Board Of Directors
Towers News Letter
The Datyona Beach Ocean Towers
Condominium Association Inc.
D.B.O.T. December Towers Journal Online
The Towers Journal 12.16.2017
Hello and Warm Winter Wishes,
For those of you who are here in residence you have seen that we have been extremely busy with the day-to-day operations as well as completing and initiating several projects. My goal as your President, along with those Board of Directors who are cooperating with our goal, is to ensure the operational needs are met and completed in the most efficient, both timely and financially, manner possible. The following should assist with keeping you up-to-date as disproving any lies or rumors being told. If you are hearing anything on the contrary to my updates, I encourage you and beg of you to contact us directly to discuss before believing the falsehoods. This is a lengthy update, as we have been extremely busy the past few weeks! Due to months of neglect on several items, I fully expect our To Do list to be long for quite some time; please be patient as we plan to inform each of you on the ongoing progress of our home. We welcomed our new Property Manager Ryan, with SENTRY Management with open arms on December 1. In a little over a week he was able to begin the enormous task of working hard to get our affairs in order. Multiple projects have been ongoing, others neglected for months and others that he brings a fresh lens to assist us as Board of Directors with seeing and ensuring we are following the statutes and what is in the best interest of all of you, owners. Working through our Property Manager, Bernie Swenson, Dave Aull and I have allowed him and staff to work diligently on the following projects:
Phase One - Units ending in 15 work continues to progress with significant repair work needed and with that comes significant costs. Yes, we are over budget for Phase One due to these repairs. We continue to monitor along with our engineer hired for this scope of work, Charles Adams, to ensure the work is being done as required. We have also learned major items were never in the scope of work for the contractor hired earlier this year and are working to determine costs associated prior to work starting (i.e. items not included in current contract: partitions between balconies, the brick wall on roadside of the building, wall by shuffleboard court that had a portion removed during initiation of construction) Due to the fact that other items we were previously told were FREE were not (pool pump room and shuffleboard court/garage ceiling repairs costing us $34,400 total), we are working to get out in front of costs that were not included in the contract to ensure we have an accurate budget and plan for payment in place based on the scope of work necessary.
Garage: Our walls have been painted a bright white (waterproofing/sealing paint), along with the parking lot lines and space numbers! There is area of one wall that continues to leak when it rains and we are investigating options for repair. Our maintenance projects continue to include painting to bring our common areas back to the beautiful place we deserve. In the coming weeks and months you will continue to see progress.
Our maintenance and custodial supplies have been previously been unaccounted for. Our staff has now taken the time necessary to complete inventory as required. We have found this will allow for significant cost savings as a result of this task. Example, why buy another light bulb or filter when we have 50+ each in inventory; we will not automatically run to the store to purchase items without first knowing our inventory record and where each item has been used.
With the assistance of Peter Stavros and Charlie Blake we continue to work on the project of ensuring every pipe and turn-off valve in our building and on our roof being properly labeled and visible by purchasing very clear, reflective signage. This is not an easy task and we appreciate the additional hands to assist with inventorying and determining the appropriate signage. This also brings us towards providing a safe workplace as required.
In addition, we have had many safety concerns in regards to the south entrance not being safe due to lack of one-way traffic. This is a one-way entrance, the appropriate stanchions are now in place and a large one-way sign has been ordered to be installed next week.
Our Property Manager will continue to take us on the journey of finding significant cost savings – previously most items were purchased at retail. We have found multiple items that we have the ability as a business to purchase wholesale (i.e. through Amazon business pricing/Corporate Business pricing for various vendors); and if that is not an option, we have hunted to find the cost savings direct to consumer. Examples:
Previously smoke detectors for use in the building were being purchased at the cost of $100 each. On day three, Ryan was able to find us the same product for $48 each total. This is significant cost savings considering the potential to replace several of these per month in units and common areas.
OfficeDepot – utilizing cost savings measures and business pricing and business rebates. Instead of paying full retail price for the cost of paper @ $75. We were able to purchase paper for $12 and to stock up with these sales simply by taking the time to review appropriate business sales and rebates.
