Following is a recap of issues discussed and/or approved at the August 28th Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting. Related Agenda items are noted. The full meeting Agenda may be accessed via the following link: August 28th BOD Meeting Agenda – Final
Homeowner comments (paraphrased) on meeting agenda items and other topics are summarized as follows;
* Holiday Lighting – Tom spoke out against any SOA funding for holiday lighting, not appropriate given the unexpected ”disaster costs” the SOA has encountered. With regard to roundabout decorations, suggested it be on a homeowner voluntary basis on a first come first served basis submitted to and approved by an Architectural or Art Committee.
* Drainage Channel Repairs – Geoffrey suggested that more detailed information be provided to homeowners on exactly where these types of repairs were being performed, specifically, maps that pinpointed locations. Also, that better coordination between street sweeping and repair work activities is required.
* Common Area Landscape Maintenance – Isreal expressed a concern over the quality of BrightView’s maintenance activities. He presented the Board with a portfolio of pictures along the Parkway substantiating his concern, along with related comments.
In response to the above comment, the Board will have their Project Manager take a look at the submitted portfolio and close with Isreal
* Well 5 Maintenance/Replacement – Judy addressed the Well 5 maintenance issue and a concern that the SOA may be amenable to fund the drilling of a replacement. She stated that legally, Well 5 maintenance was clearly the responsibility of the SGCC and the SOA should not be paying for the SGCC’s legal responsibilities.
In response to the above comment, the following points were made by the SOA GM and Board President: 1) Under the Purchase and Lease Agreement, the SOA is the owner of Well 5 (and all other Water Facilities and Water Rights), but under the Lease back, the SGCC is responsible for its maintenance.: 2) Other than coordination activities, the SOA will have nothing to do with the maintenance of Well 5, the drilling of a new well, or the procuring of new water pumps, this is an SGCC responsibility and decision; 3) One purpose of the SGCC & SOA Water Management Advisory Committee is to insure the SGCC is fulfilling its responsibilities.
* Fiduciary Responsibilities – Dan opined that the SOA’s responsibilities under the Purchase and Lease Agreement have come under scrutiny and dispute. He referenced the Tolling Agreement and that the SOA should have sought some form of security from the SGCC before paying for the SGCC’s six figure liability for rockery wall repairs. That it is the Boards responsibility to enforce the Purchase and Lease Agreement to protect the SOA’s interest only, that the SGCC is a separate legal entity not part of the SOA, and the SOA has no fiduciary duty to solve the SGCC’s financial problems.
In response to the above comment, the SOA GM advised that the SGCC has been put on notice with regard to the SGCC’s financial responsibilities, but due to circumstances, the SOA had no choice but to proceed with funding the necessary repairs. The Board President followed up with a lecture on the Tolling Agreement and subject to future Court rulings on the Rockery Wall lawsuit, litigation with the SGCC will be back on the table,
* Water Facilities Agreement – Geoffrey referenced a previous report that indicated if the Water Supply System wasn’t repaired, there was the potential of losing some of our water rights. Given the estimated $700K for SGCC liabilities in this regard, and the rumors of the SGCC’s inability to pay, there is an obvious concern here. He also addressed the question of continued legal fees with regard to the Rockery Wall lawsuit, which based on the Courts upcoming ruling, may drive the SOA to expending significant more legal expenses. Citing past procedures, he questioned the Board making decisions committing the SOA to large legal expenditures (i.e., the Rockery Wall Lawsuit) without obtaining an adequate number of homeowner votes. That is, the voting on the Rockery Wall lawsuit should have remained open until the appropriate number of votes, for or against, had been obtained, and that the SOA violated its fiduciary responsibility to owners in not doing so.
In response to the above comment, the SOA GM stated that he has never said that the SOA should help out the SGCC with its financial obligations.
* Fiduciary Responsibility – Charnelle read a letter she had sent to the Board for recording into the BOD Meeting Minutes. In it she made the following points: 1) The two Board members who are also Country Club Members, must recuse themselves from discussion and voting on any issues associated with providing monetary support to the SGCC; 2) That $235 of the $1200 special assessment goes to pay for the SGCC’s portion ($700K) of Rockery Wall repairs and if the SGCC members had paid their share through their own assessment ($2300), the SOA owner assessment would have only been $935; 3) By agreeing to advance pay the SGCC’s $700K without a recovery plan, they violated their fiduciary responsibility to homeowners; 4) They also violated the SOA CC&R’s, which places a $500K limit without owner vote: 5) The SGCC is a privately owned organization which should not be funded in any way by the SOA.
