July 2009 Board Meeting Minutes

Rhondda Homeowners Association

Board Meeting

July 20, 2009


The meeting was called to order at: 7:02 p.m.

Present: Sue Patt, Tom McCandless, Joyce Fedora, Angelina Reyes, Sally Burmeister, Frank Cetera, and David Dunn (arrived late). Dianne O'Melia and Scott Leidy were in attendance. Treasurer Todd McFarland and Board Member Patrick Milia were absent.

Maintenance Report: Scott Leidy

Activities in the last month included removing vines from arborvitae by the tennis courts, and trimming forsythia. The "middle" playground adjacent to Lampeter Ct. has new graffiti and the swings are being reconfigured "constantly; a bench near the playground was also broken. A Board member related the experience of finding teens on the north playground smoking cigarettes after dark, and finding liquor bottles and beer cans in the vicinity. There was again discussion about police involvement and signage; since the police suggested that Rhondda needs to "own" the problem, it may require talking to parents of teens to ask them for assistance. 

Scott painted mileage markers on the path, and power washed the concrete around the farm house and pool. It appears that someone tried to "jimmy" the lock on the tennis court with a soda can and caused damage to the lock, so he will replace the lock with an exact duplicate. A resident who plays tennis suggested that the courts are "dirty" and therefore, she does not use them. Scott said that he blows debris off of the courts in the spring when they are opened and does not feel that there is a significant problem with the surface of the courts. 

A resident from Neyland Court asked when someone would remove a big tree that has fallen down behind her house on common ground. Scott said that he will check it out. The subject has also been brought up by other residents on Neyland.

Ray Forgione, a resident engineering consultant reported on the lower tennis courts and asphalt paving on residential courts.  Mr. Forgione said he feels that the estimates that have come in to repair/replace the lower tennis courts are "totally bogus."  He believes that the area that is sinking could be filled in with the material that they use to coat the surface. He acknowledged that there are two areas that are depressed; he is waiting for some pricing and will report back at a later date. He will let Dianne O'Melia know when he is ready to report back. 

