Thursday, November 20, 2014

Minutes: Autumn Walk FY15 Annual Meeting and Budget (11/17/14)

Minutes from the Autumn Walk HOA Meeting on November 17, 2014:

Board Members: Damon, Dharmesh
  1. 2015 Budget (HOA fees remain the same)
    1. Reserves
      1. Financially healthy. Board voted to move larger amount from operating fund to reserves
      2. CAS Community Manager will send Board rates from several banks so Board can decide how to allocate among CDs (may be laddered at 12/24/36 months if significantly advantageous)
      3. Board allocated a Reserve Expense for a monument sign pending selection of a design and vendor 
        1. Will conduct research and present candidate designs to community early next Spring
        2. Unclear whether lighting is necessary 
        3. Will check whether neighboring communities are also interested - guess is 15% discount for multiple orders
        4. Can use Reserves because it is considered a start-up item and it comes from the capital improvement fees paid when we moved in
      4. Will contract for a professional Reserve Study in 2015
    2. Repairs
      1. Will reallocate small amount from improvements to repairs
      2. Authorized projects:
        1. Will place stone at outlet of drainage pipe in common area between Lots 27 and 28 to control erosion and standing water
        2. Repair of landscaping walls between Lots 33 and 34
        3. Dead trees behind Lots 22 and 23 in danger of falling on retaining wall
          1. CAS must call Howard County first for an assessment, as this is a forest conservation area
          2. Damon will mark the trees
        4. Repair/refill cracks in sidewalk near mailbox(es)
    3. Miscellaneous
      1. Autumn Walk HOA Meeting Signs to be ordered to help publicize meetings
      2. "No Solicitation" signs will be ordered 
      3. Web site domain name paid for last year
      4. At some point need to remind community to paint divider fences
        1. Also suggested using Round-Up and/or gravel to create clear space near fences and deck posts, so landscapers don't need to use weedwhackers near them 
  2. Questions:
    1. Q: Why was insurance so much above budget in 2013?
      1. A: Normally insurance is bundled, but at end of 2013 noticed that Workman's Comp was missing. Was more expensive to acquire separately, then able to get bundled in 2014.
    2. Q: How was snow handled last winter, and what can we expect in 2015?
      1. Called out contractor 3-4 times on an ad hoc basis
      2. Residents are responsible for own sidewalk and driveway, but in one big storm HOA had contractor do all sidewalks which was expensive
      3. This year: budgeted more because of expectation for more snow this winter
        1. But, contractor will call with forecast 48 hours prior and ask what we want to do 
          1. Options include pre-treating for ice, and whether we want them to clear sidewalks immediately after storm
        2. Board will decide on a case-by-case basis since we pay per event, versus a flat rate for the year
        3. Will likely be more conservative in calling out contractor this year to control costs. HOA is only responsible for short stretches of sidewalk in the common areas
        4. As a reminder, Howard County clears the streets and not the HOA
    3. Q: Emerson may change landscaping vendors next year, will this affect us?
      1. Unlikely, next year's costs are locked in and don't expect significant increase even if Emerson changes vendors the following year
      2. Several comments that we are very satisfied with this contract so far 
    4. Q: Mailing list?
      1. Will send copy to Board
      2. Missing a couple of houses

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