Important Announcements

A few updates to share – Oct 2019

Holiday Trash Pickup – October 19th

Due to the Columbus Day Holiday, trash pickup this week will be on Saturday, October 19. Andrew Knight has contacted Republic Trash to confirm the Saturday pickup so we should not see a repeat of the missed pickups we experienced on July 4th and Labor Day. We also wanted to let you know that Republic did give the Fells a credit for the missed pickups. Thanks to Andrew for arranging that.

BOD Candidate’s Night - Fireside Thursday on October 24th

As mentioned in a previous notice, the weekly Fireside Thursday event on October 24 from 5:00 to 7:00 will be BOD candidate’s night.This will be the usual informal gathering, but with a twist.  Some members of the board of directors will be present and will share information about the various tasks involved with being on the board. Residents who have decided to run for the open seat, or who are just thinking about it, are invited to come and share their interest in the board and why they are interested in running.

It will be a great way to meet candidates rather than a last minute introduction the night of the annual meeting, when we will be voting. And if you haven’t attended a weekly Fireside Thursday event, they are a great opportunity to meet neighbors.

New Contracts

As previously announced, Edmonds Landscaping has been hired as the Fells landscape maintenance and snow removal contractor starting with this winter’s snow season. The new contracts are posted on the website. You can find them by clicking  pdf here for landscape maintenance (324 KB) and  pdf here for snow removal (248 KB) .

The property management contract with Foxfire has been renewed. To help better educate home owners as to what services are covered by this contract, a summary can be found by  pdf clicking here (105 KB) .  

Thank You

Thanks to all who were able to help on our community clean-up day!  We had a record turnout and were able to accomplish a lot! And the wonderful Fells’ bakers nourished us when done! What a wonderful community we have!

And if anyone found a missing small rake, please let Elaine Francis elainebfrancis@comcast.net know.

September 18th Community Meeting Follow-up:

Thank you to all who attended this week’s meeting. If you missed the meeting, you can find meeting notes by   pdf clicking here (509 KB) .

At the meeting, Jay Connor gave a presentation explaining why we are revising our Condo Docs, highlighting key changes and the voting process for approval. You can find Jay’s presentation by   pdf clicking here (689 KB) .  The draft docs can be found by   pdf clicking here for Declaration (309 KB)  and   pdf clicking here by ByLaws (525 KB) . Any comments should be sent to board by mid- October. This will give the board time to review prior to compiling the final draft which the community will vote on at the annual meeting.

The community will be changing landscaping and snow removal contractor to Edmonds Landscaping starting with this winter’s snow season. The process by which the board made this decision is discussed in the meeting notes. More details on this transition will be provided later.

We hope many residents will attend the Fells community meeting planned for September 18 from 6:30-8:30pm. During this meeting, we will focus on the Fells Condo Docs but we plan to cover several other topics. Agenda can be found at end of this message. 

The meeting is currently planned to be held at the clubhouse. Since space is limited, we will be offering the option of remote participation via a conference call. If you are interested in remote participation, please reply to this email.  

Fells Condo Docs - Background and links to draft documents:

As many of you know last year we initiated a project to update the Fell’s legal documentation, Declaration and By Laws. The board held two community communication meetings last fall with our legal representative to answer questions that people had in reference to the proposed changes in these documents. The board decided not to move forward last year with a vote of the Association to approve the documents until some of the issues raised were resolved. During the communication meeting on Sept 18th, we will discuss:

  • Why are we proposing a change to the documents?
  • Highlight some of the key changes.
  • Discuss the voting process for approval of the documents.

We will not be going through the documents in detail at the communications meeting.  We are making the draft documents available early so that you have the opportunity to review these documents prior to the meeting and provide us with your feedback. There will not be a legal representative at the communications meeting. The documents are available on the website by  pdf clicking here for Declaration (309 KB)  and  pdf clicking here for ByLaws (525 KB) . Note that you must be logged into your Fells website account to access.             

