October 16th SOA BOD Meeting Recap

Following is a recap of issues discussed and/or approved at the October 16th Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting. Corresponding Agenda items are noted. The full meeting Agenda may be accessed via the following link:

October 16th BOD Meeting Agenda – Final

Homeowner Comments on Agenda Items

  • Various comments on the 2020 Operating Budget, which included: 1) What is the $500K Common Area Contingency item to be used for? (Although not specifically identified in the Budget, the BOD indicated probable usage would be for debt reduction and/or Common Area cash shortfalls).  2) Why the need for a $100K Rockery Wall legal fee item given the recent Court decision in favor of the Defendants.  3) A suggestion that the Board consider rescinding the $13/month assessment increase given, no specified use for the $500K contingency item, no evidence that additional Rockery Wall repairs will be required in the near future, the potential windfall from the Ventana Easement, and recovery of $700K in Rockery Wall repairs from the SGCC.  4) A suggestion that Common Area Reserves be increased to account for Rockery Wall failures in the future, given their projected 50 year life.
  • A comment that Brightview should not be using DG in the Boulders landscape project. Due to winds, DG is subject to being blown away requiring frequent replacement. Also, the dust constitutes a health hazard.
  • Various comments pertaining to the SGCC, which included:  1) A comment that the community is watching what is happening with regard to the SGCC. That they are legally and financially responsible for their area of expense related to the Rockery Wall and Water Facility repairs and should not be looking to the SOA for assistance.  2) That they immediately pay back their $680K share of Rockery Wall repairs, which could then be used to negate the $13/month assessment increase.  3) A question as to whether the Canyon9 Pump Station repairs included any SGCC responsible equipment, and a concern that the SOA was assuming Operating Manager duties (a SGCC responsibility under the Water facilities Agreement) with regard to operation of the Water Facilities and management of the Water Rights. (The GM responded to both concerns, that the Canyon9 equipment repairs were for SOA equipment, and that the SOA was providing Operating Manager oversight only).

Committee Reports

4.a. Budget & Finance Committee – Made the following recommendations to the Board: 1) Approval of the July 2019 financials; 2) Approval of the SNC proposal of $20,195 for the Split Rock Trail asphalt repairs (see item 7.e below); and 3) Not to move forward with the Drainage Channel repairs along Dakota Ridge Trail (see item 6.a below). The Board approved all three recommendations.

4.b. Communications – 1) Announced the scheduling of two “Meet the BOD Candidate” nights, 6-8 PM on October 23 at TCTC and 6-8 PM on October 28 at Aspen Lodge. 2) Reported that the suggestion to install electronic signs at the Somersett entrances (i.e., for community information activities) was not permitted by the City of Reno, as well as being to expensive. 3) Recommended approval of Rob Jordan to Committee membership, who was approved.

4.b. Strategic Planning – 1) Provided status on TCTC Fitness Center and Pool Resurfacing projects as being mostly completed on time and budget. 2) Preparing list of 2020 projects to be considered in keeping with the 2020 approved budgets. 3) Recommended the Board not move forward on the suggested trail mapping system for emergency services, as being unnecessary given Cell Phone/GPS capabilities and the inability to incorporate these maps within the emergency service provider’s systems.

Financials

5.a. & 5.b. Treasurers Report and July 2019 Financials – The Board approved the July 2019 Financials. For those interested in the details, the July 2019 Financial Statements (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 (www.somersett.net) under the SOA/Committees & Meetings tabs.

Old Business

6.a. Legal Updates – The SOA Legal Update letter contained within the Board Meeting Packet was dated September 19, 2019 and therefore did not address the Courts ruling (on October 2, 2019) in favor of the Defendants in the SOA’s lawsuit against the Somersett Development Company et. al. However, the SOA General Manager advised that there was nothing beyond this ruling to report on, and that meetings with the SOA Attorneys would be held to discuss options and issues moving forward. In response to a question about SOA legal fee liabilities, the GM advised that Defendant court costs, which the SOA will be liable for, totaled about $13K. No ruling has yet been made on any SOA liability for Defendant’s legal fees.

