Annual Meeting of the Hilltop Homeowners Association
November 14, 2016
The 31st Annual Meeting was called to order at 7 PM by President, Keith Miller
State of the Association – Keith Miller
1. Tonight we will be electing Officers. No formal applications have been received so we will be taking nominations from floor.
2. Keith read the requirements for the Annual meeting from the Declarations. The Annual Meeting is held every November. He reminded everyone that all the Hilltop legal documents are available on the website at www.hilltopHOA.com.
3. Board Meetings are held every 2 months (6x/yr.) and are open to all HOA members.
1. Architecture Committee – Becky Mullaney
a. Thanked her Committee members
b. Painting & staining starts as soon after Easter as weather permits—will try to give
Homeowners 24 hrs notice.
c. Painting and staining will be put out for bid for 2017.
d. Repaired 3 gutters, approved an awning installation and 2 window installations.
e. Several companies were contacted for quotes for siding cleaning and gutter
replacement and cleaning, based on one plex in Spring Walk Ct.
f. Got quote for siding replacement of about $32-35,000 per plex. Keith will address this is a minute.
g. Gutter cleaning $500 per plex, with haul away of debris additional.
h. Pressure washing the siding would cost about $1800 per plex, at an hourly rate of $275
i. The committee will walk all of Hilltop to determine which areas need to be cleaned because of the moss and set up a cleaning schedule based on that. After that, a 3-5 year pressure washing schedule will be set up to clean the siding that needs it.
Comment [KM] – Keith quoted from the Declarations, under Article VI, Section 2, which addresses maintenance and repairs of dwelling units. [quoting from the Declarations] “The Association shall provide exterior maintenance and repair to each dwelling unit such exterior maintenance shall consist of: a) maintenance, repair or replacement of roofs, gutters, downspouts and building surfaces (excluding window glass); b)Painting or staining of all exterior building surfaces; c) Lawn mowing, shrubbery trimming and snow removal, subject to the provisions.”
Keith went on to say that the Board is now looking at some of the areas that have not been addressed or need to be addressed, some of those areas that we’ve looked at – had comments and concerns about – including the siding. The Board will be looking at addressing the siding needs next year.
j. Did not get estimate for stuccoing, some are pretty bad—will get estimates
i. Concerns about the cost of the maintenance that must be provided, as specified by the Declarations. Keith said it must all be worked into the budget for this and upcoming years. That is down the road for a future Board and will probably be done in phases, as the roofs were done. It will be a significant cost for us and will need to be addressed. The Board is cognizant that the community is aging and that there are a number of areas that need to be looked at, addressed and, ultimately taken care of.
ii. Having to replace our 30 year old siding will be a concern in the future and a significant expense. It gets brittle over time and the cost will have to be borne by the HOA members, per the Declarations.
iii. Question was raised about replacing courtyard fencing. This is not included in the Declarations as an Association expense, but the fences are aging and need to be addressed. Whatever is chosen would have to be uniform throughout Hilltop.
2. Architecture Committee – Linda DePatto
a. We have 196 homes. 27 letters sent to Homeowners re: various compliance issues. Many only took a phone call and were quickly resolved.
b. 3 properties (all rentals) received multiple warnings and/or fines.
c. Some are in an estate with difficulty contacting, since there is not name to contact.
d. Collected over $200 fines…some outstanding items, including 1 broken-down vehicle…owner used incorrect window for replacement.
e. Linda again reminded everyone that ANY exterior changes MUST be approved ahead of time by the Architecture Committee (and possibly Landscape, if that is involved), especially before putting out money for something.
f. All homeowners should review, and follow, the Rules & Regulations on the HOA website. A paper copy can be mailed to anyone who requests it.
g. Linda relies on Homeowners to let her know of problem areas—take pics and send to her. She cannot possibly cover 197 homes on her own, especially behind homes.
h. Thanked Pam Wise and Sue Sterner…my “legs”—be my eyes, cause can’t do alone.
3. Landscape Committee – Keith Miller
a. Keith took over after the prior committee member resigned, so has only been handling it for a few months.
b. The Board has identified 7 important projects for the coming year…swales, landscaped areas falling down, need replacement due to aging. Not all are immediately visible because they are in back or hidden.
c. Keith walked around w/John of ZJ’s—was surprised – shocked- at unattended backs of some properties, so the Board will be addressing these things.
d. Section along Nolt w/pine trees—will trim back those encroaching on sidewalk.
e. Lawn maintenance and snow removal was bid out with notices in several publications. 4 people were interested, but only John of ZJ’s bid. He will continue lawn mowing and snow removal for the next 3 years.
f. Landscape Chair will work closely w/John as liaison, making sure things get done on time and properly.
