April 2018 Board of Director Highlights

*Official minutes of the April BOD meeting will be available after approval by the BOD in May

The DCCOA Board of Directors assembled at Deercreek Country Club on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 7:00 pm for a regularly scheduled meeting. In attendance were Sadia Sindhu, Don Gibbens, Christine Bell, Pete Gentry, Paige Frakes, Stannye Baringer, Gordon Spottswood and John Robinson. Doug Scott represented Marsh Landing. There were seven residents in attendance including 2 committee chairs and three committee members.

NEW COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS

Julia Watkins Communications

Barbara Smith Communications

Jamie Karpman Communications

Kristen Anderson Communications

Steve Milkey Finance

Sadia asked that all Board Members direct all concerns/questions/issues to the appropriate Board Liaison to ensure proper channels of communications and resolution are maintained instead of contacting Marsh Landing.

FINANCE REPORT

Actual Income EOM March: $100,734

Budget Income EOM March: $100,833

Actual Expenses EOM March: $90,997

Budget Expenses EOM March: $92,680

Actual Income YTD March: $280,597

Actual Expenses YTD March: $281,536

Reserve Account Balance EOM March: $1,455,502

Monthly Contributions: $30,000

Aged Receivables EOM March: $16,745 of which $7,587 are in legal collection

April Quarterly Assessments due by April 30 – Email and Newsletter reminders generated

RESERVE ACCOUNT DISCUSSION

At the Feb BOD meeting it was noted that substantial changes were made in the 12/28/17 and 1/15/18 versions of the Reserve Account plan compared to previous years. A number of new projects were added in those two versions with expected completion dates in 2018. The Board put all projects on hold for 90 days except the road repaving project until a more detailed analysis was made.

  • Since Feb, the 5-year Common Property landscape capital budget plan was reconciled - $116,000.00 remains from that original Reserve Account funding plan of which $20,000 has been spent as of March. Several proposed items from Common Property need to be paid for out of this $116,000.
  • Further analysis of the reserve account shows that the unfunded capital projects added in late 2018, for completion in 2018, amounted to $275,000.00 in addition to the $525,000.00 originally planned and funded 2018 items. The primary planned reserve project is road repaving and previous Reserve plans included funding for this project in two phases – the first in 2016 and the second in 2017 totaling $796,925. During the past several years the amount of money allocated to the Reserves was less than had been planned – in 2017 the reserve allocation was budgeted to be approximately $257,000.00 and was about $38,000.00 short because money was spent on unbudgeted items - deer statues at the entry, storm clean-up, legal and consultant fees, etc.
  • The Board made the decision to continue to table projects that have been earmarked for the reserve with the exception of the Road Paving project. The reserve will be discussed again when a motion is made to approve the road paving bid.

2017 AUDIT STATUS

James Hutchens, Jr, CPA is still working on the 2017 audit with particular focus on the Associa to Marsh Landing transition. We will not be charged over and above the $3700 quote from October 2017 for the additional work. The audit is expected to be completed in May or possibly June; Mr. Hutchens will be invited to attend the June or July BOD meeting to present his findings.

LEGAL REPORT

Opinion regarding the Guards spot checking driver’s licenses is legal and will only be used to validate that the person the resident called in is one and the same. The information should only be written down and not scanned due to privacy concerns.

A board-certified construction attorney has been contacted and is ready to review the contracts associated with the Road Paving project. His comments were that the RFP was incredibly detailed and well put together. There are a few recommended legal additions to protect the HOA.

The legal opinion regarding residents being fined if their guests are speeding has been tabled due to budget constraints combined with the challenge of knowing who to fine if the guest is a service vendor or delivery person going to multiple resident’s homes. It was discussed that access can and should be restricted if guests continue to violate speeding and stop sign requirements.

Christine answered the question about the $700 legal fee Jackson Law Group charged the HOA for work in January; someone on the board requested an attorney be present at the Annual Meeting as it was thought the election process could be very contentious.

The resident who requested a monthly repayment plan of past due fees did not offer to pay a higher amount as thought necessary by the Board; collection will continue as planned.

ACCESS CONTROL REPORT

Two bids to remove the current uneven stone pathway by the personnel parking area and replace with either pavers or concrete were received with assistance from Marsh Landing. The project is considered to be very small; hence finding contractors willing to bid was a challenge. The Board approved a motion to contract with Vantage Contracting at an expense not to exceed $2750 to replace the pathway with concrete, remove and replace existing landscape lights, and add proper drainage. The apron curb requirement that was initially part of the pathway project will be included in the Ad Hoc Road Paving committee RFP and Guard House paver detail.

The committee has not finalized its discussion regarding emergency procedure protocols but will continue to use common sense when notifying residents.

Four guards are trained to use the radar gun; the radar guns are calibrated twice every year and the guards are certified every 6 months.

The process and timing for the Guards to patrol the neighborhood to identify garbage and yard trash out early and not put away in a timely manner has been established. Both ACC and CEC are on board with the process which will start the week of April 30, 2018.