Many of you will note that some of the detailed rules and regulations are no longer included in the Declaration and By Laws documents. These have been moved to a Rules and Regulations document.   A draft of this document has been put together by the Policy Committee and will be forwarded at a later time. The rationale and approval of this approach will be explained in the meeting.    

Meeting Agenda: 

  • Introductions
  • 2019 Financial Update
  • Fells Condo Docs
  • 2020 Budget Planning
  • General Q&A

A few updates to share – August 2019:

Lawn Treatment:
Our next lawn treatment is scheduled for August 6th. This treatment will include spraying for post emergent crabgrass. Sorry for the short notice on this.

 

Street Tree Trimming:
The landscaping and grounds committee, in partnership with the board, has determined that many of the street maples in phases 1 and 2 should be trimmed back from road. As trees have grown, the volunteer clean-up day efforts of past years are no longer feasible. Mike Hennas (who recently pruned our shrubs) has been contracted to remove low growing limbs and prune branches away from road. A few street evergreens in phase 1 which have outgrown available space will be pruned or removed.

The contracted work will be limited to improving road clearance, visibility and mower access, important for all residents. Any additional tree trimming desired is the responsibility of owner.

Tree trimming will include trees at the Fells Berm and Glen Ct Island along with removal of dying trees at the Glen Ct Island.

This work is planned for early September.

 

Septic Pumping Schedule:
If your home is due for pumping this year, you can find your home’s scheduled day by clicking pdf here (241 KB) . You do not need to be home on the day of pumping.

 

Trailside Roads and Drainage:
The board remains committed to repairing the gravel shoulders. A contractor has been hired and the work is being scheduled. A date is not available yet but is expected to be within the next couple months. Thank you for your continued patience.

If you missed the June email, the board hired an experienced engineer, Steven Keach, to evaluate and make recommendations. You can read his report by clicking pdf here (114 KB) . Please note that you will need to be logged into your Fells website account to view.

 

Consider running for the board:
At our annual meeting in Dec, the community will elect a community member to fill the board position that will be open due to the expiration of Elaine Francis’s term. After two full terms, Elaine has decided not to run for reelection. If you are interested or just want to learn more, feel free to contact a board member. We will be sending out info on how to throw your hat in the ring, etc., at a later date.

 

Reminder: September 18th Community Meeting:
Please save the date. The board will update the community on the condo doc revision process begun last year. We plan to cover several other topics and allow time for Q&A. We will be sending out info and draft condo docs later this month.

A few updates to share:

 

Trash Barrels

Republic trash barrels were delivered to homes where they were not being used earlier this week. Our contract with Republic actually requires use of these barrels but Republic has been flexible on this. Republic is now encouraging all owners to use the barrels. It is the board’s understanding that Republic will continue to pick up garbage outside the barrel so long as the volume is modest (at the driver’s discretion).

Our contract specifies pickup of one barrel worth of trash per home. If you need more than one barrel, please contact Republic, www.republicservices.com.

We apologize for not providing any advance notification of the barrel delivery. We emphasized to Republic the need to improve their communications. 

Speeding

The posted speed limit within the Fells is 20 mph. It’s easy to get moving faster without realizing it. Please, with children and many walkers in the neighborhood and for the safety of all residents and guests we ask that everyone pay attention to all posted speeds. You can also help by reminding contractors and delivery personal to slow down if you see them exceeding the speed limit.

Septic Pumping

All owners are required to pump their septic tank once every two years in order to protect our community system. If your home is scheduled for pumping in 2019, you will soon receive an email from Andrew Knight at Foxfire with further details. Note that Andrew will coordinate the work to help reduce cost to each individual owner.

Propane Pricing

Andrew Knight was able to get pricing of $1.759 for propane through Energy North.  If you are already an Energy North customer, you do not need to contact Energy North to receive this price unless you are on budget plan.  You should check your first invoice in the Fall to ensure you are getting this Fells price.

Dates to Note:

  • Shrub pruning to begin this week.
  • Clubhouse Power Washing: Monday, July 15. The pool area will be open but please accommodate any requests from the workers.
  • Fall Community Meeting: Wednesday, September 18. Please save the date, more information to come.

