A few updates to share – January 2020
Board Officers and Meeting Times:
Officers and members for 2020 will be Jay Connor (president), Bill Steele (treasurer), Suzanne Francis (secretary), Joel Tragash and Joan Ostrowski.
The board typically meets on the last Tuesday of each month at 4:00pm. Meeting times are shown on the Fells website calendar, https://www.thefellsconnection.org/calendar/. Prior to each meeting, agenda is added to the calendar entry or is available by contacting Andrew Knight at email@example.com. Board meetings are open to all owners. If you are interested in attending a meeting, we request you let the board know since we occasionally need to move the meeting time.
Meeting minutes can be found on the website. Minutes are posted following approval at the next meeting.
Winter Exercise Room Access:
Every winter, melt and refreeze lead to slippery conditions on the path to the exercise room and no ideal solution to this has been identified. The board has decided to offer exercise room users the option of going through the clubhouse. If you are interested in this alternative, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an access code and more details.
If you are attending a community event at the clubhouse, you may occasionally see someone walking though. For those hosting private events, there will be a sign to put up indicating the clubhouse access is temporarily unavailable.
Your feedback as to how this works out is welcome. We will revisit as needed.
Just a reminder, we do not have trash or recycle pickup service inside the clubhouse. We have several volunteers who have been great about taking care of this. With the increasing number of activities at the clubhouse, we ask all groups using the clubhouse be conscious of this and take any trash with them.
Reminder: Holiday Trash Pickup Delay – Saturday, January 25
Due to the MLK holiday, next week’s trash pickup will be on Saturday, January 25
Thank you to everyone who participated in our annual meeting. 66 owners (65 for and 1 abstention) voted in person or by proxy to approve the revised condominium documents, meeting our 75% approval requirement. The next step in the revision process is mortgage holder review after which the revised documents will be filed with the county. The association will continue to operate under the current documents until then. We are reaching the end of this 1 ½ year long process.
Joan Ostrowski has been elected to the board of directors. Joan’s term will start in January and she takes the place of Elaine Francis who has served on the board for 6 years. Elaine’s time and service to the community are greatly achieved. In early January, the new board will elect officers and set regular meeting times for 2020. We will share this information when available. Thank you Elaine and Welcome Joan.
And condo fees will remain at $320 per month for 2020!
Earlier this year, the community was asked to participate in a survey developed by the Landscape Committee. Thank you to all who took part. A total of 87 responses were received with participation from all areas of the community. More than half of the responses included thoughtful comments and suggestions. You have given the committee a lot to consider. As a next step, the committee would like to share results of the survey. You can find a summary of responses and comments by pdf clicking here (1.11 MB) .
What is the committee doing with this data?
The committee plans to use your responses to:
There were a number of comments about LCA lawn care. Earlier this fall, the Association hired a new landscape maintenance contractor, Edmonds Landscaping, who will be responsible for lawn care next year. The committee and board want to give Edmonds some time to get established and become familiar with the Fells before considering further lawn care changes.
The committee plans to work on the vision and initial project plans over the winter with a goal of updating the community in the spring. If you want to contact the committee, please email Rob Clemens (chair) at email@example.com. You can also contact the board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Landscaping and Grounds Committee
Rob Clemens (chair), Joan Ostrowski (secretary), Cecil Lancaster, Barbara Chase, John DeMeo, Bill Loscocco, Suzanne Francis (board rep), Elaine Francis (board rep)
The 2019 Fells Annual Meeting is scheduled for Dec. 9 at 5pm. This is not the official notice of meeting. That will be mailed to your home in mid-November by either USPS mail OR certified mail. If you did not waive delivery by certified mail by Nov. 14, your packet is being sent by certified mail. The packages mailed to your home will include agenda. Please bring the contents with you since there will not be extra copies at the meeting.
This year, the meeting will be held at Souhegan High School, 412 Boston Post Rd, Amherst, NH. This is a new venue for Fells. At this meeting, in addition to updating the community on recent board efforts, we will be addressing three very important items:
Background on document revision:
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.
At a third community meeting on September 18th, 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) .
You will be able to vote on these items by proxy if you are unable to attend this meeting. In order to revise our condo documents, 75% of ALL owners must vote to approve. We will need your proxy votes!
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.
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) .
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 email@example.com 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:
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.
A few updates to share – August 2019:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
A few updates to share:
Dates to Note
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) .
With the warm weather, we hope many residents are enjoying the pool. A couple reminders on pool use:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and, if you'd like, you can copy the board email@example.com. 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:
Owners must take care of:
Owners should submit a board request for approval before:
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.