I only thought it felt like summer in the last post! WOW…today it is expected to hit 100+. Welcome to the real summer folks!
This time last year we were hoping for a few dry days in a row to help speed along the project. Now we are begging for rain and our grounds are feeling the pain.
At least we can be thankful that we do not have the fires that they have up north. Today is an especially bad smoke day. Best to probably keep the a/c on and the doors and windows closed.
Speaking of fire, it is a good time to remind those of us in the Kalmia Court that we are a prime fire target. All wood siding and lots of lush foliage make us very vulnerable. I’m attaching a news article from October of 2010 about BBQ restrictions on our decks which are in force by the City of Boulder. BBQ Article Oct 2010
In addition to those restrictions, we were recently reminded during a fire safety inspection that there are absolutely no outdoor electric cord lights allowed on our buildings. The primary issue is that any outdoor plug must be GFI protected. Even if we had those, which we do not, the plugs and cords attached to them must be outdoor rated. We are not able to comply with these requirements for outdoor lighting at the Kalmia Court so all of it is absolutely banned. All of our owners will be getting emails and/or letters any day which at the direction of the Board remind them of these restrictions and ask for their immediate voluntary compliance. We do have several infractions and hope you’ll understand that it is just the safe thing to do. We have a beautiful complex now and no one wants to risk a fire now or at anytime.
Of course, along with the prohibition on outdoor electric lights, there are absolutely no open flames except in approved bbq grills on any of our decks. That means no torches, candles, or any other open flame. Please be thoughtful and careful and never place our homes at risk!
Moving on… the Board met last night in a marathon session. I hope everyone appreciates the work they do! One of the first orders of business was to elect a replacement Board member for the spot left open by the resignation of Terry Reilly. Ellen Wagner, owner unit # 25, was unanimously elected to the spot by the Board. Ellen has lived at the Kalmia Court for several years and as she says she plans to be taken out of here in a box. She is a retired professor of Philosophy and has loads of experience with boards in the academic world and brings a wealth of analytical and writing skills right when we need them most. Please join me and the Board in welcoming Ellen.
Before the meeting’s start at 5:30 pm, the Board met with managers from JSN property management to talk about transition plans once I am finished with the project and our need for a full-scale property manager at that time.
The regular meeting started with the normal formalities of call to order, review and accept the minutes of the last meeting, acceptance of the financial reports, review of the maintenance report and other updates about the property management. With that all out-of-the-way the Board got down to serious business.
After interviewing 6 firms, the Board made a decision to retain the services of Business Management Law Group as new counsel to the Association. This will save us considerable cost while we undergo a thorough review of the Governing Documents and all of our rules, regulations, policies and procedures.
Next the Board was briefed on the rental restriction ban currently in place. The ban was extended for another 90 days to October 4, 2012. During this time, the ban will be reviewed by the Association’s new counsel and a more formal and comprehensive policy will be permanently adopted. As a reminder, the Board is considering this issue to assure that we will be in compliance with current lender standards for percentage of rentals in condominium complexes. There are recent updates and legislation that have been adopted that have been in response to the mortgage crisis we have all experienced over the past several years.
The current rules and regulations at the Kalmia Court are incomplete and somewhat out of date. The Board is undertaking a complete revision of them at this time. By the fall the plan is to have a handbook that will be provided to all owners and tenants which will give them the most up to date information on the policies, procedures, rules, regulations, contacts, and other important information about living at the Kalmia Court.
The Board also briefly reviewed the maintenance plan which is a work in progress. The first draft is complete and I am working with the engineers to make it a fully functioning document for the Kalmia Court. Along with the review of the plan, I presented a comprehensive list of over 70 contacts ranging from bankers to plumbers who provide services to the Association. While the list is dynamic, it is comprehensive and is available to the Board and the Association’s managers to make certain that access is always assured to the right vendor for the job when service is needed.
The Board received updated financials and a status report on the state of the construction project. A spreadsheet “punch list” was presented to the Board outlining most if not all of the tasks remaining before the project is complete. While the list is long, I reported to the Board that I am optimistic that it is achievable by the fall which has been our target date all along.
AGS construction has been on site lately repairing the stucco work. They are not quite complete due in part to some damage that has occurred since they were here. They will be back to finish that work. They also have some warranty work to do on the concrete deck coverings, a very few small stubborn leaks in the garages, the newly installed top caps on 2946 and some misc. paint touch-ups and windows to pop open.
The gutters on the front of 2938 and 2946 remain a problem. I have quotes in hand to install heat coils in the upper gutters on both buildings. It is relatively easy in 2946 as there is house power provided at the eve of each unit’s roof. The task is fairly simple to install the heat coils and plug them in. On the other hand, 2938, which has some heat coils installed now, has no house power to any of the gutters or units affected. Those units that do have heat coils now are using their own power to heat them. I have an electrician and an electrical engineer working on the issue but it is not easy or inexpensive to solve. The issue continues and a resolution should be proposed to the Board by their next meeting in July.
