Meeting held March 24, 2015.
Mr. Johnson stated that with those present and the proxies that had been returned, 111 homeowners were represented in person or by proxy and the Association documents required 162 homeowners be represented for a quorum. Mr. Johnson reminded everyone that the Association documents did allow the meeting to be adjourned and reconvened with no further notice at which time the quorum requirement would be reduced to 81. Mr. Johnson asked if there was a motion to adjourn. A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Johnson called the second meeting to order and reported that there was a quorum for the Association to conduct business. The homeowners present introduced themselves to those in attendance at the meeting.
Mr. Johnson stated that the next item on the agenda was proof of notice of meeting or waiver of notice. He reminded everyone that a notice for the meeting was sent out within the allotted time allowed in the Homeowners Association documents and everyone had an opportunity to return a proxy. The next item on the agenda was the reading of Minutes of preceding meeting. Mr. Johnson stated that everyone was given a copy of last year’s annual meeting Minutes as they entered the meeting. He asked if there were any changes to the Minutes. A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to accept the meeting Minutes as written.
Mr. Johnson stated that the next item on the agenda was the reports of Officers. He reminded everyone that Bob Griffin was the association president but was unable to attend the meeting due to it having to be rescheduled because of the winter weather the night the meeting was originally scheduled. He called on Claude Wright to make some comments on behalf of the board. Mr. Wright said that the Reston board is very active. During the previous year members of the Board bid out the lawn care, worked on the insurance renewal, met with the city regarding lawn debris and worked on many other items with regards to the management of the association. He said that many of these items would be discussed in detail as the meeting progressed. He added that the insurance renewal was probably the most important item the board considered this year and that the board did not make that decision lightly and he felt that the best decision had been made for the homeowners by the board. A homeowner asked if they could be present at the board meetings. Mr. Johnson said that there was nothing secret about the board meetings and as they were scheduled they could be posted on the website that will be discussed later in the meeting.
Mr. Johnson called on Keith Kukla, the onsite manager, to make a report. Keith stated that he had received a lot of phone calls over the previous year and that there is really a lot more going on with the day to day operations of the association than most people realize. He said the most major change from the past was the gutter cleaning this year. He said that the gutters were being cleaned better than they ever had in the past but the schedule needed to be adjusted. He said he would be working with the contractors to figure out the best possible time for the gutter cleanings. He reminded everyone if they had any maintenance concerns he could be reached on at 205-345-2251.
Mr. Tsapatoris passed out the prior year’s budget, prior year’s actual expenditures and a proposed budget for the coming year. Mr. Johnson reported that the Association budgeted $444,043.96 without insurance and the actual expenses were $439,867.96 without insurance. Mr. Johnson proposed that the budget for 2015 be $446,466.20 without insurance. Mr. Johnson further elaborated that every line item would remain the same with the exception of the water bill due to an increase from last year. He attributed that to our lengthy dry spell in the summer months of 2014. Mr. Johnson stated that there was an insurance premium increase. He explained that the two reasons for the increase; one was that the rate was increasing which is what he has been seeing on all renewals this year across the board on all Homeowner Associations. The second reason is that we increased the coverage to get the policy to where if, unfortunately, we had a catastrophic event like April 27, 2011 and the Association had to replace the majority of the homes in Reston Place the Association would be covered. The Insurance Committee based this increase on local contractors input being that it would cost approximately $125.00 per square foot to rebuild the homes in the Association. To get to that number, the Association needed to increase the amount of coverage by $5,000,000, which would increase the annual cost including the rate increase from $154,693.00 to $174,892.00. Roughly, a $20,000 increase from years past. Mr. Johnson said that everyone would be mailed a memo with their new fee along with the annual meeting minutes.
Mr. Johnson stated that the insurance committee had met with the Association’s agent several times prior to the insurance renewal. Mr. Johnson reminded everyone that minutes to the insurance committee meeting were sent to all homeowners. Mr. Johnson said that their personal insurance needed to be written on a HO6 Policy and homeowners should have the Loss Assessment coverage on the policy increased to $5,000. In addition homeowners should have Betterments and Improvements coverage. Mr. Johnson explained that since the Association’s insurance covered the structures subject to a $5,000 deductible the HO6 policy was the best match. Mr. Johnson said that the deductible was a per occurrence deductible, so when many homes were damaged, such as in a wind storm, that deductible is divided amongst all the homeowners involved, but there were situations where a single homeowner has a claim, such as a water damage claim, so that homeowner would be responsible for the full $5,000 deductible. The Loss Assessment coverage protects the homeowner against the $5,000 deductible and is extremely cheap to add to HO6 Policy. Homeowners should make sure they have $5,000.00 in loss assessment coverage. Mr. Johnson said that some but not all policies allow the less assessment coverage to cover the deductible. Homeowners should discuss this with their individual insurance agent. The Betterments and Improvements coverage is for improvements that have been made to the homes over the years. The Association’s policy only covers the home as they were originally built, so any upgrades, such as replacing carpets with hardwood floors or replacing the counter tops with marble, would not be covered in the event of a claim. In the event of a claim if you have hardwood floor, but the home was originally built with carpet, the insurance company would only pay to put back the carpet. Mr. Johnson stated that he would be willing to speak with anyone’s insurance agent who had questions. He said that it had been his experience that many homeowners’ insurance agents did not fully understand the Reston Place insurance situation since it was a little different and it was important that homeowners were insured properly.
