Minutes: 12/21/2010

Dec 21, 2010, 6:30 PM at the Fruitville Branch of the Sarasota Public Library

Directors Present: Gary Walsh,, Shana Bickel, La Nae Duchesneau

Meeting called to order at 6:15 p.m.
Gary opened the meeting by speaking about the fact that we have not put a lien on any properties that are past due with their HOA fees, but, beginning January 1, 2011 we will begin normal procedures which will allow us to put liens on properties that are past due with their HOA fees.

The front entrance has broken lights again and kids are breaking the sprinkler heads. In 2010 we spent $600 fixing the broken fixtures by the front entrance. Light bulbs are very expensive and it was discussed to see if we can mount a camera system in the trees to record the vandalism. We don't want to invest $3000 in new lights and have them broken again. John, a neighbor who lives in the neighborhood, works with security systems, and estimated it's $800 to $1500 to install surveillance. He will look into it and creating a proposal for the neighborhood. It was also suggested to move the bus stop to someplace else and to install recessed lighting that can be put in the ground where it can't be broken.

It was also discussed that our lawn service company can level the front island and plant new plants to make the area more appealing.

Neighborhood Issues:
Swift mud, who monitors our littoral shelf, said we do not need another inspection for 5 years. This will save us money so we are very pleased.

The county wants to perform an inspection 2 times a year; we plan to talk to the inspector in 2011 to allow us to be inspected ever 2 months instead of monthly, this will save us money.

The county has cut the grass out in front of the wall along Palmer Blvd for the last 2 cuttings. We will find out if they are taking over the lawn care for that strip of land. If so, this will save us approximately $7000 a year, because right now we are paying our lawn care company to cut this area. The more money we save increases our likelihood of being able to decrease the dues.

The front wall continues to be our nemesis. The county has promised to wash the wall when they are done with their project on Palmer.

Trucks continue to park on the street partially blocking traffic. Streets are public and we can't do anything about this issue. However, a reminder, it is illegal to park against traffic.

It was mentioned that residents can start a petition and sign it and perhaps this will get the offenders to stop this inconvenient behavior and be more conscientious of their neighbors inconvenience to navigate the roadways.

We still have people speeding through the neighborhood. Please slow down, we don't want to have any accidents, and we don't want to have to put speed bumps in the neighborhood!

The bank owns 2 homes in the neighborhood, so we now have a total of 3 vacant homes. Cutting the grass at these homes is sometimes a problem in the fact that the banks are not doing it. Gary is cutting the grass and charging the bank $75 per cut, after seeing the bill, the banks now hired a service.

We are in much better position now than we were in the last year or two. We have approximately $16,000 in the bank; 3 years ago we had $240 in the bank. It was discussed to put some of this money in a CD to get a better rate of return on the money.

We are now able to reduce the yearly dues to $500 a year instead of $550.
This past year 27 homes paid in full in January although we will again be offering semi-annual payments to the homeowners who paid on time last year with this special, no interest offering. It was mentioned that if a homeowner wishes to pay in 2 payments instead of 1, they needed to have paid their dues on time in 2010. This motion was seconded.

To reach this new figure of $500 HOA dues, we are calculating the costs to run the neighborhood by 60 homes instead of 65 due to foreclosures, vacancies and non-payers. 9 houses are for sale in the neighborhood. If we are able to reduce some of our expenses this year, such as lawn cutting and inspections of the littoral shelf, we will consider lowering HOA dues to $450 for 2012.

We are continuing to collect past due fees plus the legal costs on the foreclosures. Debbie, our legal council, is continuing to give us paralegal rates instead of lawyer rates for our legal filings against non-payers. Thank you Debbie! And we are collecting the past due monies, plus interest, penalties and legal aid. We hold the estoppels certificate on these homes, and to close on the home, they need the certificate from the HOA. This is only given to them if all fees are paid. One bank is currently disputing the fees, but we have no plan on releasing the estoppels unless we are paid in full.

We currently have $9600 in outstanding dues and fees, this includes the 2 foreclosures. 4 homes make up this total. We want to remind people that we will work with anyone that is past due. Please call Gary and we will work something out.

At this point last year's minutes were read out loud and accepted.

Scheduled Homeowner's Meeting for 2011:
The Fruitville library has cut their hours of operation and the demand for use of the room we use for meetings has risen. They get so many calls to reserve the room that they are now having patrons go online to reserve the room and no longer have us call someone on the phone. That being said, the room was quick to fill up and our beginning times for the meetings change from meeting to meeting but we have reserved the following dates for our HOA meetings in 2011.

March 30th- 6:30 pm
June 29th- 6:30 pm
September 27th- 6:45 pm
December 7th- 6 pm annual meeting to vote in new board members and discuss HOA fees.

Joe Stewart is currently taking care of our website. Joe is no longer on the board so we will be looking for someone else to manage our website meadowwalk.org

Debbie mentioned she knew someone who does a great job and is not expensive. Debbie will get the contact information to Gary and he will look into it.

New Board Member:
For the first time, we had enough homeowner's vote this year that we did not have to go solicit the neighborhood for votes at the last minute.

Dave Bennett got 43 votes, welcome on board Dave!
Betsy Dane got 32 votes, welcome on board Betsy!
Tomas Jasek received 32 votes, welcome on board Tomas!

Janet Dunay, Shana, and Joe Stewart are no longer board members.
Gary Walsh continues to be President and La Nae Duchesneau continues to be secretary.
Dave Bennett became the Vice President
Tomas Jasek became the Treasurer.

In was again suggested we need to make renters fill out an application, so we have information on file of who is renting in the neighborhood. We can't get real estate agents to fill out the forms and renters are not getting copies of the HOA documents, so they don't know the rules and regulations of the neighborhood and they are not aware that these are available online on our website.
The same thing is happening when a house is sold. The new owners don't seem to be getting the HOA docs and we are only getting their names without any contact information.

It was brought up that the Delsanto's, who owe us a large portion of past due HOA fees, plan on renting their home out. If they do that, we plan on legally obtaining the rent till they are paid in full with their dues. Delsanto's are set to go to court in January. We are going to try to foreclose on their lien and rent the house.

In Closing, Sue Ward passed away in August. Our condolences and prayers go out to the family. Her husband, Pat, moved and is only there on the weekends. We think he is planning on selling the house to a family member.


Have a Very Merry Christmas, and a Very Happy New Year!!