The Plantations Owners and Condominium Associations

The Plantations Owners and Condominium Associations


Board Meeting – March 17, 2012

The Lewes Public Library – 9:00 AM




The Plantations Owners Board:  Board Members – Nick Firoino / President, Bill Deist / Vice President, Sherry Minear / Treasurer, Sal Somma / Secretary, Elizabeth Wulkan / Director.

Absent – Nick Fiorino


The Plantations Condo Council:  Council Members – Elizabeth Wulkan / President, Nick Fiorino / Vice-President, Sherry Minear / Treasurer, Sal Somma / Secretary, Bob Dickey / Director. 

Absent – Nick Fiorino


Prior to the regularly scheduled meeting there was an Executive Board meeting that had been requested by Tidewater Utilities.  This began at 8:30 AM.  This request came into Chris Nichols on Friday, 3/16.  Mr. Gerard Esposito, President and Mr. Bruce Patrick, Vice President of Engineering attended the meeting.   Both gentlemen gave us a brief description of their professional background and a short history of Tidewater Utilities.  They stated that Tidewater Utilities has been approached by DNREC to takeover the operation of the wastewater treatment facilities for The Plantations and Plantations East.  They gave brief details of the proposal and stated that Tidewater would have a 30 day period for due diligence to investigate and evaluate the condition of the system and finalize their proposal to YMG. 

          The gentlemen were questioned about the proposed rate increases (stated to be 30% by Mr. Esposito) and how they may possibly correlate to the numerous rate increases requested by Tidewater Utilities for their water service.  Mr. Esposito stated that a meeting would be called for residents of both communities sometime in the near future. 

          Several community residents arriving early for the regular meeting   were able to participate in this meeting. 



Owners’ Forum (15 minutes):

As the regular Board Meeting began, Chris Nichols informed people in attendance that Tidewater Utilities is in negotiations with YMG to take over the wastewater treatment plant.  They (Tidewater) are in a due diligence period now. It was stated that the county does not have room in its system for The Plantations. 


Three owners were signed up to speak –

1-    Paul Carey reported that real estate for The Plantations in 2011 was the worst year ever.  There were six condos sold in 2011.  To date in 2012 there have been three condos already sold, but this is the same for the first three months of 2011.  So, it remains to be seen how the rest of the year will turn out.  He also reported that no single-family homes were sold last year.  Presently, there are three single-family homes on the market, all under 300,000.  The Clubhouse situation has not helped the market.  As for the Sewer, Mr. Carey suggested we should fight it with tooth and nail. As for the county sewer service being at full capacity, that is what they say, but have they studied the situation?  Yes, our wastewater treatment is at one 100% capacity, but that capacity is not a reality.  In the winter it is less than 50%. Paul Carey suggested we phone Joan Dever today and speak to her about this.  He also suggested we draft a petition to go into the county sewer system.  The county would have access to the state’s records regarding our flow into the sewer system.

2-    Pat Torelli stated that she and Tidewater and I go back a long way.  She made reference to issues that people in Milton have experienced with Tidewater.  She also indicated that she spoke to YMG and asked everyone to speak to them.  Finally, she stated that the residents need to become aware of all the facts to make a good decision.

3-    There was a question about the fountain and Chris Nichols stated that the fountain issue would be addressed later in the meeting. 



President’s Report:

Elizabeth Wulkan, President of the Condo Association, called the meeting to order at 9:35 AM.

Minutes for the January 14, 2012 meeting were reviewed.  Sal Somma made a motion to accept the minutes.  Sherry Minear seconded the motion.  All Board and Association members approved the motion to accept the minutes.  



Treasurer’s Report:

 Sherry Minear, Treasurer, reported:


Checking and Savings Balances

Owners’ Association:

          MT&T Checking:                                   13,892.06

          MT&T Savings:                                     11,084.03

          Vanguard (Reserve Fund):                       7,093.93

                    TOTAL of Bank Accounts          $ 32,070.02   


Condo Association:

          MT&T Checking:                                   15,073.58

          MT&T Savings:                                   118,715.89

          Vanguard (Reserve Fund):                     12,148.59

                    TOTAL of Bank Accounts         $145,938.06


Budget to Actual (YTD) also reviewed.  Sherry also spoke more specifically about the cash flow.   Chris Nichols has looked at the year with the timing for various payments and Sherry stated that we are online for where we should be at this time.  She added that as we come into the summer we front-load the expenses.  However, we still need to be conservative with expenditures – focusing on essential, and emergency (safety) expenses.   We continue to prioritize on the crawlspaces.  The DUCIOA law has enabled us to have money to fix essential items.  We will flip to the other side, be able to save in the near future. 


