The Plantations Owners and Condominium Associations

The Plantations Owners Association


Board Meeting – January 15, 2011

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 –



Owners’ Forum: (15 minutes):

No one was signed up to speak before the meeting.



The President, Carol Reed, called the meeting to order at 1:31 PM.

Carol Reed then explained that we (the Board) are trying a new format for today’s meeting.  There will first be an Owners’ Association Meeting and then a Condo Association Meeting will follow it.

She then asked for any corrections/additions to the minutes of the October 16, 2010 Board Meeting.  There were none.  Sal Somma made a motion to accept the minutes as written.  Nick Fiorino seconded the motion.  All Board members approved.

Treasurer’s Report:

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

          Wilmington Trust Checking                    $   6,032.97

          Wilmington Trust Savings (Reserve)          16,363.83

          Reserve Fund-Vanguard                             7,080.18

                    TOTAL                                       $ 29,476.98


Reviewing the Budget vs. Actual, Sherry noted that we are in the process of doing a year-end reconciliation and making some adjustments.  The final copy will go out to everyone.  The snow removal is over budget.  At this point, we are pausing on all non-essential expenditures. 

          Some first quarter payments from owners are a little later than usual.  Letters have gone out to all owners who are 30 days past due.

          Reviewing the Capital Expenses – the purchase of two new fountains has been put on hold.  The replacement of the Bridge Railings and Decking will take place when the weather permits.  The materials have been ordered and received.  The Security System (at the gate) is in place and working.  The Community Bulletin Board has also been installed. 

          Sal Somma made a motion to accept the Owners’ Association Treasurer’s Report.  Nick Fiorino seconded the motion.  All Owners’ Board members approved.



President’s Report:

Sandie LLC Contract – Carol stated that we are in litigation.  Sandie has filed a suit against The Plantations and we are in the Discovery process right now.  Our attorney said we should ‘t talk about this. 

          Carol gave a brief history of the situation.  She added that the litigation may cost $10,000 - $20,000 and may take up to a year to resolve.  There are different ways to cover this expense and when we get a definite picture, we will have a meeting with all the owners to discuss the alternatives.

          Carol reported that Mr. Nemser of bldg 9 asked if we could couple an “Open House” with the planned community yard sales?  The Board was asked to think about that.  However, Paul Carey, a realtor, pointed out that there are liability issues and other problems connected to that idea.  He advised against it.


Carol introduced, Chris Nichols, our new property manager.  It was noted that Jonathan Poole, also with SeaScape Property Management Co, would be in the Gatehouse on Tuesday and Thursday mornings (usually).  Finally, Carol stated that at the October Executive Board meeting a new three-year contract was signed with SeaScape Property Management Company.



Committee Reports:
Architectural Review Committee – Committee Chair Bill Deist reported that all is quiet.  He noted there was one request for an exterior chair lift for a 2nd floor unit – the Walkman’s unit in bldg 22.


Documents Committee – Committee Chair Paul Carey noted that when the documents are revised, the changes must be for a very good reason, not for mere suggestions. 


Finance Committee – Committee Chair Sherry Minear indicated that all the information was covered in the Treasurer’s Report. 


Flag Committee: Committee Chair, Ed Edison, is not here today.  Presently, he is the sole member of the Flag Committee and assistance is needed.  A new, smaller flag will go up later this week and it will be at half-mast, as per the government’s request re: events in Tucson, Arizona.


Landscaping Committee:  Committee Chair, Carol Reed, reported that we would be the 2nd year of the contract with our landscaper.  Bldg 9 is getting a courtyard makeover and bldg 19 needs a new tree.  Landscaping for the Condos will continue as planned.  Due to budget limitations related to the lawsuit, landscaping outside the normal maintenance, such as grass cutting and trimming, for the Owners will be temporarily on hold.


Nominating Committee:  Committee Chairperson, Paul Carey, reported there is not input at this time.  It is a bit early for nominations.


Owners’ Forum:  Committee Chairperson Sue Spencer, reported that the next meeting is on Tuesday, 1/18 at 1:00 PM in her condo (bldg 6).  All are welcome to attend, even if they are not building reps.   Coffee and cake will be served.  The Owners’ Forum regularly meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. 

She also requested a small Bulletin Board, upon which announcements can be posted.  This was discussed and it is being put on hold for the immediate future. 