A few updates to share: 

Dates to Note

  • Fall Community Meeting: Wednesday, September 18. Please save the date, more information to come.
  • Clubhouse Power Washing: Monday, July 15. The pool area will be open but please accommodate any requests from the workers.
  • Trash Pickup Delay: Due to the July 4th holiday, trash pickup is on Saturday, July 6,next week.

 

Trailside Roads and Drainage

Following the completion of phase 3 last year, concerns about the road (specifically the gravel shoulders) and drainage on Trailside and Vale Ct. remain. To better understand this issue, the board hired an experienced engineer, Steven Keach, to evaluate and make recommendations. Steven is familiar with the Fells having helped the association in 2012 to inspect phases 1 and 2. While the focus was on Trailside, Steven walked the entire community. You can read his report by clicking pdf here (114 KB)

This report has been shared with Stabile and a meeting is being planned to discuss. We will share more information as available. However, the board is committed to ensuring that the shoulders near 2 and 16 Trailside are repaired (areas Steven identified as needing repair without delay). The catch basin repair noted on Hobbs Way has been completed.

 

2018 Financial Review

Each fiscal year, an independent review of the association’s finances is performed. You can find the 2018 report by clicking  pdf here (464 KB)

 

Pool Use

With the warm weather, we hope many residents are enjoying the pool. A couple reminders on pool use:

  • All guests must be accompanied by a resident.
  • If you use the restrooms in the exercise area, please be sure to shut off the lights and lock door when leaving.
  • If you put up the umbrellas, please remember to crank down following use.  
  • And please no glass containers at the pool.

The holiday weekends are a very popular time to visit the pool. With the upcoming July 4th holiday, we ask that all residents be respectful of the fact that the pool is shared by all residents. If the pool is crowded, please limit the number of any guests.

As we finally enter the full beauty of summer, the board felt it would be a good time to remind residents of the lines of communication for issues with landscaping as well as a review of what our landscaping contract does and does not provide.

Who do I contact for landscape issues?

Contact Andrew Knight with Foxfire, our property management company. Email is best to reach Andrew aknight@foxfirenh.com and, if you'd like, you can copy the board theboard@thefellsconnection.org. If you want to speak with Andrew, his number is (Tel. (603) 228-2151 Ext. 322). Andrew will maintain a log of requests and will contact Brian Labrie as well as the board, if necessary. Please do not contact Brian Labrie or any of the workers directly. Every time someone stops a worker or any contractor who is on site, you delay the completion of the work to be done. You may think, “It is only a quick question,” but many “quick questions” from various residents add up to significant delays for everyone.

What is covered by the association’s contracts?

The Association contract covers:

  • Mowing and trimming of grass.
  • Fertilization, lime and weed control of grass.
  • Irrigation systems infrastructure, external to the house.
  • Irrigation startup and winterizing as well as repairs to broken sprinkler heads.
  • Spraying of weeds on stone edging around foundations.
  • Trimming of ornamental shrubs in front garden beds (trimming of trees is the owner’s responsibility).

Owners must take care of:

  • Replacement or removal of dead shrubs and trees.
  • Trimming of trees.
  • Trimming of owner added ornamental shrubs.
  • Weeding of mulched beds. (Since owners are allowed to plant flowers and perennials in their mulch beds, the landscaper will not control weeds in these beds in order to prevent over-spray and damage to plantings.)
  • Water to irrigation system must be turned on in April (startup) and shut off in Oct. (winterizing).
  • There is a control system for programming the time of day and duration of exterior watering in every home. It is the resident’s responsibility to set these controllers and ensure their lawn is being watered. A fee may be charged if the landscaper is contacted to set your controller. If you do not know how to set your controller, please contact the board. A neighbor may be able to help.

Owners should submit a board request for approval before:

  • Adding any new planting bed.
  • Enlarging any existing planting bed.
  • Planting or removing any tree.
  • A board request is not necessary if adding flowers and perennials to existing planting beds.
  • A board request is not necessary if replacing a shrub in an existing bed with another similar shrub.
  • Board requests may be submitted via the online tool on the Fells website.

