Grand Isles HOA Update September 22, 2019

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Hello Grand Isles homeowners and renters.

This is Doug Stark, your HOA president with a recap of our HOA Board Meeting last Thursday, Sept 19.

After waiving the reading of the previous meeting’s minutes, and hearing Treasurer Alan Apfel’s report of our financials through Aug. 31, I moved to accept Kevin McSweeney’s written resignation from the Board. Kevin served this community well over the past 2.5 years and we all should thank him for his efforts.

A resident had come forward recently and informed that she would be very interested in serving this community on the Board. I was very interested in adding a woman to the Board as we didn’t currently have one. I interviewed her, asking for her short and long‐term vision for this community and I shared my views. I explained how the Board needs to respect others’ views and communicate respectfully. No one wants to voluntarily serve on a Board if it is a contentious experience. (I encourage all residents to express their views/opinions on any issue that concerns our community; you don’t have to be a Board member to do so.) Other Board members were asked to interview her as well. Therefore, at the meeting, I moved that we nominate and elect Doreen Levy to the open Director position. She was voted into the position after some discussion. Doreen has served this community on multiple committees and will be a great asset to the Board and to Grand Isles. Doreen and her family reside in Harbor Cove and she is employed as a realtor. Your current Board members are as follows:

President Doug Stark Emerald Point
Vice President Joe Smith Harbor Cove
Treasurer Alan Apfel Carmel
Secretary Andrew Plevin Harbor Cove
Director Doreen Levy Harbor Cove

I believe this Board reflects this community with two retirees and three individuals who are employed and raising families.

  • Since my last update, Grand Isles made the news in a very unfortunate manner. A car was found submerged in one of our lakes; it was determined that it had been there for 22 years. I immediately informed our insurance company, law firm, and property management company of the situation. I did not send out any communication to the Grand Isles residents while it was an active Police investigation. The investigation has since concluded and the story is out in the media. We had made the decision to not allow News reporters and camera crews into our community as we saw no upside in doing so. I have no problem with anyone, now or in the future, wishing to pursue their 15 minutes of fame, but request that no resident ever invite the media into our community without the Board’s approval. I hope the victim’s family finally has some closure after all these
  • At last Thursday’s meeting, Misha Meyer, of Barton Protective Services, made a presentation on behalf of our security guards; she is their supervisor. She explained that we are paying way under scale for our guards and it is difficult to maintain a We just lost our Captain to another job. Our current rate of pay is Captain, $10.25/hr, and all other guards $9.25/hr. After Ms. Meyer left, we discussed the need to raise our pay scale by $2/hr over the next two years. We approved to raise the hourly wages by $1.43/hr, effective January 1, 2020. This is an increase of $12,500 to our annual budget. The guards will get a one dollar raise per hour and the additional 43 cents goes to Barton Protective Services for their benefits, payroll taxes, and nominal income.
  • We also approved a change to our maintenance Currently, we pay Crystal Maintenance for 40 hrs for an individual to patrol our streets and pick up debris, waste material, and to do other small tasks. We also have a part‐time employee to clean the Clubhouse, Guard House, and all our bathrooms including the pool bathrooms.

We have discussed a desire to upgrade our full‐time position to an individual that can provide us more skills. We are currently paying about $42,000 annually for these two positions. We sought out and interviewed companies and will hire a new company that will start in about 6 weeks. We have hired All Handy, LLC. The owner is Anthony Michalek; he and another individual will be on our property from 8 am to 11 am every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Anthony comes highly recommended and services other properties. He has “handy man” skills and perform all the tasks we are currently getting, plus has the ability to help out doing many other jobs that currently require us to hire an outside company, pay service call charges, plus a high hourly rate. We will pay All Handy $35,100. plus the cost of supplies. This is a savings, but we are most excited at having someone who can provide more than our current services. All Handy is licensed and insured.

  • We approved the purchase of new pool furniture! We have $16,000 in our reserve budget for this and we will spend $14,073. My wife and I visited, and got bids from Leaders, Jerry’s, Island Living & Patio, Shop4Patio, Design Patio Shop, Pool & Patio Depot, and Fortunoff. The high bid was $40,000 and the other bids were in the range of
    $22,500 to $27,000. Fortunoff’s bid includes tax, delivery and assembly. We are getting 50 chaise lounges (with arms), 36 chairs, and seven 48” round tables and one 72” long table. This will be a much‐needed improvement for our pool areas and for those residents using our pools. I think you will be very pleased with how our pool areas will look!

