Minutes THA January 2018

Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting
January 22, 2018
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Chairman Janice Kopchick, Deborah Dowd, Suzanne Donofrio, Douglas Sutherland and Paul Niebuhr

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

The meeting was called to order at 4:05 pm by Chairman Kopchik. This was followed by Roll Call and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Past Minutes
Ms. Polansky presented the following changes to the minutes of December 20, 2017:
1. Under Updates from the Stern Village Resident Association, #5 should read: “Activities this year included the Welcome Dinner for the new residents…”
2. Last paragraph under the same topic, last line should read: “January she will have a meeting with Jeff Kunkel to assess their needs.”
3. Under Resident Comments – first speaker on Page 2 should be Christiane; second speaker on Page 3 should be Carolyn.
4. Under New Business, #2 first sentence should read: “He noted that in the effort for more transparency, there is an effort to video record all Boards and Commissions meetings…”
Mrs. Kopchik motioned to approve the minutes of December 20, 2017 as amended. Seconded by Mr. Sutherland and approved.

Treasurer’s Report
Ms. Dowd reported for the Trumbull Housing Authority for the period ending December 31, 2017. Stern Village and Stern Center currently has an overall gain of approximately $125,733. The current reserve balance is $756,124 which is approximately $3,406 for each unit in the entire complex.

Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported the overall cash position as of December 31, 2017 is $745,837 including the investment account. Accounts Payable is approximately $77,214 including the PILOT accrual for the current and prior year.

Windows have been replaced in the Congregate for newer and more efficient energy conservation. This was completed in December. United Illuminating will reimburse $11,872 for this installation.

At the present time, the Village has ten vacancies and the Congregate has four vacancies. It is hoped to fill three vacancies in the Congregate by the middle of February.

Ms. Polansky felt this was going to be a very exciting year for Stern Village. She noted that in order to be green, to save money on paper towels and to keep people from clogging the sewer system, automatic hand dryers have been installed in the Community Room bathrooms and in the Congregate public bathrooms.

Ms. Polansky noted the best news was that on December 22, 2017, the Department of Housing awarded the THA $5,286,139 for capital improvements based on the 2017 SSHP Capital Funding Round. She thanked the THA Board members who were involved in this process, the residents who have written letters to support this request, Senator Marilyn Moore, State Representatives David Rutigliano, Laura Devlin and Ben McGorty as well as the Town of Trumbull for all their help. She also thanked Governor Malloy, Evonne Klein, Commissioner of DOH, and Karl Kildoff, Executive Director for making this a reality. Ms. Polansky extended a thank you to Bruce and Frank from Millennium for all their hard work with no charge over the last four years. All the perseverance and determination finally paid off.

There are several steps to the process in order to get the funds allocated. This has been discussed at the Tuesday Teas and she encouraged all residents to attend her monthly meetings and to read the Stern Village Voice for updated information.

The Development Team consists of Bruce Whitaker and Frank Stellato from Millennium and Architect George Wiles. They have been working for over four years on various funding rounds.

For Stern Village, this means –
– Fixing the sanitary system.
– Creating a storm water management system.
– Fixing the sidewalks, parking lots and roads. They will also be working with the Town of Trumbull on fixing the main road.
– New roofs, gutters and exterior front doors, 20 new ADA units in the middle section, new energy efficient windows and more.

The CHFA Technical Department must review 100% of the plans. It was mandatory to provide 90% for the 2017 SSHP application. The scope of the project is being reviewed and plans should be ready for CHFA mid-February. Once CHFA Technical Department reviews the plans and all questions have been answered, final approval will be necessary from the State’s Bond Commission. It is hoped to start the project in the fall of 2018.

Ms. Polansky noted the Trumbull Housing Corporation (THC) is a non-profit entity formed to support the Trumbull Housing Authority – Stern Village. On August 18, 2017, the THC was determined a 501(c)3 or public charity by the IRS. Now donors can deduct contributions they make to the Trumbull Housing Corporation. Ms. Polansky is currently working with Frank Stellato on an application for a 2018 Housing Tax Credit Contribution through the THC. These HTCC funds will be used towards the capital improvement project. In October 2017, Ms. Polansky applied for a Community Support Donation from the Newtown Savings Bank to be used for the energy efficient windows that were installed in the Congregate. This Wednesday, the THC will receive a significant donation to help off-set the cost of these windows.

All residents have been advised that next Friday the new front load washers and dryers will be installed in the laundry rooms. Each resident will receive a laundry card with $4.00 on it. Training on these new machines will be held for residents and staff on Friday, January 26 from 3-5 pm.

The Maintenance Department has done an exceptional job with snow plowing during the subzero conditions. In addition, there was an intern from the University of Tampa who helped dig out resident’s cars. Jeff Kunkel from Trumbull Helps, also blew the snow off resident’s cars. Several THS students have contacted Ms. Polansky about volunteering after a snowstorm. Hopefully, many of them will show up to help. Ms. Polansky’s robo calls warning residents of inclement weather, to clear their porch and not to go out seems to be working.