Just about the time I think the bird problem is solved for good, they re-appear. I shewed two out of the second floor of the tower at 2938 yesterday and another two out of the garage a few minutes later. Old habits die hard and they have been coming here in droves for years. We’ve just about whipped the problem but we must remain diligent. I am hopeful that we can live without the screens next year but am alarmed at any thoughts of removing them before the end of this season. They have not even started their second nesting yet and bird authorities tell me that some of them may not have even had their first this year due to the heat and dry weather. Please keep the screens closed and maybe this will be the last season that we have to deal with those little pests!
You’ll know the project is just about over when you see a slew of concrete trucks leaving the complex exit. One of the last things we’ll do to complete this job is to replace quite a few sections of the concrete drives. We won’t replace it all but enough to get rid of the major problem cracking areas. Most if not all of the concrete in the entry and exit will be replaced. The areas to the north and east of the trash area and other misc. bad spots in the drives and parking will be replaced.
The landscape architect has the plot map in her hands and is outlining specifications as we speak. There is a lot of work that has to be done to complete the project. Not much of it is design work as much as renovation and repair. There still needs to be some grass removed and irrigation moved to prevent water against the buildings and the fence. That irrigation also has to be moved away from the fence so that it won’t spray it. All along the fence line there will be about a foot of rock and the sprinklers and grass will be offset by that rock to prevent overspray. Once that is complete the fence will be stained and should not experience the unsightly water streaking that you so often see on fences. The landscape plan also includes a significant tree pruning as recommended by the tree plan that we had completed in the spring. Finally, the entrance will get a re-work and the plan is for a new sign. As soon as we have the plans from the landscape architect and get the bids back for the work, the Board will review them and determine what we have the money to complete and prioritize the projects and make final decisions.
There will be rails on the stairs at the pool. The fence builder is building them and delays with the fence have delayed him on the rails. I hope to see them this next week.
The drywall in the mechanical rooms is almost complete. The plumber only has the drains in 2938 and a couple of hose bibs to be done. The electrician only has a few small bits to complete plus the rest of the outdoor lighting to install. We’ll soon be done with those three trades.
The tennis court builder had told us that we would likely keep the pool clean enough by just letting the rain do our work for us. The only problem is that there has been no rain. I am looking into getting the court appropriately washed with a water broom as soon as possible.
We’ll also be changing the locks on the pool/tennis court area as well as the gates in the next few days. We’ve had some unauthorized use by people from outside the complex who apparently have the code. We will likely change them every year when the pool opens from now on. Keep an eye out in your email in the next few days for the new code. The Board has also opted to start the pool security service up again this summer. They lock the pool at closing time – 11:00 pm and open it back up the next morning in time for early swimmers.
Also at the pool, the Board rejected the idea of windows and have opted instead for bars that will resemble the pool fence. I’ll be in touch with the fence company this week to get some design ideas and prices. I’m more than ready to get rid of that construction fencing!
Once we are complete with all construction, there will be a final clean and then we are done!
Moving on, the bank loan was refinanced earlier this month and the rate was lowered to a floor of 4.75% from 5.51%. The reduction in the payments will cover the fees for the refinance and we’ll see an overall reduction in the payments by around the start of next fiscal year in March 2013. For those with their portion of the loan still outstanding it won’t necessarily mean a reduction in their monthly dues, but, it may mean that they will not see an overall increase in dues this next year. I am reasonably optimistic but can not be certain. Of course, for those who have pre-paid their portion, there will be no effect.
The Board has made the decision to put a bike rack next to the elevator area in the garage at 2938. It will relieve the congestion at the rack in the garage at 2946 where several bike owners from 2938 are presently parking their bikes.
Thanks to the creativity of some unknown residents, the height of the mailboxes has been temporarily partially resolved. Liability and other issues with the USPS and Boulder Building Department don’t allow these to be permanent solutions however. I am investigating and trying to design a step that can be permanently installed which will solve the height issue and meet USPS and local building codes. The boxes can not be lowered per USPS code so a step is the only possible solution. The doors also cannot be re-ordered and that would only be a temporary solution anyway that would quite possibly cause others problems in the mean time. It won’t be solved overnight but it is in the works.
We’ve recently had an issue with someone from outside the complex parking in a reserved space in the garage. The Board decided to place the signs back up and to institute a towing policy for cars illegally parked in reserved spaces and for booting cars illegally parked in guest parking. The guest parking policy will be inforced and notice will be given to all residents before that begins. The entrance and exit signs to the garage will be re-installed soon. Please always remember that it is a one way garage with the north end being the entrance and the south the exit!
The Board had a long discussion about outdoor decorations on the front areas and back decks of condominium owners. We have gotten lax and a bit out of control in several instances in enforcing current declarations and rules on the matter. The Board heard several complaints and acted to notify those offending residents that they will have to remove some items. All residents will be notified in the next few days of what needs to be attended to and a more precise and concise policy will be developed and enforced for the long-term. We do have residents with very attractive outdoor decorations and our ultimate goal is to achieve some cohesion and continuity of all residences.
Finally, the Board re-affirmed its policy about limited access to the roofs of our buildings. There are limitless reasons that this has to be accomplished. Among them is insurance, liability, gutter damage, roof damage, and basic safety. It does not forbid access to the roof but only defines the circumstances and procedures for that access.
That about wraps it up for this time. Stay out of the heat. Go to the pool but don’t forget the sunscreen! And by the way, it is really appreciated when you put the furniture back where it belongs once you are finished with it.
Thanks for reading.