July 21st SOA Board Meeting Recap

Following is a summary of discussions and actions taken by the Board at the July 21st Board Meeting, the agenda for which may be accessed via the following link.  

July 21st BOD Meeting Agenda

The following addresses some of the more salient points that transpired at the meeting. For a more complete understanding of what was discussed and acted upon, the reader is referred to the meeting audio/video recording, which may be found on  the SOA Website (www.somersett.org) under the “SOA Board and Committees/The Board of Directors” page.

4.  Committee Reports

4.a.  Finance Committee –  Reported the following financial summaries through May 2021:

      • Operating cash –  $1.0M
      • Reserves – $9.1M
      • Revenue – $2.7M and Expenses – $1.9M (Note: No comment on whether or not the $0.8M in revenue over expenses represent a net positive to the bottom line or expenses not yet accounted for)
      • Association Debt – $4.15M

4.c.  Facilities Committee –  Made a recommendation that rather than renewing the BrightView Landscape contract (contract is up in September with a one year extension clause) that the Association instead solicit competitive bids. This based on dissatisfaction with BrightView’s performance and that the current contract is too open-ended to hold one’s feet to the fire. The Board approved the recommendation for soliciting competitive bids.

4.d.   West Park Garden Committee –  Reported that table umbrellas and potted flowers to attract pollinators have been installed. Also, that volunteers will soon be installing small critter fencing around the perimeter of Garden. (SU Note:  The garden plots appear to be flourishing, readers are encouraged to check it out!).

A question was raised as to whether the large dog park was open, and if so, too many foxtail plants still exist to the detriment of users. Response being that the park is indeed open and that BrightView would be commissioned to “sweep” the area.  It was also commented on that the City of Reno just did not have the resources for park improvements, hence the desire by the Board to have it turned over to the Association (at what cost one may ask?)

4.e. Community Events Committee – A comment on the success of the Auto show and to check the calendar for upcoming events.

SU Note:  It appears that Committee reports are mostly being presented by the Board members who liaison with the Committees, rather than the Committee Chairpersons, often without any formal report being contained within the Board Meeting Packet. A deviation from past practice!

6.  Unfinished Business Agenda Items:

6.a.  Legal Updates – Nothing new to report on the Somersett Development Company and Preston Homes lawsuits.

6.b  1880 Dove Mountain – The Board President summarized the history associated with this ongoing issue. He advised that the solution has been re-engineered with a new proposal in the works, but that only one company has expressed any interest in doing the job.

6.c  Update on Management Options Study  –  SOA Management Consultant Nancy Kerry provided a status report on progress to date.  Rather than summarizing her comments here, the reader is referred to the attached updates, which are also available, along with all previous reports, on the SOA website (www.somersett.org) under the “Future of Management in Somersett” page link.

7.  New Business Agenda Items

7.a.  Guest Pass Discussion –  After much discussion on the TCTC guest pass issue, the Board voted to reinstate  the free four guest passes per household per season and to charter the Facilities Committee to address the other issues being raised and recommend a “Criteria” for guest pass usage moving forward.

7.b.  Variance for Basketball Hoops in Driveway Discussion  –  The Board voted to extend the relaxation on use of basketball hoops in driveways (i.e. can be left out permanently) until October, and in the meantime to conduct an owner survey on criteria for their future use.

7.c.  Review of Association Insurance Proposals – Individual vendor proposals being complied by an Insurance Brooker were not yet available and will be addressed at the next Board meeting.