Mr. Johnson stated the next topic of discussion was reference the landscaping contract that was put up for bid late last year. He stated that the association sent out a request for proposal to ten local contractors that were equipped to handle Reston Place. Those contractors were asked to send in a bid plus an equipment inventory for the board to review. However of the ten requests sent out only three contractors returned bids, the current landscaper Turfscape, McCraken’s Lawn Service, and Guthrie Landscape Services. Turfscape and McCraken’s Lawn Service bids came back almost identical, with Guthrie Landscape Services bid coming in at almost twice the amount submitted by Turfscape and McCraken. An interview was set up to meet with Turfscape and McCraken’s Lawn Service. The interview was held at the Duckworth-Morris office by Reston Place board members along with Warner Johnson and Steve Tsapatoris. The decision was made unanimously by the Reston Place Board members to stay with Turfscape.
The next topic of discussion that was discussed was reference the new ornamental fence that was installed around the pool. Mr. Johnson stated the new fence was put in place to limit the possibilities of unauthorized individuals from gaining access to the pool. Along with the new pool fence the decision was made to install wood fencing along Snow Mills Road, which would be added to the existing fence already in place on Rice Mine Road, this also to help prevent unauthorized individuals from entering into Reston Place. With the new pool fence installed along with the addition of the fence being installed on Snow Mills Road it was encouraged to all homeowners to become vigilant and report to local authorities any suspicious activity in the neighborhood. Mr. Johnson asked Mr. Tsapatoris to elaborate on this topic being a retired Police Officer. Mr. Tsapatoris stated that approaching suspicious individuals was not advised nor what any homeowner in Reston Place needed to do. Both Mr. Johnson and Mr. Tsapatoris advised all homeowners to call 311 or 911 and just be a good witness keeping in mind giving local authorities pertinent information like good description of persons or vehicles, last known direction of travel, and if possible write all information gathered on a piece of paper.
Another topic of discussion was the new website that was up and running. It was encouraged to visit the website Duckworth.com then click on the Association tab on the home page and then the Reston Place tab on the pull down bar. Homeowners can sign to receive notifications via email. The notifications would be communicated by email and would require an email address. The goal behind the website and notifications would be to cut cost corresponding with homeowners by reducing the amount of postage and paper that was required for a traditional mail out. All homeowners would still have the option to receive correspondence via email or US Mail.
Mr. Johnson stated the next item on the agenda was the election of directors. He reminded everyone that the association operated with nine board members and each year at the annual meeting three board members were elected to three year terms. He said that Bob Griffin, Ryan Stallings, and Claude Wright had one year remaining on their terms and Patty Sturgis, Linda Pruett and Hal Noble had two years remaining on their terms. Tammy Denson, Dolly Anders and Rush Crawford’s terms were expiring and they had been nominated to serve new three year terms. Mr. Johnson asked if there were any nominations from the floor. Charlene Dowling and Cristalle Ford were nominated from the floor. Homeowners were passed out ballots and voted for three individuals to serve on the board. After the votes were tallied Charlene Dowling, Rush Crawford and Dolly Anders were elected to serve on the board for three years. Mr. Johnson thanked Ms. Ford for showing interest in the association matters and being willing to serve on the board. Mr. Johnson also thanked Tammy Denson for her years of service to the Association reminding everyone that she lived next to the pool and had served as the Associations eyes and ears for all things related to the pool and that he hoped she would continue to do so.
Mr. Johnson asked if there was any other business. A homeowner inquired about the establishment of a landscaping reserve stating that much of the landscaping was getting to the age where it needed to be replaced. Mr. Johnson said that there was no landscaping reserve and that it had been discussed in the past but the board did not want to add anything further to the budget this year with the insurance increase. He said that there was a capital improvement reserve and if need be funds from this reserve can be used for a major landscaping project.
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.
Signed Claude Wright
You can see the signed PDF copy here.