ACCOUNT REVIEWS – our accounts were reviewed and we passed with flying colors.   


The Delinquent Account Report and Collections were reviewed.  The total is over $30,000, however most of this is Sandie LLC.  The attorney has contacted the appropriate people and when necessary cases are being referred to the court for collection. 


Sal Somma made a motion to accept the reports.  Bob Dickey seconded the motion.  All Board members voted to accept the reports.



Committee Reports:

Architectural Review Committee (ARC):  Bill Deist, Chairperson, stated there is nothing new to report.


Documents Committee: Elizabeth Wulkan, Chairperson, stated the Committee has been meeting – Thursdays, 1:30 PM at SeaScape offices.  The By-Laws for the Owners are being worked on.  When the work is completed the Board will approve them, then our attorney will review them.  The new By-Laws for the Owners will then be presented to the community.  Once the community has approved them, they will be filed in Georgetown.  They may be ready for discussions with the community by the summer.


Finance Committee: Sherry Minear, Chairperson, stated the report has already been completed (Treasurer’s Report).


Flag Committee: Ed Edison, Chairperson.  Ed is not here today.  Chris Nichols reported that the flag has been flying during the good weather.  Good news -everything is going well.  The flag has been flying well; it has been a mild winter. 


Landscaping Committee: Nick Fiorino, Chairperson.  Nick is not here.  Chris Nichols reported that the committee has made many reviews and

recommendations for the flower arrangements at the entrance.  The buildings have also been reviewed and recommendations have been made for various plantings around several buildings.  Pat Torelli stated that plants not needing much pruning should be selected for future plantings. 


Nominating Committee:  


Owners’ Forum:  Susan Spencer, Chairperson, stated that the committee is trying to get more people on the e-mail list.  Ed Edison has given her a plan to use on the computer.  This has shared with Roseanne Perrone. 

She would like to have a little forum, a link on website – “Forum” – which could include information on good contractors, information on residents, etc. Elizabeth Wulkan stated that she monitors information before it goes up on the website - just to keep it “g-rated”.

The next Owners’ Forum meeting is this coming Tuesday at 1:00 PM. 


Security Committee / Gates: – Nick Fiorino, Chairperson, Nick is not here.  Chris Nichols reported that battery back-up system for the security system has failed and it is being replaced. 


Wastewater Committee:  - Bob Dickey, Chairperson, reported that this new development (the possible take-over by Tidewater Utilities) has blind-sided them.   They had been looking at whether YMG was looking for rate increases.    Hopefully, we will have more transparency with the rates/expenditures with another company. 

The county has not made a study as to whether they could pick up the community into their system.  We need to address the wastewater issue at this time.  We need go get a definitive answer from the county.


Website:   Elizabeth had reported on website developments.

Welcoming Committee:  Roseanne Perrone, Chairperson, stated that she is working with Sue Spencer on getting information out to the building reps.   She stated that the Hot Yoga name being changed to Soul Yoga and will start to include modern dance.  An offering is being made to Plantations residents – 10% discount on packages of classes.

She also stated that she could assist in disseminating wastewater information through the e-mail list being set up. 

Finally, Roseanne stated that owners should have an HO-6 insurance policy.  Chris Nichols reported that this information has gone out to the residents before.  Yes, it is true that many people are over-insuring.  Owners should review the documents for specifics on insurance. 


Property Managers’ Report: (Chris Nichols)


-        2012 Building painting bid – to optimize allocated money for paining and siding, it was decided consolidate work on two buildings (20 & 21).  Sherry Minear made a motion to accept the painting bid for buildings 20, 21, 23 and 24.  Bob Dickey seconded the motion.  All accepted the motion. 

-        Flower Box Project – Bridge.  Nick Fiorino was looking at this.  The cost for 6 cedar boxes, with water pump, lines, etc., etc, is $3,000.  Elizabeth Wulkan suggested we postpone this until next year.  We should put it into the budget.  Since we are being financially conservative, we will table until next year.

-        Power at the Bridge bid – essentially this is to supply power for the water pump for the flower box, and also holiday lights on the bridge (rather than with a long extension cord). Approximately, $1,200 is needed to run electricity to both sides of the bridge.  It was agreed to postpone / table this expenditure until the fall.  