7.d.  Review of Management Services Proposals  –  One of the Management Options Study objectives was to obtain competitive quotes from a number of HOA Professional Management Companies. In response to the Association’s Request for Proposal, six companies submitted proposals along with sealed cost data. The proposal content was made available to the Board prior to the Board meeting, with the sealed quotes to being opened at the meeting  The six companies submitting proposals were as follows:

      • Associa Sierra North
      • CamCO HOA management
      • Eugene Burge Management Corporation
      • First Service Residential
      • Taylor Association Management
      • The Management Trust

With respect to individual quotes, base management fees ranged from $5,700/month to $9300/month not including other fee structures. It was evident that the individual quotes could not be compared on an apples to apples basis and a more detailed analysis of the individual proposals would be required. In this context the SOA’s Management Consultant and Staff was chartered with generating a matrix of comparable features and fees to assist in the evaluation process. The intent being to narrow down the field, who will then be brought in for interviews and further investigation before deciding on the preferred vendor. A special Board meeting is scheduled for August 10th to provide some closure on the process. It should be noted that this vetting process does not mean that the Board has decided to employ a professional management company as opposed to internal management, that decision has yet to be made.

7.e  Acceptance of Streets and Gates in Cliffs from Toll Brothers  –  Toll Brothers is requesting the SOA to accept turnover of the Gates and Streets (i.e., maintenance responsibility) within the Cliffs development. Basically to save them money, as is they are currently paying assessments to the Association on their unsold lots ($89 for Gates and Streets) while still maintaining them out of their own pocket (e.g., snow removal). However, given that the development is far from complete, they will indemnify the Association for any damage caused by their construction traffic. After much discussion on the merits of this request, the Board tabled action to review previous Toll Brothers requests, and their outcomes.

SU Comment – SU believes that action on Item 7.e. is a “no-brainer”, and that is to deny the request. Once the Association accepts maintenance responsibility in this context, any subsequent damage will most likely result in an argument over who caused what, with potential lawsuits. Other than being neighborly, there is no benefit to the Association here, only to Toll Bros, so why go down this perilous path?

July 21st SOA Board Meeting

BOD Agenda 2

Following is the Agenda for the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (Board) Meeting to be held at The Club at Town Center (TCTC) at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, July 21st in the Canyon View Room. Apparently Zoom video conferencing is not yet available from that location, so owner participation must be in person.

July 21st BOD Meeting Agenda

The Board Meeting Packet for the July 21st Board meeting was not yet available on the SOA website at the time of this posting. Therefore, SU is unable to provide any background info or comments on the individual agenda items at this time Given the two days to the Board meeting, perhaps one may still become available. For this, our readers are  referred to the SOA Documents/Board Documents/2021 page link on the SOA website (www.somersett.org), login is required.

Regarding the Committee Report agenda items (i.e., Budget & Finance, Communications, Strategic & Facilities, West Park Garden, and Community Events), SU suspects that these are simply place holders that may or may not be commented on. However, at the last Board meeting, two new committees were approved:1) a Technology Advisory Committee, and 2) a Strategic Planning Committee (separated out from the Strategic and Facilities Committee). Although not specifically identified on the agenda, perhaps an update on these two new committees will be provided.

Unfinished Business agenda items included: 1) legal Updates and 2) 1880 Dove Mountain (the saga continues). Again, SU suspects these are also placeholders with little new to report.

New Business agenda items include: 1) Guest Pass Discussion, 2) Variance for Basketball Hoops in Driveway Discussion, 3) Review of Insurance Proposals, 4) Review of Management Services Proposals, and 5) Acceptance of Streets and Gates in Cliffs From Toll Brothers. The latter two items should be of general interest to all owners. An action item of the ongoing “Management Options Study” was to solicit bids from other management companies in addition to FirstService Residential, perhaps some have been received, The last item pertains to a request for the SOA to accept turnover of the gates and streets at “The Cliffs at Somersett “ to the Association, even though home site development is far from complete. Not a good idea!

Aside from the Board meeting, for some great pictures of the July 10th Auto Show at The Town Center, including award winners, our readers are referred to the SOA Website at http://www.somersett.org. Login is not required.

SGCC 2020 Financial Summary

happy golfers 1

Given the Somersett Owners Association’s (SOA) investment and liabilities associated with the Somersett Golf and Country Club (SGCC) Purchase and Lease Agreements, the SOA has a vested interest in the financial health of the SGCC and hence of interest to many Association members. Since the SGCC’s financial data is not made available to Association members through any other media, it has been SU’s practice to annually publish what is publicly available, hence the following update.