4. Media/Hospitality Committee – Bonnie Benjamin
a. Please take home any leftover food— it’s your bonus for showing up. Thanked the volunteers for helping set up the refreshments and her committee for help with the newsletter.
b. Introduced Scott Sterner as HOA accountant.
c. Since Bonnie has been Board Treasurer since January 2016, (Finance committee in addition to Hospitality & Media-newsletter editor and webmaster), the 2 committee reports will overlap somewhat.
d. Bonnie gave a short personal bio, mentioning her degree in Accounting and 2 years with Arthur Young, as well as her strong business background.
e. As Treasurer, she began by reviewing expenses, even those that seem minor Achieved cost savings by:
i. Finding a cheaper storage unit for HOA documents, saving $36.31 per month.
ii. Updated insurance, saving $650 per year by eliminating “Employee Dishonesty”— since the HOA has no employees..
iii. Also saved on reprinting business checks and made them compliant with the Declarations by having 2 signatures.
iv. Aged receivables…slowly coming down…some written off as non-collectible, the balance will require legal action.
f. Did extensive review of Declarations and By-laws prior to Marshal Granor’s talk at last year’s meeting where it was discussed that the Hilltop legal documents were based on condominium boilerplate forms – not fee-simple townhomes, which we are – and are very misleading and confusing.
g. The HOA needs a 90% vote of all homeowners to change the Declarations, which would be extremely difficult to achieve. Since we cannot change the Declarations, the only thing the Board could do was clarify them. Following the suggestions of Mr. Granor and with the review of the HOA attorney, revised Rules and Regulations were drawn up, discussed by the Board and approved. All the legal documents related to Hilltop are on the Hilltop website. www.hilltophoa.com
h. A formal, standardized Snow Removal Policy was instituted—available on the website.
i. Annual Yard Sale—31 homes participated and we had a huge turnout. Next year: PLEASE park cars in driveway where possible—maximize street parking for visitors.
j. We are changing to e-newsletters effective January 2017. This will save considerable printing and mailing costs. If you have not already done so, please advise Bonnie of
your email address. If we do not have an email for you and have to mail your newsletter, you will be charged $10/yr, due in January 2017. Both tenants and landlords will receive the newsletter.
k. Anyone who does not have a computer, tablet, smart phone, etc. or other means of access to email will be sent the newsletter for free. Please make your exemption request, along with your address, to Bonnie or other Board member.
l. Hilltop joined CAI (Community Associations Institute)… a national organization specifically designed to help both condo and townhome communities with extensive free information on their site (legal, insurance, hiring contractors, common problems, etc.). The Board purchased 4 books for a permanent library and the use of future Board members. CAI membership is $125 per year and the information gained will continue to help your Board save money and make informed decisions.
5. Finance Committee – Bonnie Benjamin (Scott Sterner and Keith Miller also reporting)
a. Scott Sterner: Hilltop has checking and savings (paying effectively 0%) with Merrill Lynch.
b. January will be receiving another large chunk of money from people who pay a year in advance. Bonnie and Scott will meet with Merrill Lynch to discuss how not to be overtaxed on investment income. The first $100 is exempt, the rest is taxed at 30%.
c. A/R last year $23,000, this year $14,535. Three units ONLY account for all this. $6,800 written off, bankruptcies, foreclosures, etc.
d. CD balance $155,000.
e. Escrow is the 1 year of monthly fees that a buyer pays upon purchase and which is returned when they sell.
f. The budget presented here is for 10 months, since it is done on an annual basis.
g. 15 properties sold and settled in 2016.
h. BB: All streetlights have been replaced at N/C to Hilltop—thanks to the original deal worked out with PPL when they were installed. Scott: if a bulb burns out—PPL comes and fixes/replaces…see number on pole, call PPL—can take weeks, but they replace. Our electricity is non-metered. Scott noted that electric expenses have dropped.
i. Investments: $11,454 in interest and tax-free interest—will be taxed at full rate (30%) in future.
j. KM: Monthly maintenance fee for next year. We must start putting away money to pay for future expenses, the way we have done in the past for roofs. The 2017 fee will be $111 vs $101 currently—goal is to invest and be prepared…we need to plan ahead. There will be a 3% discount for those who pay a full year in advance. KM: we will see more fee increases in coming years to continue putting away money.
k. BB: our investments are paying 0% interest, which the Hilltop founders could never have envisioned. We cannot make money on our bank accounts, so we’re getting further and further behind in the necessary spending for Hilltop maintenance.
l. Mike Freshwater 207 WH…”even at $120 we’re still one of the lowest HOA fees in the
area”. BB: Hilltop offers a LOT more services, including, roofs, detailed landscaping, snowplowing, painting, most exterior maintenance, etc. as provided in the Declarations and which the Board is obligated to provide—they are expensive and we need to plan
m. Larry Hess 127 WH: there is a limit to how much monthly fees can be increased?
KM: yes, the Board can only increase 10%…beyond that requires a special assessment. The Board is not anxious to do that, but may have to. We could cut back on maintenance and services, but it would need 90% vote because it would involve to changing the Declarations.
n. Sue Evans, 109 Winding Hill—will we get mulch? KM: yes. SE: dump early—buries perennials and have to dig out—can they hold off a week or so? KM: will address this with John.
Election of Officers – Serving 2-year Term (2017-18) Two to be elected
Nominated: Adam Westgate, 112 Pinnacle Point Dr. Works as landscape architectural designer, and can be asset to Landscape Committee…has exp reviewing proposals, estimates, etc. Seconded. Approved with majority of ayes, 0 nays.
Nominated: Jessica Reese, 213 WH: served on committees in communities in past, believes could contribute positively. Seconded. Approved with majority of ayes, 0 nays.
The Meeting was adjourned at 8:28 PM
Minutes taken and submitted by Scott Saunders.