And finally:

  • Spraying of weeds on stone edging around foundations is planned for June 18, weather dependent.

Thank you to everyone who shared their opinions on solar energy at the Fells. 63 responses were received to the recent survey. The board wanted to share a summary of the results and next steps with the entire community. As you may recall, this survey was sent out as a follow-up action item from a previous information meeting. The survey was not meant to be a formal vote. 

Results on the three questions asked were:

  1. “I am in favor of allowing residents to have solar panels on their homes in The Fells. I understand that the panels and system would have to meet architectural guidelines established by the Board as well as approval by the Board of Directors.”
    RESULTS: 54% - NO / 46% - YES
  2. “I would be in favor of allowing residents to have solar panels on the back of their homes only.”
    RESULTS: 52% - NO / 48% - YES
  3. “I am in favor of putting a solar system on the clubhouse to defray electric costs. These panels would need to be on the front of the clubhouse.”
    RESULTS: 43% - NO / 25% - YES / 32% - MAYBE

Question 4 asked those who answered “NO” to the earlier questions to comment on why. Question 5 allowed general comments on solar. Several trends emerged.

• Concerns about aesthetics, detracting from natural surroundings.
• Financial concerns, both about payback for owner installing solar AND home value impact on neighboring homes without solar.
• Support for allowing solar, making a positive impact on environment.

So, what’s next?
No decision has been made yet to proceed further with solar exploration. The board will work with the solar committee to consider any next steps, if any. The board has determined that any decision to move forward allowing solar panels would require additional information and approval by a community vote.

And as always, the board can be contacted at theboard@thefellsconnection.org.

One of our residents, who is in Florida for the winter, informed the board that they understood they were on an automatic propane delivery with their propane company. Well, imagine their surprise when they found they were completely out of propane! They had to arrange for an immediate delivery and have someone go to the house to let a rep in to check the gas equipment. Fortunately, this was discovered before the pipes froze and no damage was caused.

If you are going to be away this winter, it would be a good idea to confirm with your propane company that you are on automatic delivery. You may want to also have someone check your house when the temps drop as low as expected this week! If you check your company's website you may find you can create an account and they can give you an idea of where they think your propane levels are and when they expect to make a delivery to your house.

As you know, we have two snow storms headed our way this weekend. It is time for us to send out our annual reminder about walking at The Fells during snow clean-up. While some of us may enjoy the look, feel and quiet of walking in a snow storm, PLEASE do not do this when the crews are trying to clean the nighborhood for the following reasons:.

  • Our streets are narrow and the plow driver needs to focus on looking at the snow to be removed.
  • Visibility is not good when it is snowing and the driver may not see you.
  • The snow may be hiding nasty ice on the roads.
  • If the crews have to stop or work around you, this slows the clean-up process.

If you have a dog who must go out, please keep your walks limited to that which is "necessary." Wear bight clothes and carry a flashlight. If you see the plow coming, try and get as far off the road as you safely can.

We greatly appreciate your consideration of this important advisory. Please be careful and stay safe!

 

As you are aware, we have been working with an attorney to update our 13 year old Condo association documents for change of declarant from Stabile to the Fells Association. We will also bring the documents into compliance with NH law and incorporate a lot of the best practices in condo work. We have held two informational meetings that have generated a number of comments from the community and are confident that we are on the right path to update and improve the documents.

Our original intent was to finalize the documents based upon community input and then ask the community to vote on approval at the Dec 10th, annual meeting. A key issue was raised at our last community meeting, Oct 29th, on insurance coverage and some lack of clarity in the state law. Our attorney is working with the appropriate state officials to get clarification. We also met with our insurance representative last week to further understand the relevant issues. As a result of these discussions, we have decided that we will not put the revised condo documents up for vote approval during the Dec 10th Annual Meeting. In order to meet this date and be compliant with state law and our current documents we would have to clarify the insurance approach, communicate the approach to the Fells community for explanation and publish the completed documents to the Fells community by Nov 16th. We do not believe that this could be done in an appropriate way for the Annual Meeting. We still intend to update the condominium documents in all due haste and plan to vote on them sometime in early 2019.

