the CPA and everything is in order.


Fountains - two additional fountains will be ordered, so all four will match.
Community Bulletin Board - the bids and designs were reviewed and discussed.  Sherry Minear made a motion to accept of the bid by Murray’s Residential Services.  Nick Fiorino seconded this.  All approved.

Bridge Walkway - the bids were reviewed and discussed.  Nick Fiorino made a motion to accept the bid by Murray’s Residential Services.  Sal Somma seconded it.  All approved. 

Security System for the Gate - the existing system needs updating.  A new system will replace what we presently have – impro0ving on picture quality and permitting quicker downloads.  This will be decided upon at a later date.

Community Parking Lot - needs repaving.  This will also be decided upon at a later date.


Flag Committee: Committee Chair, Ed Edison, stated there is nothing new to report.  The repaired flag is back, but the heavy winds have damaged it further.  The Board had spoken about obtaining a smaller flag (10’ x 15”), however, no decision was made to purchase the flag.  We can purchase three smaller flags for the price of two large flags.  The smaller flags can remain up most of the time and when they are worn, they will be properly disposed of.  We may save some money by purchasing three at once.  Elizabeth Wulkan made a motion to buy the smaller flags.  Nick Fiorino seconded it.  All approved.


Landscaping Committee:  Committee Chair, Carol Reed, reported that the landscapers should be here on October 18 to begin trimming and complete some additional projects.


Nominating Committee:  Presently, there is no Chairperson.


Owners’ Forum:  Committee Chair, Sue Spencer, is not here today.  Elizabeth Wulkan reported the picnic pictures are on The Plantations website.  She also stated the Forum has about $300 to contribute to the Bulletin Board.


Security Committee:  Nick Fiorino, Committee Chair, stated the items were already reviewed.


Website:  Also previously discussed.


Welcoming Committee:  Fran Patterson, Committee Chair, has been away.  Trip Wilkinson gave Barry Nichols a hearty “Thank You” for the updated list of owners.  The updated Directory was distributed to all owners present who needed one, additional copies were given to the Welcoming Committee for future distribution. 


Property Manager’s Report:

Barry Nichols reported on various projects –


Directory – the updated Directory has been given to the Welcoming Committee.


Bed Bugs – The one report that came in turned out to be “fleas”.  If it had been bed bugs, it would have been an expensive problem – necessitating the treatment of the unit affected, plus the units on either side of it.


Painting – completed on bldgs 6, 7, 11, and 16, plus “touch-up” on 4 others.


Stairs rebuilt – bldgs 14, 15 and 22.  The Board has a list of the condition of all stairs. 


Sidewalk work was completed for two bldgs – 5 and 9.  Other minor work remains.


Building inspections  - completed (w/ a separate sheet for stair replacement) – all prioritized. 


Pressure washing – completed along with staining. Bldgs. 14 &15

          Pressure washing of balconies (See English ARB request)


Crack-filling – completed in courtyards, may revisit


Maintenance schedule – updated, attached


Priority project sheet (capital expense items) – reviewed attached


 Bids –


Courtyard blacktopping

2011 painting


Bulletin Board



Island lighting

Parking lot


Landscaping contract – now entering year 2 of a 3-year contract


Security system / cameras (bids received, install at a later date)


Blanket liens – legal work filed in Georgetown (for delinquents)


Road markers vs. big rocks.  The road markers continued to be knocked down.

                                            (Acquire prices, trial around circle)    


Flag issues (change to 10’ x 15’)


Waste removal (awaiting decision on recycling 2011)


Transfer of funds to reserves completed


Nominating / Documents Committees


Old Business:



New Business:

Nick Fiorino asked about setting up a Horse Shoe Pit or Basketball Court in the parking lot.  This was discussed and there was a question about the storage of the items.

Carol Reed stated that some owners have stated that the meetings are too long.  Some people even asked if they could be separated, Owners and Condo?  She asked everyone to think about this.


The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 PM


Respectfully submitted,

Sal Somma


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