February 26, 2017
As 2017 gets off to a pleasant and mild start here in Fells Point, we wanted to send along a brief update letter to address some of the issues and challenges addressed by the Board of Directors and the management company in recent months.
Water Intrusion Issues
In late 2015 / early 2016, the Board surveyed every owner in the building to assess for any water intrusion issues. After compiling a list of 23 affected units with George Bereska, the Board obtained a more formal evaluation from an engineering company known as the “Falcon Group”. The outcome was a set of recommendations for water remediation work to be completed at Belt’s Landing to maintain the integrity of the building envelope.
The work was divided into two phases, and this plan was outlined to residents at an open board meeting. The scope of the construction involved rebuilding areas of both the masonry as well as the EIFS portions of the building’s surfacing, as well as certain areas of underlying studding, etc.
When initially presented, the Falcon Group estimated construction costs that were considerable, and represented a large portion of our annual operating budget.
However, given that we already have a wealth of information from previous engineering outfits, EIFS specialists, roofers, and previous maintenance interventions, we knew that we could likely attack the water intrusion issues more economically.
At that time, the Board decided to follow the outline from the Falcon Group’s evaluation, implementing the repairs in both the Phase I and Phase II of the remediation plan. Using a contractor who had already worked at Belt’s during the 2015 construction and water remediation project, we were able to complete Phases I and II in total before the end of 2016, at less than the initial proposed costs. In fact, all of the work was completed with existing funds, and the Board did not need to seek additional funds through a special assessment. We are very pleased to have found a budget-friendly solution for this broad scope of work, and we are equally pleased to report that number of water leaks now reported is currently zero.
Rusted Pool Area Stairway
Concurrently, we were able to arrange for the contractor to remove the old, badly rusted stairway that led from the pool area up to the brick courtyard. We had been advised several times that the old stairway was becoming a safety hazard, and so it was cut up and scrapped at the time of the water remediation construction, without causing any inconvenience during the summer months.
With the water intrusion construction coming to a close in late 2016, the Board also was tasked with planning the budget for 2017. With the assistance of George Bereska from Village Management, we were able to set forth a balanced budget for 2017, with essentially no monthly fee increases for unit owners.
New Board Members
As many of you know, we have been functioning as a three member board for several months, after two of the five board members decided that they could not complete their terms in mid-2016. However, we are happy to report that we have appointed two talented members of our community to the open positions (through a unanimous consent).
First, we were able to appoint Mr. John Vakoutis (Unit 701), to the first open board position. John and his wife Betsy have lived at Belt’s for a number of years and he has a broad range of experience to bring to the group, including having been the Board President at his other condominium for many years.
Our second appointee is Mrs. Brenda Besore (Unit 611). Brenda, and her husband Bruce, have owned multiple units at Belt’s Landing and have faithfully attended meetings and participated in our community through the years. She will be an asset to the board and the building!
With our election later this Spring both John and Brenda will be running to retain their positions on the Board.
Planting and Spring Cleaning
Finally, with Spring nearly upon us, we look forward to the planting season outdoors, bringing the gardens back to life, and opening the pool a little later. We will also be posting reminder signs for the annual garage cleaning and maintenance soon.
Wishing you the best and hope to see all of you at the annual meeting in April!
Chris Greenawalt (Unit 705)
Acting Board President