We had one small printer and fax machine in the office that was in need of being replaced due to wear. In addition, we have a large all-in-one machine that we are currently under contract with which includes the cost of ink and servicing. Instead of buying new machines, we were able to pay a nominal one-time service fee for an IT specialist to come and review our options. I’d also like to thank Shirley Ellsworth for giving of her time to assist with set up. As a result, all computers (4) in the office can now print to the same large machine in addition it is also our fax machine. This is a long term cost savings for replacement costs as well as individual ink cartridges for multiple machines are no longer needed.
We will continue to purchase as many items as we can taking advantage of business to business pricing, seeking out savings based on needs and minimize buying items required for our operation @ the full cost of retail unless we absolutely have to.
Our entry doors were neglected for many months and immediately Ryan has been able to work on getting bids through SENTRY’s list of approved vendors to create a plan as a BOD to make these repairs and/or replacements necessary. As part of this scope of work, the entry door to our pool pump room is also being addressed. Our pool pump room meets code and once we install the required fan and secure this door no further work has been deemed necessary by any contractor or service provider.
The boiler has been serviced for winter months as required. In addition, the cooling tower was also serviced (to remove signs of algae growth and clean since it had been neglected for an extended period of time)
The lower lobby DBOT office continues to leak during heavy rain storms. We had another flooding of the office and quickly mitigated any damages by drying it out immediately. R&J Coatings has now caulked those windows properly in attempt to waterproof our “wall of windows”; in addition, Ryan is looking into the sump pumps/drains on our property to ensure they are 1. Serviced when necessary 2. The appropriate equipment for each location
Roof – Within a couple of days, Ryan was able to get R&R Industries out on property to provide the necessary repairs to our roof, as I had previously been told the company would not return our phone calls from the office. We are also working towards a plan for those units who incurred water damage from the roof leaks due to lack of repair post Hurricane Irma.
Roof Fans – Ryan is working on a plan to repair the (bathroom) fans that our staff can complete on their own and will use a contractor to complete any repairs above our own in-house capability. In addition, he is obtaining bids for the replacement of kitchen fans, which were removed from our roof I’m being told quite a few years ago. Currently, there is no way to vent your kitchen without opening your sliding glass door (direct correlation with smoke detectors sensing smoke/fire over burned toast). We will continue to investigate the repairs necessary.
Elevator – We have received the first check from the carrier for elevator repairs due to Hurricane Matthew, and expect in total close to 100K. Our property manager will ensure the funds received are used based on the repairs submitted, nothing less. We will not allow funds for a major project surrounding safety to go elsewhere. Each dollar amount is allocated based on the bids received for necessary repairs as agreed upon with our carrier.
Financials: The reality is the transition from our accountant to SENTRY has not been the best and our financial records have been proven to be confusing at best. Our accountant through November 30, 2017 has been non-cooperative during the transition to SENTRY. We have incurred minimal legal bills to request her to comply with the statutes, as she became non-responsive to our written requests and phone calls. This delay blocked SENTRY from setting up our accounts with them quickly as well as an attempt to block our employees from receiving their final paycheck from us as the association. We will continue to ensure the appropriate records are turned over to our care, custody and control; as our records were taken often weekly to the accountant. As a result of this, during the transition, please do not be surprised if you are requested to furnish copies of your own cleared checks as proof of payment as we are finding that we continued to have a year where checks were received this year in the office, deposited and not accounted for on the individual statement. This is no fault of SENTRY only our own Associations lack of organization in the year prior. I am working with them to provide any and all records that we have to the best of our ability. The trouble is we cannot recreate records that simply do not exist in the office. If we are unable to find these records, we will be asking you as the owners to assist us to ensure our records are accurate. We by no means wish to extend costs due to a previous lack of organization or missing records, on to you the homeowner. We will do everything in our power to use your records as necessary to ensure we are accurate in our reporting. This may be a first for the Association in a long time, and I have all of the confidence in the professionalism of SENTRY to accomplish this efficiently and timely. Please be patient, it is in our best interest.