Security Committee:  Nick Fiorino, Committee Chair, stated that six (unlocked cars) were broken into.  We now have a new Security System that permits a quicker retrieval of information.  We had appropriated $5,500 for this; the actual cost was $3,500.  It was noted that one condo in building 14 was broken into and jewelry removed, as reported in the Cape Gazette.   


Website:  Committee Chairperson, Terry Prindle, stated that he could post the list of Building Reps on the site and also post any Owners’ Forum announcements.  Sue Spencer will be speaking to him.


Welcoming Committee:  Fran Patterson, Committee Chairperson, and Trip Wilkinson reported that 9 Directories were distributed and the new owners were alerted to the trash schedule and procedures.



Property Manager’s Report:

Chris Nichols reported on various projects –

-        The December packages were mailed on Dec. 15.  None were returned.

-        The Priority Projects sheet (Capital Expense items) was reviewed.

-        Projects – ongoing;

o   Rocks vs. Road Markers – Most of those present had positive feedback on the rocks.  No one has reported hitting a rock.

o   Security System has been installed.  Internet Access is needed in the Gatehouse to be able to access the security info from offsite locations.  Sal Somma made a motion to install Internet access at the gatehouse for the security system to be best utilized.  Sherry Minear seconded the motion.  All Owners’ Board members approved the motion. 

o   Bulletin Board – completed

o   Bridge – materials are on hand.  Work will be done when the weather permits.

o   Fountains – the purchase of two new fountains has been put on hold due to cash flow restraints from the lawsuit.

o   Island Lighting – we are still looking for the correct lighting package for the island. 

o   Parking Lot – the Community Parking Lot was not included in the Reserve Study prepared last year.  If we were to properly fund its replacement, we would need to budget for $750 each month.  This was not included in the Reserve Study because we were collecting rent on the item. 

-        Cash Flow – we are in the middle of a cash flow study for 2011.  As soon as this is completed, the Board will be informed.  The causes of the Cash Flow shortage – snow removal, loss of income, legal fees.

-        Transfer of Funds to Reserves – completed for the end of the year.

-        Annual Grass Cut – accomplished.

-        Flag issues – a new smaller flag is ready to go up.

-        Waste Removal – the dumpster pick-up has been cut back to once per week.  Delaware has a new recycling plan in place – beginning April 1st all single family homes will be recycling.  Any type of container may be used.  The private haulers will be handling this.  Delaware has not issued a decision on recycling for condo units.

-        Traffic Signs – some road signs have become weathered and need replacing.  It was decided this would wait until spring.

-        Gatehouse Occupancy – usually on Tuesday and Thursday morning.

o   Archiving – we need to go through all the records as part of the Discovery phase of the litigation.   Volunteers are needed to assist with this.   Carol, Bill and Bob volunteered to assist.

o   Internet Access – already discussed.

-        Plantations East Management – it was announced that SeaScape Property Management would now also be managing the Owners of Plantations East.



Old Business:




New Business:

Carol Reed announced that the Board has hired Barry Nichols as a consultant to assist with the litigation.  Mr. Nichols has agreed there will be no charge for this service.


Owners Forum:

          Paul Carey asked about the Community Parking Lot and the payment of Sandie’s monthly fee.  It was noted that Sandie would continue paying while the litigation is taking place.  The court will be holding the money in escrow.

          Paul also asked about he, as an owner, having access to the litigation documents.  Chris Nichols replied that he would check with the attorney, but feels that any documents of public record would be available for sharing. 

          Paul also noted that since the Community Parking Lot is on Plantations Land, the Title 25 law states that we must fund all maintenance items.  That is, we must be prepared to pave it, but we do not have to pave it.


          Terry Prindle asked about the next Financial Committee meeting.  Sherry Minear will be scheduling that meeting.

          Terry also asked about the single-family yard waste.  Now it can no longer be part of the trash pick-up.  How is it to be disposed of?  Chris Nichols reported that presently there is no plan in place from the trash removal company, but by the time spring arrives the issue will have been resolved.

          Terry also asked about the snow removal and why the contractor was called in with just ¾” of snow on the ground.  Chris Nichols responded that we have to always keep safety in mind, always looking ahead.  The weather report called for a drop in temperature, so leaving the snow on the ground would have resulted in widespread ice in the community.  Paul Carey stated that he had not removed the snow from his driveway in single family homes and that resulted in very slippery conditions for days afterwards.



The meeting was adjourned at 2:53 PM


Respectfully submitted,


Sal Somma




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