* BrightView Contract – Jim expressed a concern over the number of change orders being approved for BrightView and whether or not they were being properly managed.
In response to the above comment the Board responded that BrightView contract add-ons were actually less than in previous years and gave tree replacements as an example. That they are getting feedback from satisfied owners. However, the concern is recognized and that BrightView will continue to be monitored and managed.
* Meeting Room Acoustics and Parkway Speeding – Mike suggested that the SOA consult with someone to improve the public address system in the Meeting Room so those in the back can hear better. However, of greater concern was the continued speeding and reckless driving of autos down the Parkway and the lack of police presence to keep it under control. Felt that complaints and action were falling on deaf ears.
In response to the above comment, the suggestion was to get a group of owners together, go to a Council Meeting, and raise hell!
4.a. Budget & Finance – 1) Reported on the $1200 Special Assessment collection status through June 30th (1st period in which $600/unit was due) as follows: There are $87K in outstanding payments associated with 134 units, 79 of which are builder lots. 2) Two budget meetings were held in July and August, which recommended operating budgets for the Common Area, TCTC and Gates. Two more meetings are scheduled for September to address reserve budgets followed by owner presentation in October. 3) Committee is reviewing contract renewals associated with TCTC fitness equipment, insurance carrier and Canyon9 maintenance.
4.b. Facilities and Strategic Planning – Recommended the Board approve the 4 passes/household Guest Pass program for 2020, which was subsequently approved. Also recommended approval of the TCTC & Parkway holiday lighting proposals, which were subsequently approved under item 7.i below.
4.e. General Manager – As mentioned in a previous post, two items contained in the GM report that may be particular interest to some are 1) Exhibit C “BrightView Landscaping Report”, and 2) Exhibit E “Padovan Consulting SOA Engineering Update”. These reports summarize completed, ongoing and planned projects, and may be accessed via the following links:
5.a. Treasurers Report – In addressing the June 2019 financials, the SOA Treasurer noted that total cash balances were down $424K from the budgeted amount, $161K of which was attributable to operating fund accounts. The Common Area operating fund making up $124K of the deficit. Although a slight deficit had been projected for the Common Area operating account, it did not account for the individual legal fees (over $100K) that the SOA was held responsible for as a result of losing the James/McCulloch lawsuit.
Editor Note: Total cost to the SOA in pursuing the James lawsuit was approximately $400K.
5.b. June 2019 Financials – The Board approved the June 2019 Financials subject to the year-end audit.
Editor Note: The June 2019 Financial Statements (i.e., Balance Sheets, Revenue & Expenses, Operating & Reserve Funds, Year-end Projections) for each of the four cost centers (i.e., Common Area, TCTC, Private Streets & Gates, Town Center) are included within the Board Meeting Packet accessible on the SOA website.
6.a. Legal Updates – Nothing significant to report on the Rockery Wall lawsuit,, only that the Courts ruling on the Summary Judgement Motions regarding statute of limitations and repose had not yet been issued, but was expected shortly. Also, that the Shaw case (related to an application for architectural changes) is going back to mediation.
6.b. Easement Access Appraisal for Ventana Ridge – The appraisal report being prepared by Valbridge Property Advisors (i.e., to appraise the value of an easement access through SOA property as requested by the Ventana Ridge Developer) is not yet complete, but will be available in time for the September Board Meeting.
Editor Note: The requested easement is through a short section of SOA unused native land at the upper end of Painted River Trail. Easement will permit a Ventana Ridge road to connect to Peavine Creek Road in the residential area adjacent to Somersett. There will be no access to the SOA’s Painted River Trail from Ventana Ridge.
7.a. Proposed Community Garden Charter – Board discussion centered on two items; 1) The Charter needs to be modified to address Board member participation on the Committee; 2) Being a public park, concerns were voiced over vandalism and access security, and that participants need to understand the SOA will not be “policing” the area.. Board approved the Charter subject to suggested modifications. A copy of the proposed Charter is available via the following link: Community Garden Committee Charter
7.b. Revised AGC Charter – Board approved the revised Charter which added two additional independent design professionals to the Committee. Purpose being to provide homeowners with broader representation and to accommodate absences. A copy of the revised Charter is available via the following link: Aesthetic Guidelines Committee Charter
7.c. Appointment of New AGC Committee Members – The Board approved Michael McNamara (Landscaper) and John Charles Matetich (Architect) to fill the two additional positions on the AGC. Apparently no formal selection process was followed, appointments were based on the recommendation of others and interviews by a Board member. It was also announced that the current Landscape Architect serving on the Committee (Rachel Hart) would be resigning in four weeks so another position will become available. Residents are encouraged to submit recommendations to the Board.