The following table represents a summary of the Somersett Golf & Country Club’s (SGCC) revenue and expense data for the years following turnover from the Somersett Developer to its Equity Members in 2010. The table has been updated to include the 2020 financials. All financial data contained in the following table are derived from the SGCC’s IRS Form 990’s, which require submittal by May 15th of the following year and become available for public inspection. The SOA Revenue Column represent previous monies provided to the SGCC from SOA funds as indicated by the corresponding “Notes”.

Year SGC* Equity Members SGC Total Revenue SGC Total Expenses Revenue Less Expenses SOA Revenue Contribution ** Notes
2010 188 1,990,652 2,550,940 -560,288 0 1
2011 152 2,087,950 2,715,815 -627,865 0 2
2012 129 2,645,620 2,613,692 +31,928 435,000 3, 4
2013 115 2,918,754 2,815,109 +103,645 440,000 4
2014 194 2,729,114 2,695,062 +34,052 360,000 4
2015 220 995,670 2,581,250 -1,585,580 2,750,000 5,6
2016 241 2,611,329 2,664,450 -53,121 0  
2017 256 2,957,651 3,030,659 -73,008 0  
2018 293 3,149,162 3,257,636 -108,474 0  
2019 274 3,152,660 3,302,604 -149,944 0  
2020 330 3,160,269 3,049,520 +110,749 0  

*  Represents full proprietary membership with voting rights, does not include non-permanent or provisional memberships

** SOA Revenue Contribution does not include Canyon9 Maintenance Agreements with the SGCC which ran through 2017 at then $309K annually. The SGCC no longer provides this maintenance service to the SOA.

Table Notes:

  1. In the Fall of 2010, the Somersett Development Company negotiated early turnover of the SGCC to its Equity Members via Member majority vote.
  2. 2011 was the first year in which the SGCC was run entirely by Equity Members.
  3. In late 2011, the Developer controlled SOA Board voted to divert $15/month of homeowner assessments to the SGCC via a “Lease Agreement” in exchange for some SGCC access amenities. This agreement was to run for three years starting in January 2012 with optional 3 and 4-year renewal periods. The obvious purpose being to subsidize the SGCC’s operating losses.
  4. The SOA Revenue column represents revenue the SGCC received in years 2012, 2013 and 2014 from the SOA under the Lease Agreement described in Note 3 above. 2014 was the last year under this agreement after being declared unlawful by the Nevada Real Estate Board.
  5. As a replacement for the aforementioned Lease Agreement, in late 2014, a SGCC Real Property Purchase and Lease Agreements were approved by SOA owner majority vote. Under this agreement, the SOA purchased the SGCC land and water rights for $2,750,000 with a subsequent leaseback of the land and water rights to the SGCC at a base rate of $1000/year (subject to escalation) plus a fixed rent amount of $1200/year. Lease term is for 50 years with two SGCC optional 20-year renewal periods. The SOA purchase funds were obtained via an ongoing bank loan currently being paid for from homeowner assessments.
  6. The SGCC 2015 negative revenue less expense amount was primarily due to the $2,750.000 sale price income (see Note 5) minus a reported sales expense (asset loss) of $4,294,781.

A copy of the SGCC’s 2020 Form 990 may be accessed via the following link:

SGCC 2020 Form 990

Comments on the Preceding:

After years of moderate equity member growth, the 330 total at the end of 2020 represents an increase of 56 members over 2019, the largest gain since 2004.  Note: Unless subsequently modified, equity membership is capped at 450.

The SGCC’s operating loss, which had been steadily increasing since the loss of the SOA revenue contributions in 2016, showed a good turnaround for 2020, with an excess of revenue over expenses of $110,749. This primarily due to a decrease in expenses of $253,084. Better management possibly?