There was a discussion of process servers being allowed into the community - the consensus being that they should not be allowed in. (Please Note: Subsequent to the meeting, Christine notified the Board that her research of the issue revealed the following statute: Florida Statute 48.031(7): A gated residential community, including a condominium association or a cooperative, shall grant unannounced entry into the community, including its common areas and common elements, to a person who is attempting to serve process on a defendant or witness who resides within or is known to be within the community. As such, process servers will be allowed into the community; however, they do not have to be escorted.)

The status of the current unsigned security contract was discussed; concerns regarding the lack of consistent patrolling, residents saying the guards are unfriendly or unhelpful, the $5000 liability cap and the 3% escalation each year for increases in salaries were expressed. Christine did not feel she could recommend Sadia sign the contract as it is. No motion was made, but it was agreed that Don, with Marsh Landing’s help, would research other gated communities, security companies and obtain additional information to compare to our existing situation. The contract with the current security company will not be signed at this point pending the results of the research.

ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD REPORT

14 projects reviewed - wide variety of requests

6 approved

1 tabled

1 preliminary submission approved

2 final inspections approved/1 final inspection denied

 

COVENANT ENFORCEMENT REPORT 

APPEALS

2 speeding - in person - both fine stand

1 stop sign - in person - fine stands

1 overnight commercial vehicle street parking - written - fine waived

The committee requested that ACC forward all citations/violations issued by guards to the CEC chair in advance of the meeting so the committee has insight in the event a resident comes to the meeting to appeal.

The committee requested the guards patrolling for waste cans violations take pictures of each violation to assist them in the appeal process in the near future.

FINING STRUCTURE

In March, 2017 the Board approved a change to the fining structure as part of Rule #26 in the Rules and Regulations document increasing the dollar amount of the initial fine up to $250 and an additional fine of up to $750 for failure to comply with a covenant. This fining structure complicates things as it relates to appeals etc. Florida 720.305 governing HOA’s has language that a fine may not exceed $100 per violation unless otherwise provided in the governing documents. A fine may be levied by the board for each day of a continuing violation with a single notice and opportunity for hearing, except that the fine may not exceed $1000 in the aggregate unless otherwise provided in the governing documents. The Board approved the motion to change #26 to align with the Florida statute, the CEC Charter and rule #17 in the Rules and Regulation. Rule #26 is changed as follows:

Citations and Fines: A fine of up to $100 per day until violation is corrected, to a maximum of $1000, may be levied by the Board against any Member (or any Member’s tenant, guest, or invitee) for failure to comply with any provision of the Declaration, the Association By-Laws, or Rules and Regulations of the DCCOA. In the event the Association finds it necessary to engage legal counsel to recover a fine, such legal cost shall be at Owner’s expense and assessed to Owner’s account.

It was recognized there is a 2-year backlog of properties being inspected for covenant violations; however, Marsh Landing has started its patrol so more letters will be sent out in the coming months. John is working closely with Marsh Landing to ensure timely notices are being sent and that reviews are consistently applied across the entire community.

COMMON PROPERTY REPORT

PLAYGROUND

It was agreed that the playground needs improvement but it is important that all improvements and associated costs be tied down and be reasonable. In recent years, over $14,000 has been spent on the playground so it has not been completely ignored but it has been about 4-5 years and it clearly needs improvement. If the money exceeds what is in the operating budget Common Property needs to provide the board with solid numbers and a plan so it can be determined how the project will be funded. Doug will work with Common Property and playground renovation specialists to determine how much a total renovation will cost. There are many different choices for utilizing space and equipment that can be selected that is much longer lasting than what we currently have. Once those bids have been received, the Board will consider which funding options to use which could include eliminating other projects or possibly, a special assessment. Marsh Landing will arrange to pressure wash the pavilion area immediately while the playground improvement bids are being gathered.

Frank reiterated that if the committee wants to spend money they must procure complete and comprehensive bids. Further, certain projects need to planned in advance so they can be funded either out of the operating budget or the reserve. The common property budget requires tight control and planning.

John stated that maintenance related items, such as pressure washing, painting signs, replacing small signs, etc. for any of the common property needs to be kept on a schedule and the money for those expenses should be taken out of the Common Property operating budget in the future. Developing a schedule will help keep the common areas looking fresh.

It was discussed that a bid in the amount of $1750 to clean additional debris out of the ponds that is over and above the monthly fee paid to Aquatic should be taken out of the operating budget and does not require Board approval.

BUDGET CONTROL

The question of what needs to be approved by the committee and what needs to be approved by the Board is still unclear. Finance wants to make sure that even if the money is in the budget, someone at the committee level needs to keep track of all that it is spending to ensure it does not exceed the funds allocated for certain line items.

COMMUNICATION REPORT

Started training one new committee member on the Newsletter process; additional training will take place later in the month. The other new committee members will be trained on their assigned back up responsibilities – sign board, website etc.

