I. SECURITY SYSTEM
A. We believe that implementing the second check point between the lobby and the elevator on the first floor will solve most unauthorized access into our property. We view this check point as being a glass door manually operated by the concierge. In the meantime, the board reviewed different types of glass doors, such as balance doors, swing doors and slide doors. The estimated cost of the doors and installation varied from $42,000 in the case of the balance doors, to $8,000 for the slide doors. The balance door is a more elegant and quickly operated mechanism but needs more maintenance resources. The swing door requires a wide working area, which we do not have. The sliding doors are more economical and practical. We met with the company in charge of making and installing the doors several times, and I put in my recommendations for the sliding doors. The doors will not negatively affect our beautiful lobby. The cost of this project is less than $8,000 and the contract was signed on May 20, 2010. Since the glass and mechanism will be custom made, we expect the whole project to end before July 1, 2010.
B. Another part of the security project was relocating current cameras, reprogramming our control software and adding new cameras to the property. The Board started to collect photos and add them to the system. The Board directly made the order to the security to collect photos of the residents and attach them to the fob. This will minimize unauthorized access into the building. The photo and fob combination will minimize sharing the fob with unregistered people. An example of the dire necessity for this type of system is to prevent the common transfer of fobs from person to person which has occurred the last couple of years.
C. Board also reviewed implementing a biometric security system. The current high technology level gives us the opportunity to use a biometric recognition security system, which will be our next step of prevention.
II. PARCEL TRACKING
We are implementing a parcel tracking and announcement system. Currently it is done manually, with a lot of paperwork and time from the concierge, which does not eliminate human error. By implementing an automatic fully computerized system, we believe that our packages will be tracked more efficiently and residents will be informed in a timely fashion of the arrival of their package.
III. LOBBY DECORATING
The furniture we inherited from the developer has seen its last days. It is has been overused; it is time to refurbish our lobby. After several discussions with interior designers, all told me the same one thing: the furniture is fighting with the design of our beautiful lobby. The palm trees in the lobby are past their lifetime and look worse and worse every year. This project was initiated with pushing from me. At different times, several Board members went to DCOTA to choose designers. We believe that the famous Andrea Hoyas products will fit perfectly in our lobby. You can see her designs at www.interiors.adrianahoyos.com
The budget on this project was approved up to $20,000 at the latest board meeting. We are moving forward and currently working with an interior designer to finalize the view of our future lobby.
IV. BROADCASTING SERVICE
The Cable broadcasting package included in our monthly maintenance does not facilitate many of our different language-speaking owners/residents. The Board will plan to revise our current package to be multi-lingual, including English, French, Russian, and Spanish.
.V. SWIMMING POOLS
As I have reported several times, our swimming pool was maintained poorly for many years, causing irreparable damage to the expensive equipment as well as to the pool walls. Its maintenance was neglected. In October 2009, the control system filters and pump were replaced. In April 2010, the water was drained and the whole pool was refinished with diamond bright. Prior to this project, the bids were collected and we picked the most reputable yet not expensive company which has many years of experience locally. We are now ready for a beautiful summer in our fresh pool. The area around the big swimming pool and the kiddy pool has been water-proofed, thus preserving the pavement.
VI. MASTER HURRICANE AND FLOOD INSURANCE
The master insurance was renewed on March 11, 2010. The projected premium cost estimated in October 2009 was approximately $510,000, and after a bidding war between competitive insurance brokers, our premium was lowered to approx. $407,000. The Association only gets benefits from this war, equal to savings of more than $100,000.
.VII. RECEIVING AREA REPAIR
We repaired the asphalt by hiring a company to perfectly finish our receiving area with new asphalt. After that, they sealed the whole area, thus extending the lifetime of the asphalt.
VIII. COMMON AREA AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM
As been reported by me at the last several meetings in the 2009 year, our A/C system has been unmaintained for many years, causing irreparable damage to the extremely heavy equipment (weighing almost 60 tons each, there are two units on the roof). The cushioning panel under these units has deteriorated to such a degree that the top floors are suffering from the vibration it caused. Until 2007, the A/C coils had not been maintained, which is necessary to perform twice annually, causing air flow reduction due to the corrosion of the fins. The housing of the units is rusted, the floor is gone, and the isolated springs are extremely damaged. With all of these problems, we are currently executing partial repair steps to keep the A/C running and supplying cold air to the common areas. This equipment’s life span is about 20 years. However, due to the lack of maintenance, we are at risk of replacing those very expensive A/C units.
Hopefully the current hurricane season will not cause any unexpected damage, so we can move forward and start this project as soon as the summer time ends. Autumn and winter are the best times to initiate this project.
IX. PAINTING OF THE BUILDING
As required by the Building Code, the building structure of our condominium needs to be painted every 7 years. The board is working on estimates for this expensive project. Building needs re-caulking, painting and waterproofing. As soon as we have 3-4 comparable bids, the Board will bring this to the attention of the residents and pick the appropriate company and price.
There will be no assessment for this project as well.
Due to the problems we are having with unauthorized parking in the garage, the following step was approved by the Board to install:
- Two independent gates at the south side of the garage operated by the TransCode system. The current arms will be removed.
- To prevent one car tailgating another into the garage without authorization, we plan to put a special arm device for entry only, in addition to the gate, which will allow only one car at a time into the garage.
The arm opens, and the car goes to the gate, which opens. The gate closes after the car, and then the arm goes back up.
Additionally, the regular gate door, which is used by residents, will be placed at the entrance of the garage for walk-ins operable with the fob device. This will increase the safety and security of our residents when they have to walk through the garage.
We restored and refinished the elevators in April 2010. The walls of the elevator were removed and re-polished.
XII. OTHER CONTRACTS
A. From May 17, 2010 we added new free Aerobic classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 PM. We believe it will enhance the social atmosphere of our community.
B. Starting from April, 2010 the Board reviewed, renegotiated, and signed a contract with WSI Management Co. This year’s savings is about 10,000.
by Gregory Arzumanov