6.b. Easement Access Appraisal for Ventana Ridge – No action was taken on the received appraisal, which was apparently 100 pages in length. The Board decided that more time was required to digest all its contents and come to a conclusion on what to quote to the Ventana Ridge Developer for the requested easement. A mention was made of a $938K high end starting point, apparently based on something contained in the appraisal report. 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.

6.c. Drainage Channel Repairs – Based on Finance Committee recomendation, the Board placed this item on hold.

New Business

7.a. Insurance Renewal Poposal – The Board approved retaining LaBarre/Oksnee as the Associations insurance carrier at an annual premium amount of $76,888.65.

7.b. Boulder Landscape Improvements – The Board approved a $16.6K proposal from Brightview for landscape improvements at the entrance to the Boulders and along Circle Stone, Standing Stone and Boulder Ridge Courts. This work will be performed by Brightview at no cost to the SOA, as this cost will come under the $42K in credits put aside by Brightview for SOA usage.

7.c. Fall Tree Replacement Proposal from Brightview – The Board approved a $24.3K proposal from Brightview for installation of one hundred 15 gallon trees, primarily along the Somersett and Del Webb Parkways. Monies will come from budgeted reserves. Due to concerns over tree size requirements, the SOA Project Manager advised that this has been discussed with the City of Reno and approvals obtained based on a minimum tree diameter of 1.5 inches as measured 6 inches from the base.

7.d. Snow Removal Proposals for Town Square and Gated Streets – The Board approved Brightview as the snow removal contractor based on submitted equipment and labor costs, which, in general, were less than the SOA’s previous contractor. It was also noted that the SOA’s previous landscape contractor used subcontractors to perform the work, while Brightview uses their own employees. There was a discussion about the damages caused by last years contractor and that these would be properly documented such that they could be differentiated from any damages occurring under the Brightview contract, whch Brightview would be responsible for. Under the Brightview proposal, there will be a one time cost for the purchase of “poles” for snow removal identification purposes.

7.e. Split Rock Trail Low Spot Asphalt Rrepairs – Subsequent to the receipt of the SNC proposal and recommended approval by the Finance Committee (see item 4.a above), a proposal from Gradex in the amount of $19,860 was received. Seth Padovan (SOA Consulting Engineer) recommended acceptance of the Gradex approval, not only on a lower price basis, but they would be doing other work in the area and would be easier to work with. The Board approved the Gradex proposal.

7.f. Play Pool Pump & Electrical Work (VFD’s) Repair – A decision on the purchase and installation of Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) controllers for the TCTC Play Pool pumps was placed on hold pending additional cost information.

7.g. Proposed String/Bare Bulb Lighting Policy – Content of the proposed policy was approved in general, but refered back to the Aesthetics Guidlines Committee, for some clarifications and incorporation within the Somersett Aesthetic Guidelines document and/or as an official SOA Policy document.  For owners who have or intend on installing string lighting on their patios or otherwise, suggest accessing the following link:

Proposed String Lighting Policy

7.h. Various Canyon Nine Pump Station Repairs – Estimates from Commercial Pump Services, Inc. totaling $45,727.76 were discussed and approved for work. Equipment designated for repair/replacement is that associated with the operation of pumps supplying irrigation water to the SOA’s Canyon9 Golf Course and not that of the Somersett Golf & Country Club (SGCC). It was also noted that some of the equipment, a minor amount, contained in the estimate had been previously identified as a SOA/SGCC shared cost item, which was a mistake as the equipment in question is only associated with the operation of the SOA’s Canyon 9 irrigation system.

7.i. Appoint Board member to West Park Community Garden Committee – Director Strout was appointed as the Board Member representative to the Committee. No disussion on Homeowner members, so it is assumed they are yet to be appointed and still open for volunteers

7.j. 2020 General Common, TCTC, Town Square & Gates Budgets – The motion for approval was to approve all cost center budgets collectively, which after some discussion the budgets were approved on a 4:1 vote with Director Roland, who expressed issues with the Common Area Budget, voting NO. Copies of the Operating Fund Budgets for each of the cost centers will subsequently be mailed to all Somersett Unit Owners for ratification at the November 18th Annual Members Meeting.

7.k. 2020 General Common, TCTC, Town Square & Gates Reserves Study Updates – Reserve Studies were collectively approved on a 4:1 vote with Director Roland again voting NO. A copy of the Reserve Studies for each of the cost centers will also be mailed to all Somersett Unit Owners for ratification at the November 18th Annual Members Meeting.