In 2020, The SGCC was facing a lawsuit from the SOA for their share of Rockery Wall failure repairs (approximately $680K) on he hillside adjacent to Hole #5. This lawsuit was settled out of court with the SGCC agreeing to pay the SOA $263,097 via an annual payment of $5,979.48 per year for 44 years (i.e., the remaining 44 years on the current lease agreement). A good settlement for the SGCC, not so much for the SOA.

A breakdown of the SGCC’s  revenue and expenses by category is found in Part VIII “Statement of Revenue” (page 9) and Part IX  “Statement of Functional Expenses” (page 10) of the SGCC 2020 Form 990.

Based on the 2020 financials, the SGCC appears to be reaching financial stability. Perhaps this will alleviate the fears of many that the SOA will again be called on to provide some sort of financial support to the SGCC, which has not been the case since 2015.

June 30th SOA Board Meeting Recap

recap 1
The June 3oth Board Meeting Agenda may be accessed via the following Link:     

June 30th BOD Meeting Agenda

Following is a summary of actions taken by the Board on the referenced agenda items. To listen to Board discussions on these items as well as all others not requiring an action item, one is referred to the “June 30, 2021 audio recording”, located on the SOA Website (www.somersett.org) on the SOA Board and Committees/The Board of Directors page.

Owner comments made at the meeting are also summarized below. Given the quality of the audio recording, SU apologizes for any misstatements.

2. Homeowner Comments

  • A Homeowner commented on the lack of acceptable golf cart parking parking accomodations for those attending the Music on the Green via this mechanism, and requested the Board review how this was handled (apparently acceptable) in the past and initiate procedures to correct this for future events. Also expressed a total unhappiness with owner services provided by First Service Residential in the 10 years they have been the SOA’s professional management firm. Felt they were just using Somersett as a training ground for their employees.
  • A homeowner commented that the slope of the large dog park made it difficult for his older (geriatric) dogs with physical problems to use. Hence he has been using the small dog park (without any problems) and suggested the Board consider this situation and possible solutions.

3. The May 26th, 2021 BOD Meeting Minutes were approved

4. Committee Actions

4.a. Communications – The Board approved the formation of a “Technology Advisory Committee” to carry out a SOA “Technology Audit”. That is, to study and recommend changes to the SOA’s many communication and data systems. The Committee will hold a meeting at TCTC at 10:00 – 11:00 AM on July 6th. Approved Paul Taybi as a Communications Committee member.

4.e. Community Events – Approved Sue Bartolotti as a Committee member.

4.f. General Manager Report – Adopted a policy that for every non-compliance letter written to an owner, two letters of commendation would be written to owners with outstanding features.

5. Financials – Approved the April 30th financial statements.

6. Unfinished Business

6.b. 1880 Dove Mountain – The saga on this slope stabilization project continues! A bid in the amount of $18,985 for some partial slope stabilization work was opened, but tabled and no action taken on it. This to assess how it fits in with other previously received proposals and consideration of other options.

6.c. Update on management options study – “A Future of Management in Somersett” page has been added on the Somersett Website (www.somersett.org) to capture all documentation associated with the activity to re-evaluate SOA management options. The Board accepted SOA consultant Nancy Kerry’s June 30th memorandum to the Board identifying work completed to date on this study. Ms. Kerry summarized the content of the memo, which addressed the solicitation of Association Insurance, Management and Accounting Proposals, as well as some additional services. A copy of this Memorandum may be accessed via the following link:

Consultants Project Update Memo June 2021

6.d. The Club at Town Center Server Replacement Proposal – The Board again tabled action on a $21K vendor proposal for upgrading the TCTC servers, which will be referred to the newly formed Technology Advisory Committee  for a collective evaluation in conjunction with other SOA proposed communication and data system upgrades.

7. New Business

7.a. Security Camera Proposals – The Board opened bids from four vendors for replacement of the security cameras at TCTC. Bids ranged from $46K to $74K (not necessarily apples to apples). The Board moved to take no action on these proposals, but to refer them to the Technology Advisory Committee per item 6.a above.

