Board Meeting Minutes – March 23, 2017

Meeting held Thursday, March 23, 2017.

Call to Order

A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Reston Place Home Owners Association Board was held on Thursday March 23, 2017 at the offices of Duckworth-Morris Real Estate, 1312 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401.  The meeting began at 9:00 AM and was presided over by Mr. Warner Johnson.

Attendees

Voting members in attendance included Mr. Claude Wright, Ms. Caroline Williams, Mr. John Austin, Ms. Charlene Dowling, Ms. Dolly Anders, Ms. Linda Pruett, Ms. Caitlin Tubbs, and Mr. Elliott Jones.  All Board members were present.

Representing Duckworth-Morris Real Estate was Mr. Warner Johnson, Mrs. Sherri Townsend and Mr. Damon Townsend.

Approval of Minutes

Meeting minutes for the last meeting and this meeting will be approved in the April Board meeting.

Officers’ Reports

Mr. Johnson stated that in the first directors meeting after the Association’s Annual Meeting the directors should elect officers.  The following individual(s) were present at this meeting representing a Quorum of the Directors of the Reston Place Home Owners Association: Mr. Claude Wright, Ms. Caroline Williams, Mr. John Austin, Ms. Charlene Dowling, Ms. Dolly Anders, Ms. Linda Pruett, Ms. Caitlin Tubbs, and Mr. Elliott Jones.  The following individuals were duly nominated and unanimously elected to serve as Officers of the Reston Place Home Owners Association as described below:

  • Mr. Claude Wright, President
  • Ms. Charlene Dowling, Vice-President
  • Ms. Caroline Williams, Secretary
  • Mr. John Austin, Treasurer

Other Reports

Mr. Johnson introduced the corrected budget with apologies from Mr. Townsend and Mr. Johnson as to having presented a less than fully vetted, unbalance budget at the Association meeting.  The information,  as printed created the appearance that the requested need for a fee increase was not supported by the prior year costs presented. This caused a great deal of regrettable confusion and discussion.  In reality, 2016 spending was actually budgeted at $640,303.20 while spending was $753,949.75.  This spending is distorted somewhat given the timing of insurance reimbursements received in 2015 and paid out in 2016.  Year over year the insurance claim money nets to a zero impact on spending.  The proper representation, shown today details a net reserves effect where $22,957.60 was drawn from reserves.  The budget before you of $660,563.77 sustains the level of service currently planned and the $54,000 lump sum request provides funding to catch up delayed gutter cleaning and previous landscape repair and replacement commitments. Mr. Johnson elaborated on the fees as stated for each style and size of home within the community.  He explained the allocation method of budgeted cost, excluding insurance, for each style home.  He also explained the insurance allocation method that has been used for years; elaborating on how the allocation was determined by using unit square footages and the insurance statement of structure values.  Again, this allocation has remained the same for the life of Reston Place.  Mr. Johnson explained how that, each year, he works with the original builder of Reston Place to establish what it would take to rebuild all homes in Reston Place to their original form using a price per square foot estimate.  This was used as the baseline again this year to renegotiate the insurance premium for Reston Place in total.  The premiums for 2017 are less than the 2016 premium helping mitigate fee increases for all homes.

The totaled of annual budgeted cost and the annual insurance premium were used to determine the monthly fee for each property type; thereby providing the financial support to maintain and insure the community as a whole.  In summary Mr. Johnson explained that the fees as calculated are now proper and supported by 2016 spending as summarized along with the change in insurance premium as described.  The reason the garden home fee change is more substantial is that the allocation for lawn maintenance for garden homes is higher given the lawn care support required of garden homes.

The management of the $54,000 being paid over the next two months required further explanation.  This money will be placed into the capital improvement reserve and this will be used first to fund repair of gutter drainage systems and sprinkler systems with the balance being reserved for capital repairs determined by the Board.