Next Steps:
• Dec 10th Annual Meeting will be held, (will not include vote on condominium documents)
• Clarify the remaining issues in the rewrite of the condominium documents
• Communicate the expected approach to the issues to the Fells Community, this will likely be done in a community meeting (early 2019)
• Schedule vote on new condominium documents.

Please note as mentioned above, one of the open issues is insurance coverage. At this point, each unit owner SHOULD CONTINUE TO maintain the type coverage that they currently have as noted in the current declaration and bl-laws. We have reviewed the overall insurance coverage for The Fells with our current insurance provider and are confident we are adequately and appropriately covered.

If there are any questions or concerns please reach out to one of the board members.

The annual meeting is scheduled for December 10 at 5:00. This is not the official notice of that meeting. That will be mailed to your home at a later date. We have a few things we want to share with you about the meeting, including this date reminder.

Given that our community has outgrown the allowable capacity of the clubhouse, we have obtained a larger venue to accommodate our meeting at no cost. We will meet at the Messiah Lutheran Church at 303 Route 101 in Amherst. Website: http://www.messiahnh.org/ At this meeting, in addition to updating the community on recent board efforts, we will be addressing three very important items:

1. Election of two members of the community to fill board positions that will be open due to the expiration of terms of Rob Clemens (president) and Bill Loscocco (treasurer). Both have decided not to run for reelection. If you are interested in running for a board seat feel free to contact a board member for more information. We will be sending out info on how to throw your hat in the ring, etc., at a later date.

2. Vote to approve/disapprove the revised condo Declaration and By-laws. Be sure to attend the meeting on October 29 to ask questions and make suggestions for these documents.

3. Vote to approve/disapprove the board’s proposed budget for 2019. Don’t forget to send your ideas for the budget to the board at theboard@thefellsconnection.org.

You will be able to vote on these items by proxy if you are unable to attend this meeting. We will need your proxy votes!

Be sure to mark the date on your calendar!

The board wants to let all homeowners know about important meetings and community events scheduled for this fall.

  1. Due to this wonderful (if you like HOT!) weather, the pool closure has been delayed until September 10. Also, we are  seeking input on the pool. Any policy changes we should consider for next year? How was the water quality? Any feedback appreciated! You can reply to this email.
  2. Reminder: On September 11 at 5:30pm, Attorney Ducharme will present a draft of a revised Condo Declaration. At this meeting we will be seeking input from the community. This will be the first of two presentations by Attorney Ducharme. Please RSVP to Suzanne Francis at suzannemfrancis@gmail.com by September 6 if you plan on attending so that we can determine if we will have sufficient space at the clubhouse or if we need to move to a larger facility.
  3. The fall clean-up date is set for October 20 with a rain date of October 21 from 9:00-10:30. This is an opportunity for the neighborhood to gather and clean up the neighborhood. It is quite a fun event and saves money for our association!
  4. On October 29 at 5:30pm, Attorney Ducharme will present a draft of revised Condo By-Laws. At this meeting we will be seeking input from the community. This will be the second of two presentations by Attorney Ducharme
  5. The annual meeting has been scheduled for December 10 at 5:00pm. At this meeting we will be voting on whether or not to accept the revised Declaration and By-laws and we need a 2/3 majority to succeed. PLEASE mark your calendars! If you cannot attend, you will be able to vote by proxy.
  6. The board will soon begin work on next year’s budget. We will be voting on the 2019 budget at the annual meeting. Do you have any suggestions for things we should consider? Please reply to this email by September 30 if you do!

We look forward to seeing you at these events and hearing your feedback on these topics! Feedback can be sent by replying to this email or by emailing the board at theboard@thefellsconnection.org

Upcoming Events

21Oct
10/21/2019 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Men's Poker Night
23Oct
10/23/2019 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Mahjong
24Oct
10/24/2019 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Mahjong

AARP Fraud Watch

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Pet Etiquette - Please!

Clean up after your Dog - Pet etiquette

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