WEBSITE

Password protecting the website is now scheduled for July to allow time to notify residents. Once it is password protected, we will start to work on moving the directory to the site. The committee has already made changes to several tabs in preparation for the upcoming change.

OLD BUSINESS

COMMITTEE FAIR

A document was drafted that contains information for all the committees and will be printed in duplex and handed out the night of the Fair on May 3. In addition, the document content will be included in an email blast reminder to the community and will also be posted to the website. Christine will work with Nicola to procure the space and tables for the event.

VINEYARD LAKE ROAD SIGN CLEANING

The Vineyard Lake Road sign has been cleaned. Marsh Landing indicated that the cost to paint street signs is just the cost of the paint, labor is included; Marsh will identify and paint those streets needing a fresh coat.

SIDEWALK REPAIR

It was discussed that the current condition of the sidewalks needs to be addressed – both the level and cleanliness due to safety concerns. Doug will work with Common Property to identify those sidewalks needing to be evened out and/or pressure washed which will require walking all the sidewalks and noting the ones that are raised or unclean. Letters will be sent to residents requiring correction.

It was suggested that a set of standards and guidelines for sidewalks be developed so that they look more uniform instead of a patchwork of different colors, materials and cleanliness. The agreement was this falls under the ARB umbrella. The Rules and Regulations could be made more specific with regard to the proper level of a sidewalk to make it clear when a resident is in violation.

ROAD PAVING RFP

The RFP for the Road Paving project is 98% completed – Christine has recommended additional legal language be added to the RFP to better protect the community. A motion was made and approved by the Board to distribute the final RFP to the three contractors identified for bidding purposes once the legal language has been inserted. It is expected that all bids will be obtained by the end of May, a contractor selected for presentation and approval by the Board in June. The paving project cannot commence until the Certificate of Deposits mature in June.

LIGHTING

Gary Smith, Common Property, presented a plan and working drawings to replace the current and mostly non-working light poles from Southside to the guard house. 7 light fixtures from Southside to the guard house are not working which is a safety issue for drivers, bikers, wild life and walkers.

Currently we are at a .11-foot candle level which is not compliant with the IES of .5-foot candle. In order to be in compliance, the recommendation is to replace all 10 of the existing poles and add 3 more. The cost to replace each existing pole is around $200-$300 which is actually less than painting each pole; given the condition of most of the poles, the preferred option is to replace.

The new LED fixtures would be directed down to the street as opposed to the current upward direction. The pole height is not intended to change in order to properly light both sides of the streets. Pictures of the proposed replacement poles and mount and fixtures were distributed. There was concern expressed about the cost to replace any burned out lights; due to the existing height of the poles cherry pickers have to be brought in. It was stated that LED lights have a much longer life, up to possibly 5 years. There was also discussion regarding trees in the median that could hinder the down lighting and Gary indicated these could be addressed by Common Property by trimming trees to allow for maximum lighting.

At the November, 2017 board meeting, the board approved a $12,000 expenditure to hire a lighting consultant to review the current lighting situation and develop a bid to correct the issues. Although the consultant did physically review the lighting situation from Southside to the guard house and created a lighting plan that was presented to Common Property (and put on hold), Gary confirmed directly with the consultant that we will not be billed for that time and effort.

The Board approved a motion for the lighting project that will include a construction agreement and with the understanding that the project totaling $67,952 must be funded from the reserve account allocated to Common Property of which $113,000 was left as of March. Common Property will manage the project.

 

 

 

NEW BUSINESS

BOD EMAIL/DOCUMENTATION RETENTION

Christine set up a Google Drive account that the Board can use to hold all BOD and committee documents, including contracts and reports, by creating specific folders. This will enable a much easier transition when Board members change as all board members will have access to the folders. This will serve as a good immediate interim solution until other options are vetted. Additional training will be provided to ensure everyone knows how to use it as files can be deleted, if not careful.

EDGEWATER AGREEMENT

The original agreement between DCCOA and Edgewater requires Edgewater retain the same property management company as DCCOA. When DCCOA selected Marsh Landing to replace Associa, Edgewater made the decision to retain the services of Associa, which is a contract conflict. The fact that Edgewater is not using ML but is required to abide by our Rules and Regulations makes collecting unpaid fines for moving violations challenging. It was agreed that Sadia will contact Doug Harlan, President of Edgewater, to discuss the contractual conflict. The issue will be discussed at the May Board meeting where a decision will be made as to the next course of action.

RESIDENT COMMENTS

A resident acknowledged that the topic of sidewalks was on the agenda but stated his concerns about the condition of the sidewalks in the community – mildewed and dirty and uneven.

A resident offered help with communications items and suggested the Board offer reasons for the things that are being done as part of the communications, mentioning the guard house, the garage and road paving. He also felt that the exclusive Comcast agreement will become obsolete in the future with technology changes.

 

The Board does not endorse the Vendors listed in this document for any personal or business use. The names are provided for the purpose of identifying companies with whom DCCOA has, or may have, a contractual relationship.