  • Speaking of pools, I have been very disappointed with the amount of debris in our pools. I understand we deal with trees and bushes and wind and rain on a regular basis. Our current pool service is for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each I’m sure the pools are busiest on the weekends, but they aren’t cleaned on weekends. Our current vendor would clean on Saturdays but would not consider servicing them on Sundays. We put out a bid request and I am happy to report that Tony, owner of TMZ Pool Service (who is also a current and original resident of Grand Isles) has agreed to service our pools every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. His bid is about $100/month more than our current company, but Tony has agreed to provide needed supplies and repairs at a 10% mark‐up, rather than the customary 30‐35%. Tony is also offering to train our new maintenance staff to clean our pools in the event that is needed on Saturdays.

  • The Board agreed to increase mulching our common areas to twice per year, in May and November. We currently have $15,000 budgeted to mulch once per year (November). We negotiated with BrightView and they will mulch twice next year for $24,200 total. This will greatly improve the appearance of Grand Isles year‐round. Just look at our mulch now and you will know this was the right thing to
  • We approved a budget of $2,000 to upgrade/redesign our Website. Any residents who are interested and qualified to help out, please let Marty
  • We are waiting on a bid to significantly increase and upgrade the shaded area in the Kiddie Play We intend to budget $15,000 for this project.
  • We approved $2,500 in the budget to replace the pump station along 120th, behind Carmel. This will pump water to the sprinkler system which has been inoperable for the past couple of years.
  • We discussed the following items and decided to research feasibility and cost during 2020, for discussion prior to our 2021 budget
    1. Discussed increasing parking spaces at the Clubhouse from the current 16 spaces to
    2. Discussed replacing current old cement benches along walkways with new benches and adding a roofed bus stop at the Main Gate for students who have to wait there for
    3. Discussed enhancing the front entrance by adding water feature(s).
    4. Discussed updating the entrance/monument paint scheme throughout the community, much like the Village of Wellington did
  • While we discussed all the previously mentioned items, we also reviewed the status of our reserve budget and the anticipated timing of items on the reserve Aside from our Clubhouse remodel project (which will be voted on at our meeting on Oct. 1 at 6:30 pm), we are facing a likely roof repair at the Clubhouse in the next 2‐4 years, and pool refurbishment and pool deck replacement in the next 2‐4 years. Then, after these projects, we will need to replace the asphalt on our streets. As long as we continue with our plan to add $200,000 or more to our reserve each year, we will be able to do these projects when needed. We intend to continue building our reserve.
  • We are working hard for the betterment of Grand Isles. Next year will deliver an improved appearance of our common areas, as we work with BrightView to focus on all phases of their work to get this place polished up. We will have cleaner pools and new pool furniture. We intend to have an improved guard gate experience for our vendors and guests. (More on this in the next update or so.) Our young residents will be able to enjoy our playground in much more shade. And, providing the Clubhouse remodel is approved on Oct. 1st, we will have a Clubhouse we can be proud of. One that realtors will want to show prospective home buyers, rather than their current practice of driving by it because it isn’t an
  • I believe a 5‐person Board is best for our Homeowners Association at this time. However, we really need volunteers to help on some of our committees. We desperately need residents for the following committees:

    1. Architectural Control Committee ‐existing
    2. Fining Committee ‐existing
    3. Website Review Committee – new
    4. Advertising Sales Committee ‐ new

    Marty or I would be happy to meet with anyone interested in any position to explain what is involved.

  • Please make note that the Grand Isles Clubhouse Office will be closed on Tuesday, October 8, as we will be attending the Palm Beach HOA Expo at the Palm Beach County Convention Many of the seminars overlap, so Marty and I will split up and have signed up for the following:
    1. Board Certification
    2. Successful Landscape Factors
    3. Pets, Poop & Parking
    4. Annual Meeting Prep
    5. 2020 Legal Update
    6. Insuring Community Associations There is no fee to attend this

    Property Manager Marty’s report:

    Due to my involvement in all the above projects and actions already listed in this letter, I will limit my report to just a few additional items of importance.

    1. Grand Isles was issued a new Water use permit from South Florida water management district. This will allow us to continue drawing irrigation water from all our lakes for the next 20
    2. All the common area palm trees were trimmed in August in preparation for hurricane Because of the close uncertainty of the 3‐day storm window for Dorian, we had to implement our Hurricane procedures. That included putting up shutters on the clubhouse and guardhouse, removing all pool furniture and storing it inside and removing screens and canopies at the kids play yard and tennis courts. Thank goodness it was not needed.
    3. We will be power washing the sidewalks on the common area in

In closing, we have a lot going on and I want to keep you informed as we address the needs of our community. Thank you.

Doug

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