7.l. Revised Collection Policy – Approved. This policy establishes the procedures for the collection of assessments and the penalities associated with late or non payment thereof (e.g., late fees, collection assignments, liens, forclosures, cost recovery). For those interested in reading the details, a copy of this Policy may be accessed via the following link:

SOA Collection of Assessments Policy

7.m. Revised Compliance Policy – Approved. This Policy establishes proceedures for the handling of violations to the SOA Governing Documents by Unit Owners. Policy required updating due to the recent elimination of the Community Standards Committee. With the elimination of the Community Standards Committee, hearings and fines for reported violations are conducted by the Board of Directors. Decisions are final, with no further method of appeal available within the Association. That is, appeals must go to the Nevada Real Estate Ombudsman for mediation at owner expense. For those interested in the details, a copy of the edited revision may be accessed via the following link:

SOA Compliance Policy – Edited

7.n. Investment Policy and Executive Board Awareness Form — These documents require annual review and signatures of Board Members. No change from previous years. Copies of these documents may be accessed via the following links:

SOA Investment Policy             SOA Executive Board Awareness Form

Post Meeting Homeowner Comments

  • A past president of the SGCC presented an argument before the Board basically stating the SGCC ‘s position that they have no financial responsibility for the Rockery Wall failure on SGCC leased property. He opined that the CME report commissioned by the SOA to investigate the cause of failure was flawed (Note: The CME report concluded that the lower Rockery Wall on SGCC property failed first resulting in the upper wall on SOA property to fail). The report flawed because it did not take into account a previous instability affecting three Toll Bros homes on the hill above where the Rockery Wall failures occurred, and that it was this instability that contributed to the upper wall failing and then the lower wall. He also expressed a concern over how the issue was to be resolved, that as a Somersett owner, litigation by the SOA, win or lose, was not in the best interests of the community. His opinion was that the SOA would lose the lawsuit based on the facts associated with the previous hillside instability, thereby costing the community much money in legal fees. Should the SOA win, what would they do? “Run the Golf Course from down here”, operate as a “Green Belt”, either of which would cost owners significant additional expense. (Note: Was this some sort of admission that losing the lawsuit would result in bankruptcy for the SGCC, that the Equity members would not support an assessment to save their Golf Course?).
  • A comment that the light bulb replacements on Town Square properties were improper (radiating upwards) and annoying to neighbors. The GM advised they were aware of the situation and steps were underway to insure that proper bulbs were installed in the fixtures.
  • An owner commented on the Boards responsibility to all owners when dealing with SGCC liability issues and that the two Board members who are also SGCC Members needed to recuse themselves when dealing with these matters, upon which he was improperly interrupted by Board Member Retter (one of the SGCC Members) denying such and an argument ensued resulting in a lack of decorum, whereupon the Board President shut down further discussion.

Note: Both of the above Homeowner Comment sections reflect what the writer remembers from attendance at the Meeting and listening to the audio tapes of such, which are not always clear. If any of the above characterizations are not entirely correct, please feel free to submit a correction or clarification.

2 thoughts on “October 16th SOA BOD Meeting Recap

  1. A homeowner asssociation board member is legally obligated to act with the best interests of the association in mind and to recuse him/her self when an actual/potential conflict of interest arises in order avoid the temptation to act in a way which is beneficial to themself versus the association they represent. Recusing oneself avoids being in breach of their fiduciary duty.

    PS A proper recusal is to temporarily leave the room and not just leave the table nor continue to sit with supposedly “covered eyes,” “plugged ears,” and “mouth taped.”

    PPS Shutting down discussion is not an option. Owners/association members are entitled have topics before the board heard; and voted upon when proper.

  2. I appreciate the updates. It is with growing frustration I note, as a Sierra Canyon homeowner, I am forced to financially support the recreational activities of a limited few. Add insult to injury – the ‘limited few’ sitting on the Board, do not have the common sense decency to recuse themselves from the financial decision making which supports their ‘private’ club. I would appreciate seeing the statistics surrounding the number of homeowners actually utilizing this ‘benefit’ as opposed to the number funding this activity. In what alternate universe is that not wrong?

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