In reference to problems with the asphalt surface of the residential courts, he said that he is not aware of any deficiencies. Sally Burmeister told him about deficiencies on Pembroke Court such as areas where the seal coating did not stick to the asphalt and at least one spot where the asphalt that was repaired cracked and became a hole; the overall appearance is shoddy. During the transition from old Board to new Board early in the year, the current Board was told that Ray Forgione was in contact with the Macadam Co., and that when the weather had warmed up sufficiently this year, Macadam would address the problems. Mr. Forgione said that he had no knowledge of such an arrangement. In addition to damage on Pembroke, there are dips in the asphalt  on Conway Court where people enter their cars; puddles/ice form in these areas. Mr. Forgione said that the dips are due to automobiles that have been allowed to sit in the same spot on an ongoing basis; others felt that this was an unlikely explanation since a large number of residents made this complaint during the walk-through process. 
There was further discussion about how the HOA schedules asphalt maintenance. Scott Leidy said that seal coating should be done every 3-5 years and he has been pushing for a schedule. Ray Forgione said that he put together a schedule based on a request from the previous board which would follow a pattern of sealcoating, repairing, sealcoating, repairing, and then replacing. Dianne O'Melia produced the schedule that Ray Forgione established, but no one has been following it and the plan was never updated. There was a question about whether the money that was budgeted was all spent when repairs were done the last time. Per Dianne O'Melia, there should be money that has been set aside in the Capital Reserve Fund. Dianne O'Melia asked if the Board wants a new capital reserve study done. This is a costly process and it was not felt to be necessary at this time. There is $350k in the capital reserve fund.  Conway Ct. and Pembroke Ct. might very well be the ones that should be resurfaced in 2009 and 2010, respectively per the guide. Sue Patt suggested that Scott Leidy would be the better person to keep an eye on the condition of the asphalt; Scott noted that he and Ray Forgione have a different philosophy on addressing the problem since Ray was asked by the previous Board to go to a plan like shopping malls use as described above. He looks at things from the technical side, Scott goes more on what his gut feeling is about the condition of the asphalt. A Board member suggested that there is a need to know whether "we are robbing Peter to pay Paul" when we decide to address the asphalt problems. The President noted that the 2008 budget has funds allotted for asphalt, but none was spent; there is a question as to how much money was budgeted in 2007, and whether it was spent. Dianne O'Melia will pull up bills to clarify what was done and when. Scott Leidy will do an inspection to note the current status of the asphalt. Scott should defer to Ray when there is an engineering issue that is beyond his scope. Scott Leidy explained the difference between the two philosophies, saying that he would spend more and have it last longer. Both agree that there should be a seal coating routine. The aerial photograph of the area on the weather station shows repairs that were done to the courts.
The final question for Ray Forgione involved the common area between Lampeter Ct. and South Snowdon Ct. Residents have noticed sinkholes in the area and the Board would like to know what is the likelihood that there is an engineering issue. Ray explained the presence of limestone pinnacles that are eroded by water; he will go look at the area and then report to Scott. He stated that sinkholes need to be sealed tight from the bottom up. Scott said that in the past he has filled in with concrete and covered the area with dirt; there has not been any reccurrence. 
Landscape Committee: John Zaprala's written report was distributed including a tentative schedule for court repair in September. Dianne O'Melia stated her concern about volunteers doing the work. Other Board members felt that her concerns were unfounded since volunteers would only be handling dirt and grass seed while anything involving risk would be done by John Zaprala who is insured. John's half sheet announcement to be put out to the courts in the fall was thought to be acceptable. (This report is discussed earlier in the meeting while Scott Leidy is present, rather than wait until later when the other committee reports are given.
Treasurer's Report: Todd McFarland is not present. Joyce Fedora stated that she has a problem with Todd's absences from meetings and feels that Dianne O'Melia has needed to fulfill duties that should be done by the Treasurer. Sue Patt said that tonight she received a voicemail message from Todd offering his resignation because he cannot attend due to his employment commitments. Sue Patt pointed out that all Board members are expected to participate in Board activities (events and committees), and in Todd's defense, he has put in 100's of hours of his personal time. Dianne O'Melia reported in Todd's absence. Roster ads brought  in $555 in June. Lifeguards expenses are listed in the Pool section under Lifeguard Services. Figures for Supplies and Expenses included the Peachtree program upgrade. Utilities water and sewage are at 84% and 82%  which is normal for the pool season. Sewer is paid in 4 installments and 3rd quarter has been paid. Current dues: figures are through June 30th. Some additional dues have been paid. Capital Reserve funds were used for replacing furniture for the pool that cracked. Resident Deb Dainis mentioned that kids sit under the shower at the pool and it runs constantly; parents do not intervene. Dianne O'Melia has already mentioned it to Scott for his attention and a valve will be installed to turn it off. Angelina Reyes requested that the budget for parties be broken down by party instead of having one amount so it is easy to see what is allotted. Dianne O'Melia will bring Angelina's request to the attention of the Finance Committee. 
Committee Reports:
Architectural Committee: Sue Patt questioned Joyce Fedora about her interest in the committee since she is listed as a member; she stated that she is on the committee as a resident who attends meetings, not in any official capacity. Secretary Sally Burmeister reported about the walk-through maintenance reviews of the courts which she has organized. Neyland Court was the last of the cedar courts to be inspected; many residents made positive comments about the process and the need to address the conditions in the community. It was a good opportunity to meet residents and obtain feedback from the community.
Mention of the walk-through process led to questions about the upcoming color selection process for the cedar courts. The President explained the sample homes and the voting process, and that there will be a choice to stay with the traditional colors, but that a solid color stain for cedar must be selected by each court regardless of the colors chosen for metal roofs and doors. There was a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of the process. A resident of North Snowdon asked about the proper prep work to be done before painting the cedar and requested that this information be distributed to everyone. There is currently a document with the information on the website, but Dianne O'Melia should feel free to post the information at the farmhouse and anywhere else that would get the attention of residents. Greg Orischak, the block captain from Neyland Court, was also present to express his opinion that the Color Selection Process is not sanctioned by the documents that govern the Association.
Website: The website continues to populate.

