A regular meeting of the Board of the Lakes at Waterstone Homeowners Association, Inc. was held on Tuesday, April 20, 2010, and called to order at 4:30 p.m. by Board President Jack Pennella.
Also present were Scott Brooks (via telephone), Greg Plagmann, Sue Sheppard and Property Manager Steve Schnitzer. Board Member Kim Cheatham was excused.
Voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the March 23 organizational meeting. (Sheppard – Plagmann)
The Property Manager reported that our current landscaper, M & M, has resigned effective May 1. This resignation is by mutual agreement. The Board is currently evaluating bids for landscaping, fertilization and pest control and irrigation from a number of bidders. The Board will hold a special meeting to award the bids sometime before the May 1 start date for the new vendors. Replacement of dead landscape is a priority.
The Property Manager reported that we have quotes from LSP for $8.00 per plant with no price for removal. Impact quoted $7.75 per plant for some plants, $8.50 per plant for others. If homeowners remove the plants, there would be a small price reduction. Fischer and Fischer (located on Babcock) quoted $8.00 per plant and they will remove the dead landscape at no additional cost.
President Pennella noted that dead plants will be replaced from a list of cold hearty plants. He also noted that Fischer and Fischer is currently the top bidder for landscape maintenance. Plants will be 3-gallon and at least 24” high from the top of the pot. No undersized plants will be accepted. Fischer and Fischer are also doing landscape work in Heron Bay and on Mara Loma Boulevard.
Board member Plagmann asked that residents be allowed to ask questions or comments at this point because of the importance of the subject.
Greg MacFarlane asked at whose expense the plants would be replaced. President Pennella noted that there was discussion among the Board members about who is responsible for replacement plants per the covenants. He noted that he asked Board member Brooks exactly what the developer’s thoughts were regarding the part of the covenants relating to replacement plants. In a letter to the Board, Mr. Brooks stated that the HOA is responsible for replacement of dead plants with the funding coming either from a budget line item, or in the case of special circumstances, by an assessment. President Pennella stated that replacements of dead plants will be done through this year’s budget. There will be no special assessment.
There is some contingency in this year’s budget. He added that while all dead plants will be replaced, no plants will be replaced on foreclosed property or those behind on HOA fees. These areas will receive mulch. Once there is a new property owner, or the HOA fees are brought up to date, plants will be added. He also stated that a line item needed to be placed in the 2011 budget for replacement landscape.
Mr. MacFarlane asked if notice had been given to Pulte about placing plants that didn’t withstand the cold. The Property Manager stated that all landscape was approved by the City of Palm Bay. Pulte’s budget had money for special circumstances. Pulte bought south Florida plants, but they were Florida plants and the City required Florida Native plants. When asked if there is a warranty, President Pennella stated the warranty is at least one year and is lifetime as long as Fischer and Fischer is the contract landscaper.
Voted unanimously to hire Fischer and Fischer at $8.00 per plant, to replace dead landscape from a list of cold hearty plants, including removal of the dead plants. (Plagmann – Pennella) Board member Brooks noted that the $8.00 is a good price for plant replacement.
Mr. MacFarlane asked if homeowners would be required to use Fischer and Fischer. The Property Manager stated that individual homeowners who want to change landscaping must first apply to the ACC Committee for approval, but can use any vendor they like to do the work.
The Property Manager discussed briefly the on-going discussions with Pulte about who is responsible for the irrigation system (per covenants) and for reporting usage of water from the lakes to St. Johns Water District. He noted that Pulte is responsible for flow meter readings and they will handle the filings.
Treasurer Greg Plagmann presented the treasurer’s report. At the end of the month, the operating fund had a balance of $40,031.95. Accounts receivable was $41,023.95 down $1,361 from last month. There was a collection; however, there is $500 in attorney fees which may be recoverable. Year to date, we are below budget by $8,359. We have budgeted $17,000 for bad debts and $21,000 for contingency. Both these accounts and the mulch line item will possibly be used for plant replacement. The HOA is in good shape, but has no extra money and much bad debt.
Voted unanimously to keep the properties currently with Natalie Chin-Lenn for collection be left with her and that any new collections be turned over to a different attorney. (Plagmann – Pennella) Treasurer Plagmann noted that Ms. Chin-Lenn is difficult to reach because of her travel schedule. He also stated that we don’t pay her unless she collects the past due money. New collections will be sent to Attorney Jay Levin.
The Treasurer discussed efforts to collect past due HOA fees. The Association is third in line and because so many of the loans are upside down, there is no money left to pay the association fees in a foreclosure. The HOA can collect 12 months. If the banks don’t want to pay, we don’t get our money. Voted unanimously to apply the HOA’s $800 credit with Attorney Chin-Lenn for her to go forward with the Williams foreclosure on Jute. (Plagmann – Sheppard) Voted unanimously to follow the advice of Attorney Chin-Lenn on Steve Possinger’s foreclosure and monitor, but do nothing further because of the foreclosure. (Plagmann – Pennella)
Voted unanimously to authorize Attorney Chin-Lenn to file a lis pendens on the property of Gagliardi. (Plagmann – Pennella) No fees will be waived on any collections going to the attorney.
Dan Maxey presented the Security Committee’s report. A “No Soliciting” sign will be placed near the street on an existing sign. There will be a sign installed at the guard house indicating security cameras are in use. Discussion held on whether or not two additional signs should be placed on the sidewalks entering the community advising of security cameras in use. Voted unanimously, on recommendation of the Security Committee, to authorize the expenditure for only two signs, one no soliciting sign on the street and one security camera sign for the guard house. (Pennella – Sheppard) The Architectural Control Committee is in the process of organizing.
Parking regulations are being formulated to address a number of parking and traffic issues.
Discussion on rust removal on homes and requesting homeowners to take care of rust on their residences.Mr. MacFarlane suggested that a volunteer group do the sidewalks with a concrete cleaner that will remove stains and rust.
The turnover agreement has been tabled at the request of Pulte.
Easement agreements are currently going back and forth between the Board, Pulte and Palm Bay Land Management.
The amenity center is moving along. All permits are done and work can begin on the lakes. Concrete sidewalks will be done once the lakes are done.
At the meeting of the Master Association, there were concerns on the condition of Mara Loma. The Master Association will bring pressure to bear on Waterstone Farms. Pulte is working through their attorney regarding Waterstone Farms issues. The principals are very difficult to contact.
The President discussed the alligator program and how to report alligators. He noted that 4 ft. alligators are reportable, and advised residents not to feed any alligator. If a resident observes an offending alligator, they should call the size to Alligator Nuisance Control at 866-392-4286. The resident is given a code number. Then the resident should call the property manager or a member of the Board with the code number. That person then calls Alligator Nuisance Control with the code number and the authority to have the nuisance alligator removed. He noted that an alligator must be a nuisance before it can be removed. A nuisance alligator is described as being over 4 feet and/or aggressive.
Voted unanimously to adjourn. (Sheppard – Plagmann) - Meeting adjourned at 6:00 PM
Sue P. Sheppard (Secretary)