7.b. Clubhouse Phone System Upgrade Proposal – Same action as for items 6.d. and 7.a above with regard to a vendor proposal for TCTC phone system upgrades.

7.c. Proposal for more Dog Waste Stations – The board rejected the offer by Brightview to install additional dog stations at a cost of $678 per station on the basis that it was too high, with $230 being more reasonable. After much discussion, including the use of owner volunteers to install them, the Board approved a not to exceed $5K budget for additional stations along with an owner survey to help determine preferred locations. Actual number to be installed will depend on cost of materials and method of installation.

7.d. Increase Limit on General Manager P-Card – The Board approved increasing the limit on the SOA General Manager’s Purchase Card (which has category limitations) from $3K/month to $5K/month.

7.e. Updated Procedures for Approving Contracts and Payments on SOA Projects – The Board passed a motion to task the SOA Management Analysis Consultant, Nancy Kerry, to develop a procedure/checklist for the award, implementation and monitoring of SOA Projects. No discussion on whether or not this will be at an additional cost to her current contract.

7.f. Approval of Letter of Intent to Annex the Parks into Somersett from the City of Reno – The Board approved sending a Letter of Intent (non-binding) to the City of Reno with regard to annexation of the Somersett East and West Parks into the SOA. This is the first step in exploring this possibility. A Memorandum to the Board on this issue and the approved letter of Intent may be viewed via the following Link:

Parks Annexation Memorandum and Letter of Intent

7.g. Splitting Strategic Planning from Facilities Committee – The Board approved a motion to remove the SOA strategic planning function from the Facilities Committee and to create a new Strategic Planning Committee initially consisting of 1-2 members from the Finance, Communication and Facilities Committees.

7.h. Proposal for Replacing Trees in Sommersett – The Board approved a $8K BrightView proposal to replace 31 trees reported as dead or dying. The 31 trees represent a combination of evergreen (pine) and deciduous trees.

7.i. Approval of New Member to AGC Committee – Two Candidates (Clint Maples and Rick Hartmann) applied for AGC membership. The Board approved Rick Hartman for AGC membership and pre-approved Clint Maples for membership on the Facilities Committee if interested.

7.j. Fence Extension Proposal – Approved a proposal from Tholl Fence in the Amount of $12,280 to install new 8 ft gates and fence pickets at TCTC pool area. This to deter unauthorized entry which has occurred via the existing 4 ft gates.

Homeowner Comments

  • A homeowner expressed concerns and had questions on the following: 1) what criteria the SOA employs in accepting common area turnover from Developers, and 2) future impact on homeowners whose front yards were originally landscaped by developers but no longer comply with AGC standards.
  • A homeowner again raised concerns about speeding on the Somersett Parkway. That the traffic study performed by the SOA was totally inadequate, performed at the wrong locations and needed to be redone. The Board needs to take some serious action here and revisit this issue with the City to solve the problem!
  • A homeowner expressed concerns and had questions on the following: 1) Will the Board replace its missing member with a Sierra Canyon representative, 2) Common Area irrigation system problems, 3) how are the transfer fees going to the SOA on sale of houses being utilized, and 4) suggested joint meetings of Sierra Canyon and SOA committees.
  •  A comment that despite several calls to the Sommersett main telephone number to report a major mainline dripline leak in the Common Area behind her house, the problem still exists. Also, a suggestion that our City Council representative be invited to a meeting here in Somersett to listen to owner concerns.
  • Another comment on Somersett Parkway speeding and tree replacement considerations.

SU Comment:

During the Homeowner Comment section of the meeting, there was a lot of dialog exchange between Board members (to their credit) and commenters on their questions/concerns, which is not captured in the preceding. To appreciate this dialog exchange, one is referred to the audio recording referenced above. Also, the Board is to be congratulated on their patience in not enforcing the 3 minute limit for owner comments. The dialog exchange and limit leniency is a welcome departure from previous Boards.  Hopefully it will not be abused by owners going forward.