The new monthly fee schedule change will take effect May 1, 2017.  The monthly fee structure for 2017 is as follows:

  • $171 (2016) to $171.50 (2017)
  • $176 to $176
  • $177.50 to $183.50
  • $207 to $217.50
  • $208 to $218.50
  • $211.50 to $223
  • $222.50 to $228.50
  • $235.50 to $237

Our goal now is to provide better, more frequent communication in all matters affecting Reston Place Homeowners.  We are going to, at the April 5, 2017 meeting provide, for this Board’s review the minutes of the Association Meeting minutes, the minutes of this meeting and the amended budget.  After the April 5, 2017 meeting a cover letter explaining the cause of confusion at the Annual Association Meeting, the approved minutes of this meeting, the Board meeting minutes from the meeting prior to the Annual meeting and the revised budget along with the fee change memo will be mailed to each homeowner and these document will be posted on our website.  Mr. Johnson, to better communicate in the future, told the Board that he has signs available to post at entrances to notify all residents that new information is available on the Duckworth-Morris website.  Mr. Johnson asked if there was any further business. There was.

Other Business

Gutter cleaning beginning dates were questioned. The beginning date is supposed to be May but if funding allows, we will begin earlier. The method used, timing and a reasonable coordination with homeowners was addressed.  Gutters cleaning will be announced one week before each street/area is cleaned.  Discussion of home repair as defined in association documents turned to gutters again.  Provided this year will be gutter cleaning in May, September, and January. This is not specified in the Association documents but had previously determined by the Board to benefit the Association in that it prevents damage to the exterior of homes and related sub-structure.

To better control spending, Mr. Austin suggested that we begin working with a budget and spending process where in we attempt to project majors spending.  Brought up here was the needs for boundaries as to exactly what the boards obligations are as to landscape maintenance outside each home, what the limits are in so far as owner requested derogations in excess of originally installed landscaping and the related cost the board is willing to assume.  Also in question are the extra-ordinary requests that exceed the agreed to grounds maintenance contract.  It was concluded that further work by the Board will be required to provide acceptable boundaries for managing and communicating the Boards expectations in this area.  Re-evaluating these boundaries versus the current documents is necessary due to the actions that have been taken or the actions that have, over time been allowed leaving a gray area that is confusing and difficult to communicate.  One suggestion for dealing with this situation mirrors the insurance policy approach for original structure replacement.  In cases where, betterments and improvements have been installed by the homeowner, why not limit Association financial responsibility to the replacement cost for original landscape plant or product installed. This will require further study and should be addressed in a future Board Meeting.

The communication protocol was explained.  When a homeowner has a problem, their first call should be to Keith Kukla at 345-5521.  Keith will resolve the matter in some situations or he may determine to involve the Duckworth-Morris management team.  He will immediately report critical issues but, if not an immediate need, he will forward the request to Duckworth-Morris in his weekly report of concerns and issues.  Duckworth-Morris will then contact the homeowner and work to resolve the particular issue in a timely fashion within the bounds stated in Association documents and Board instructions.  Ownership of these projects and proper follow up is being track to ensure a satisfactory result.

Mr. Johnson explained the Architectural Committee’s function.  The Board discussed the Architectural Committee’s roll in ensuring that the expectations set forth in the Association documents are met.  Given that discussion the current vacancy on the Architectural Committee was pointed out and it was suggested that possibly two more members be added.

The EFIS liability that currently exists was questioned.  Mr. Johnson said that only three houses have EFIS exteriors on them today.  The Mallory’s home is one of these home and we are working through resolution of their concerns now.  We are waiting on the inspection report on that particular home.  Mr. Johnson noted that we have a stucco covered home that is in need of repair.  That repair estimate is $6,225.00.  We will be repairing this house within a month.

Main Motions

Motion: Moved by Mr. John Austin and seconded that Ms. Caitlin Tubbs fill the vacant position on the Architectural Committee. The motion was unanimously.

Announcements

Board President, Claude Wright announced that in keeping with the Board’s commitment to having regular meetings he wanted to schedule a meeting in early April.  After discussion it was agreed that the Board will meet again on April 5, at 4:00 P. M. at the offices of Duckworth-Morris.

Adjournment

A motion that the meeting be adjourned was made, and this meeting adjourned at 11:05 A.M.

Signed Caroline Williams, Reston Place Homeowners Association.