Attendees: Ken Bridgewater, Byron Gayman, Dennis Purnell, Tom McCann, Mike Ronayne

The Fells Volunteer Committee met on July 19th to briefly review and discuss subjects brought up at this year's annual meeting as well as any items that were identified and documented by the Volunteer Committee in the past. It was decided that the Volunteer Committee will meet at least once per quarter and more frequently if the need arises.

There are two high priority items we all agreed needed our immediate attention:

1.       One was documenting a thorough inventory of Association owned capital items that will eventually require fairly substantial re-investment as they near the end of their useful life. For example; roadways, septic system leech fields, pool equipment, clubhouse roof, etc. This would include a schedule of when these items will reach their "
end of life".

2.       The other related items was a calculation/recalculation of the amount of the Capital Budget (also referred to as the replacement reserve)  We have agreed that the funding of the Capital (or Replacement) Reserve account needs more attention so that we can change our funding now, if necessary, as opposed to a later date when we take over the Association.

Byron began this process last year and has a spreadsheet that is partially completed. We will update this spreadsheet to reflect as accurate an inventory and future cost projection as possible.

 

Other items discussed:

Annual Budget - We would like to somehow get involved in the annual budgeting process earlier and at a time that might allow us to provide input. By the time we saw any 2011 numbers the budget had already been established.

Homeowner Requests for Improvements - We all realize that the current process for reviewing and approving homeowner requests for external improvements to their landscaping or their homes has not been applied uniformly nor has there been any review or enforcement of non-compliant modifications. In the long run, we as homeowners and association members will bear the burden of any cost increases, primarily in the landscaping budget, that result from these external modifications. Regaining control over external modifications will not be easy nor will it be pleasant.

Within the coming weeks Pati Choi and Ken Bridgewater will walk the property to review and document modifications that have been made without formal approval. The goal of this effort will be to retrospectively provide formal approval where appropriate so that the association and the homeowner will have the necessary documentation on file. This documentation could be useful in the event that the homeowner decides to sell their home.  Any modifications that cannot be approved will also be documented. At this point there is no decision as to how these situations will be handled. We are all hoping that everything can be approved and we can start with t clean slate.

We also discussed how to implement enforcement of the Homeowner Request process going forward to prevent ending up in the same situation 3 or 4 years from now. We all realize that this is a difficult subject to resolve and we will continue to discuss ideas and options in hopes that we can develop something to present to the community. This will be an ongoing action item.

Landscaping contract - We talked about how the above homeowner modifications have impacted the landscaping budget and how to effectively handle situations where the larger mowers cause damage to plantings in certain areas. For example, can we identify areas where we require the use of a smaller, hand mower, to prevent this damage?

We have a copy of the landscaping contract, and we will address, with Stabile, wording (or lack of it) that may have led to misunderstandings with Homeowners about what is, and is not, to be expected of the contractor.

Swimming Pool and Clubhouse - There were a number of discussions and questions regarding maintenance and use of the pool and clubhouse.

Heating - We are expecting to get a cost estimate for heating the pool so that we can review various options for potentially heating the pool. Once we have these cost estimates we will look at various scenarios and time-periods where it might be possible to use the heater. Although, in all scenarios use of the pool heater will likely result in an increase in association dues and this cannot be implemented without Board approval and possibly a community vote.

Gate - We all know that the pool gate can be easily opened by reaching over the top and turning the inside lock. This is a liability that we feel should be remedied. Our suggestion is to add an extension to the top of the gate and possibly the fence on either side of the gate to prevent even the longest reach from being able to open the gate.

Clubhouse cleaning - It was noted that the bathrooms in the downstairs exercise area of the clubhouse have been fairly messy at times. We have a question about the frequency of cleaning of the clubhouse and whether or not the downstairs bathrooms and exercise area should be cleaned more often due to the heavier use by pool-goers in the summer.

Brush & Sapling trimming behind the pool - A question was raised as to whether or not we can trim out the saplings and brush that is growing along the wood line behind the pool fence. Byron made the point that much of this area is in the "buffer zone" and that we cannot touch it without speaking to the town first. From this discussion we decided that we (the association) should have a complete copy of the property plot plans and as-built plans so that we can accurately identify common area, buffer zone, limited common areas, etc. to be able to better determine where we need special permission or permits to perform this type of maintenance. Ken will acquire these from the town - or from Stabile - whichever is easier (and cheaper).

Open items from last year - We have the list of issues and other resident concerns from last year - many of which have been addressed - and we will be reviewing them to determine what has been done, what hasn't been done, and what hasn't necessarily been done to satisfaction. Some of the things we know haven't been done are:

  • Repair to the paths on the berm in Phase II
  • How to handle the roadside gravel/grass and the ongoing issue of it looking inconsistent and messy
  • Making the culvert and the wildflower area more presentable (we are expecting some options and cost estimates from Pati/Brian Labrie). Since exactly what to do here (improve or leave wild) isn't agreed to by the residents no action would be taken without first having the appropriate meetings/presentations/votes/?

You can download the PDF document here: default Volunteer Committee Meeting Notes - 110719 (126.04 kB)

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