Our Property Manager also met with Brown & Brown insurance to review current claims and our Hurricane Matthew claim. The work to be done from the Hurricane Matthew claim is significant. We continue to find records, receipts and proof of payments to send in an effort to obtain recoverable depreciation. Truth is, this process was ignored since January and the carrier is being extremely patient as we continue to review and determine next steps. This does mean additional projects will need to be reviewed by the Board and decisions will need to be made to ensure we receive every penny due to us from this claim. I have full confidence in our Property Manager to see these items through to the end and ensure the BOD is notified and in compliance.
HydraDry/Insurance claim – as indicated in the previous Towers Journal, we are pending final review for our insurance claim portion of the bill for HydraDry. As it is standard procedure when filing a claim, the carrier must review coverable costs associated and determine funds due to us as a result of the damage. We have paid HydraDry $34K of what was only a verbal agreement @ the time of service of $60K in total. HydraDry understands this is the current payments to be received until the insurance determines the remainder of the bill to either come from the carrier directly or from our Association funds.
Clubhouse: Along with common areas, the holiday decorations are abundant and beautiful for your enjoyment! In addition, new chairs & updates to furniture have been ordered for the Clubhouse as this has been a major safety concern for many months. We are patiently awaiting their arrival!
Laundry -- It was determined that the keys to our laundry machines were not accounted for previously and multiple keys were missing. Due to this, we have changed out the locks for the laundry machines in an effort to secure our funds. As a direct result of this project, our income continues to increase significantly, total for two months: $6412.00 October: $3419.50 November: $2992.50
In addition, bids are being received to move forward with replacing the old machines on several floors as we continue to see machines out of order. Due to constant complaints and break downs with the machines purchased this summer, we are obtaining bids for the correct type of machine for our use and again, will not be purchasing @ retail pricing.
As previously reported, we have been experiencing increased vandalism to our property. In recent weeks the vandalism has minimized and the repairs have been completed if not, in progress. Example: Vandalism to the metal railing along the steps to the beach from our pool deck – this railing has now been replaced as a vandal sawed this off in the dark of night. However, I must address one very important topic: If you See Something, Say Something. If someone before you has propped a door open, please take the time to secure our building and close the door behind you. If residents are locked out of our building do not let them in unless you personally know them or are willing to confirm identity and residency using ID. We recently had two individuals trespassed from our property, these individuals were simply “let in” on multiple occasions, not to anyone’s fault or bad intention, and did not belong or reside here. In an effort to avoid further damage to a unit and safety of our residents, we acted swiftly with law enforcement and owner to have these individuals removed. We must not take our own individual safety and the safety of our residents for granted. This is your home, our home and we must not make assumptions. With that said, please have a plan in place if you lock yourself out of the building. Have neighbors available to you via cell phone who may be willing to assist you if needed.
Think Safely and Think Smart.
Board Member Education Certification Class has been booked for January 13, 2018. This class will provide all elected board members and any owners who desire to attend, the opportunity to complete a division approved educational curriculum for condominium association business. Topics covered will include Community Operations, Budgets & Reserves, Records Access, and Bids and Contracts. More information to be posted.
I am personally thankful to have owners and members of the BOD step up to assist with various projects, with no other interest in mind except to serve for the betterment of our building. While some have refused to work with us and continue to work against us, we will continue to move forward. We will continue to address what is necessary and what is needed. In such a short period of time, we have a tremendous increase in productivity and positive business results. We will continue to complete work as our Property Manager guides us as well as depend on the expertise of experts for said projects. We will continue to operate as a business and as a result I fully expect the savings to be passed on to each of us homeowners.
I am wishing you and yours the very best at this special time of year of merriment and wonder! Our halls are decked with Christmas Cheer and we are
wishing you all the Hope, Wonder, and Happiness that the Season can bring!
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