Editor Note: Professionals serving on the AGC are compensated for their service. It is SU’s understanding that they are paid $120/hr for both meeting time and preparation time for reviewing AGC submittals prior to the meeting.
7.d. Gypsy Hill Fire Hydrant Re-Location Sealed Bids – Prior to the opening of bids, the SOA Engineer, Seth Padovan advised that, due to Fire Department requirements, the proposed scope of work had changed, with the additional work estimated at between $5K and $6K. He recommended contracting with the low bidder and negotiating a change order for the additional work. The Board went ahead with the opening of three bids at $25.2K, $34K and $38K. The Board approved accepting the low bid of $25.2K from Gradex Construction plus up to $6K for the added work scope. If the $6K additional scope limit cannot be negotiated, a rebid will occur.
7.e. Gypsy Hill Low Spot Design Proposal from Tectonics – The Board approved a Tectonics proposal of $9,500 to perform some repaving of Gypsy Hill Trail to repair low spots resulting from the Rockery Wall failure and subsequent repairs.
7.f. Asphalt Trail Repair Due to Root Heaving Proposals – Three proposals for walking trail repairs were received as follows: 1) Sierra Nevada Construction (SNC) at $11,702 with a $7,360 option for BioBarrier installation; 2) West Coast Paving at $17,664 with a $2,208 BioBarrier option; and 3) APS Group at $27,500 including the BioBarrier installation. The Board approved the SNC proposal of $11.7K with an additional $3K for BioBarrier installation due to reduced scope.
7.g. Drainage Channel Repairs Sealed Bids – Two bids were opened: 1) Gradex Construction at $10K for the Parkway portion plus $42K for the Dakota Ridge portion, and 2) APS Group at $74K for both portions. After discussion, approvals were placed on hold pending further review by the Finance Committee over funding issues.
7.h. Upgrade Irrigation Valves Along Parkway Proposal – The Board approved a proposal from BrightView in the Amount of $49,735 for retrofitting irrigation line spray heads and rotors along the Somersett Parkway (primarily between the Somersett entrance and the 2nd roundabout) with pressure regulators, check valves and some replacements. Purpose is to reduce waste and provide better irrigation coverage. Based on an estimated 40% water waste with he current installations, the SOA GM quoted a six year return on investment. The Board felt approval was justified based on reduced water waste, and hence, reduced water bill costs.
7.i. Holiday Lighting for TCTC and Roundabouts Proposal – The Board approved (on a 4:1 vote with Tom Fitzgerald voting No) the proposals from Lawn Express for installation and removal of holiday lighting, broken down as follows: 1) TCTC at $2,300; 2) Verdi (Sierra Canyon) Entrance at $1,000; and 3) East Entrance cottage and six roundabouts at $11,000.
7.j. Replace Flooring in Saunas and Massage Room Proposals – The Board approved proposals from Designs for Living Tile & Stone at $8K and D&L Tile at $7K to remove the carpet from the Massage Room and tile from the Sauna Rooms and to replace both with tile flooring.
7.k. Exterior Clubhouse Painting Proposals – Three proposals for exterior painting of TCTC and the two pool houses were received as follows; 1) Color Trends at $44,000; 2) Fly Right at $63,000; and 3) WPI at $60,574. The Board approved the Color Trends proposal. Color yet to be determined, if a color consultant and/or the AGC gets involved some additional costs will apply.
7.l. Wrought Iron Fence Painting for Pool Deck Proposals – Two proposals for painting of the wrought iron fencing around TCTC pool were received as follows:. 1) Color Trends at $12.000; and 2) Fly Right at $25,000. The Board approved the Color Trends proposal.
7.m. Play Pool Resurfacing Sealed Bids – Three bids were received for resurfacing of the TCTC Play Pool and installation of two new water feature pumps as follows: 1) Timberline Pool & Spas at $62,850; 2) Terafirma Construction at $51,176; and 3) Generation Pools at $58,500. The Board approved the Terafirma Construction bid.