-        Stucco Wall Repair – bldg 7 – this has been on the maintenance list since 2007.  We have been seeking bids for many years and all masons have declined to submit a bid.  We now have a bid for $4,500.  Sal Somma made a motion to accept the bid.  Elizabeth Wulkan seconded the motion.  All Board members approved the motion.  Paul Carey suggested using stucco boards.  Chris Nichols stated he would look into it.  This was then included into the motion.

-        Building 20 & 21 Hardy Plank Installation Bids – capitol expenses.  These have been budgeted for and previously approved.  The bids were reviewed.  Sal Somma made a motion to accept the bid by Anthony Construction.    Bill Deist seconded the motion.  All voted to accept the bid.

-        Pet Policy Signs Bid.  Replace all signs re:  PETS.  They will say the same thing, but will look better.  The old signs are in poor shape.  The new signs will be made of a composite.  Bill Deist made a motion to accept the bid.  Sal Somma seconded the motion.  All voted to accept the motion. 

-        Well Cover Rebuilding Bid – Sal Somma made a motion to accept the bid to construct a new well cover.  Bob Dickey seconded the motion.  All board members voted to accept the motion. 



-        Crawl Space Remediation – started at bldg 22, one owner did not return electricity waiver, so that person will not receive that service  (dehumidifier installation).  To date, 4 people have not returned waivers. 


-        Fountain Surge Protection – the surge protector was melted internally, apparently hit with quite a bolt.  It is being replace - under warranty, at no cost.  The Delaware Electric Coop is examining the situation.  

-        Envirotech – has started their work on the ponds and have done the first trimming, installed the fountains, and have done the first water testing.

-        Fountain Installation - completed

-        Vehicle Crashes and Damage Updates – the insurance company did pay for damages in full (including gate repair)

-        Termite Treatments – have been completed, based on the inspections that were done.  Chris Nichols is concerned about the animals / pets in bldg 3.  The dog is let out without a leash.  If it digs up the termite treatment can and eats the bait, it will die.  The owner has been informed of the situation.

-        New Plantings – a few small plants have been added at bldg 20, to cover the AC units.  Also, some work has been done at bldg 4 - some plants have been moved.

-        Landscaping Clean up and Edging – beds have been cleaned up.  We are holding up on the mulch, so it will still look good in the summer.

-        Carol Memorial – has been put in place. 

-        Pressure Washing of Fence – front entrance, fence on roadway – about 300 yards, cost $300

-        Wall Painting 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 – stucco walls are green with moss, will be cleaned and washed.

-        Front water fountain has been examined.  Some rocks had shifted and moved the liner.  They have been repositioned and the water loss has apparently stopped.  We think it is OK.  If it is still leaking, the whole thing may have to be dug up and the liner replaced

-        Drainage issues at bldg 7.   A dry well has been put in, so a portion of sod was removed and filled in with river rock.  It has solved the water problem.

Entrance to Carters Gove and Boone Hall – there have been landscaping changed to assist drainage.

-        Community Inspection – done this past week.   Will do one roof this year.  The number of roofs showing signs of damage has increased



Old Business:

-        Sandie Lawsuit Update – Chris Nichols reported that the court is entertaining the Motions for Summary Judgment.  All briefs have been filed.  The court may now ask for a hearing, or it may decide in favor of one, or it may ask for oral arguments.  We are waiting to hear what the court wants to do. 

Chris expressed his opinion – after reading ALL the briefs, Mr. Hutt has conclusively defeated every statement of Sandie’s argument. 

-        Recycling in 2013 – no decision has been made as to what will happen in 2013, so we are not making any decisions in containers.  At this point, it is not know if we have to conform to curbside, or parking lot pick-up, or single point collections.  We are not sure if we have to build containers?

-        Elizabeth suggested we consider replacement of dumpsters onto the Waste Water property (new water).   That land is probably zoned MR. This decision is on hold, pending outcomes of the wastewater situation.




New Business:

-        Future Roof Replacement – there is a question about two buildings (4 & 13), which both have significant roof shingle issues.  Bldg 4 also has leak issues.    Elizabeth Wulkan made a motion to seek bids for these repairs. Sal Somma seconded the motion.  All voted to accept the motion.  Sherry Minear recused herself from this vote.



Owners’ Input; (15 minutes)

No one signed up to speak after the meeting.




The meeting was adjourned at 11: 24 AM.




Respectfully Submitted,

Sal Somma


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