Tennis Court Repairs: Tom McCandless made a contact and will pursue getting more information.

Composting: More information will be added to the Roster.

Social: Angelina Reyes reported that there were a number of new people who volunteered to help with the 4th of July Party. One woman stated that she never received a single flyer about the party. Deb Dainis suggested that there has to be accountability for people reading the Roster to get information; information is posted in the Roster and the website, so there is no excuse for residents not being informed unless their Roster has somehow not been delivered to them. $398 was spent for the party. Residents need to RSVP for events to deter overspending and waste. It is not unreasonable to expect people to RSVP. Deb Dainis is organizing the upcoming Family Fun Night. The pizza shop she has contacted will provide plain cheese pizza for $7 and a topping for $8. Deb will make an initial order and then reorder a little more once it is possible to gauge how much is needed. Sue Patt said that there is no problem with increasing a budget, but there shouldn't be food left over; she wondered whether the budget will need to be increased based on the price of pizza. $500 will be adequate with the cost of a DJ being $300. Angelina Reyes mentioned a contact with a pizza shop who will provide pizzas for $5 and $6.

Sue Patt mentioned the incentive for courts to complete their painting could be a private court pool party. According to Dianne O'Melia, the cost is $17.50/hour per lifeguard and at least two would be needed. Deb Dainis asked whether there would be further expense for lighting, but floodlights should solve that problem.  

Youth committee:  Members of the committee would like to have some parties such as bunko or a  movie night. They would also like to have a yardsale to raise money.

Property Manager's Report:

Letters regarding the Architectural Walk-thru were sent to owner/residents, but not renters. They should be sent to both. Deb Dainis suggested telling residents "I don't know your tenant/owner relationship but could you work together to get problems solved?" as a means of addressing some of the issues that exist with rental units.

Sue Patt asked Dianne O'Melia to prepare a list of rental units for the voting process.

Dues: The Finance Committee needs to meet to come up with the budget so it can be understood whether the monthly dues amount is to stay the same for 2010. Sue Patt's goal is to keep dues the same, but she needs to talk to the Treasurer regarding his role at this time.

Rhondda Yard Sale - The yard sale is held the weekend after Labor Day and usually involves bringing out the grill to sell hot dogs, etc. Angelina Reyes will ask the Youth Committee to help with food and she will grill. She also asked whether snacks could be sold at the pool. According to Dianne O'Melia, when there were snack machines in the pool area in the past, there was too much trash. The selling of snacks has been discussed in the past; the youth committee will be allowed to sell snacks.

Sue Patt asked whether there are follow-up questions to items from previous minutes. The sidewalk installation on Conway Court has not been scheduled, but Tom McCandless will talk to the resident about scheduling. Before snow zones can be painted on the courts, John Kennedy, the snow contractor, needs to be consulted about where to put them, then Scott can take over.

Sue Patt asked for any other questions/complaints. Deb Dainis mentioned that there is a resident who has pavers/bricks on his front porch. Dianne O'Melia said that this was used as a remedy for a sunken porch surface. There are many issues related to the maintenance walk-throughs that need further discussion; use of astroturf on front porches is one item. Residents should have complete repairs/replacement made when necessary rather than put a "bandaid" on a problem such as eroding cement porches. Other subjects for discussion include the color of sealer/stain to be used on decks which may be revised from clear/natural once new colors are chosen in the courts. Frank Cetera suggested that residents conform to what their neighbors have used. It was agreed that surfaces that have been well-maintained look the best whether the finish is clear or colored. These issues need to be discussed via the Architectural Committee. Another question pertained to shed size for townhouses; this is set down in the Declaration of Covenants as an Amendment to the Declaration of Covenants to be no more than 64 square feet.

Goose control is again a subject for discussion, but it will be brought up to the residents of the single family homes that border the ponds. 

The August Board meeting will be held on Monday, August 10th at 7:00 p.m. due to conflicts the third Monday of the month. Angelina Reyes will be able to attend on the 10th. 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:10 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

Sally Burmeister