Resident Comments
Maureen – presented to the Board a petition from some of the residents at Stern Village that did not like nor want to be filmed or recorded at the Trumbull Housing Authority meetings. They felt it was brought up, laid out and said that it will be because of FOIA. No one considered, recommended or even respected some of their wishes or asked what they thought. Not everyone agreed but she did have a petition with some names. It should be brought under consideration for the respect of the residents at Stern Village. Don’t say we have to. Residents attend the meetings voluntarily. They expected a little more consideration and respect from the Board when it came to this.

Gus – Also feels the same way. They are a close community and do not need people viewing us on TV. They do not want to be in the public eye. They are a tight living community. He does not want to be filmed and feels his words and actions do not need to be on Channel 17 for the entire Trumbull population to see or hear. He thinks it is a violation of their privacy and without the resident’s consent, they should not be filmed. They do not need cameras at the meetings even though it is a public meeting. Harriet, you are doing a great job.

Gloria – agreed with exactly what they said. She did not want to be videoed before and still does not want to be videoed because she feels like she needs her privacy like everyone. They all want things but they don’t need it to be out in the open. This is their home and they do not need to tell anyone else what is taking place here. If you keep letting people know exactly what is going on up here, they might think it is a bad place.

Ralph – agrees about the filming. Does not want to be filmed, doesn’t think they should be filmed. By filming you will shrink the audience in this room. We barely get enough people at these meetings to be more informed and we are growing. He felt the video recording would make them go backwards. You are only going to make it worse for the group that lives here. He knows they want to be public and the residents do not.

Robert – agrees with his peers that he does not want to be filmed. He does not think it should be allowed. They put this forward at one time in a petition but don’t know where it went. He hopes the Board today and Harriet can resolve this problem for us. He is speaking for other people who were not in attendance. Harriet is doing a great job.

Christine – noted that her check for December got lost and she is being accused of not paying rent in December. She suggested Harriet take the rent directly from a credit card every month to make it easier and avoid this type of situation.

Joan – wished everyone a Happy New Year. She asked who was getting the windows. Ms. Polansky noted there were the energy windows done in the Congregate but because of Small Cities, which is also part of the big capital improvement project, we hope to get new windows for everyone in the Village.

New Business
Mrs. Kopchik asked for the petition and read the following statement:
Before we start discussing the New Business item, I would like to say a few things about the THA.
-We are quasi-public state agency and follow the statutes for public housing authorities under the auspices of the Department of Housing and The Connecticut Housing Authority.
-The Commissioners are volunteers and we were appointed by the First Selectman of Trumbull to oversee the THA. In other word, there would not be a THA without the Board of Commissioners.
-We follow the Town Charter by providing the monthly agenda and THA Board Minutes in a timely fashion.
-Barbara Crandall, our paid clerk, records our monthly meetings, composes the minutes and puts them on the Town Website. Therefore, we have a recorded transcript of each meeting. The minutes are also available at the THA Office and posted on the Bulletin Board in the Community Room.
We are and continue to be transparent.
The THA Commissioners are committed to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents and I’ve enjoyed the relationship we have fostered with our residents.
We want our residents to attend our Board Meetings and we don’t want to discourage them from attending or speaking.
I received a signed petition from several residents of the THA. I will read the letter attached to the petition.

To Mrs. Kopchik, the Chairperson of the Trumbull Housing Authority Board of Commissioners in regards to the residents of the Trumbull Housing Authority.

Dear Jan – it has come to our attention that the Trumbull Housing Authority Board of Commissioners want to videotape and record us at the Trumbull Housing Authority monthly Board meetings. This was brought up by your new Commissioner, Mr. Douglas Sutherland. We, the residents of the Trumbull Housing Authority, do not want to be videotaped or recorded. We requested that the Trumbull Housing Board of Commissioners veto the videotaping and recording of all the Trumbull Housing Board meetings. Please see the attached petition. Thank you.

Mrs. Kopchik read the names of those who signed the petition. They include Maureen Bova, Renee Werthman, Gloria Lanham, John Koch, Ralph Claudio, Nick Verrtucci, Robert Lee, Victor Fontanza, Josephine Rivera, Ida D’Amore, Josephine Connelly, Gus Aquino, Joyce Aquino, James Yanos, Sandy Fisher, Barbara Lucas, Cheryle Pettus, Robert Cortez, John Ballawender and Vera Molesky. Maureen noted other residents wanted to sign the petition but did not come to the meeting because it was videotaped.

Mrs. Kopchik noted that on April 27, 2015 the THA Board of Commissioners approved a videotaping policy for the Board meetings. Over the last few days, this policy was reviewed by the attorney in order to comply with FOIA. Per his legal opinion, anyone can videotape regardless of the Board’s permission. However, the Board can set up procedures that limit the interference with the meeting. Mrs. Kopchik noted they will entertain the motion to revise the THA videotaping policy to read as follows:

Any person, newspaper, radio broadcasting company or television broadcasting company intending to record, photograph, broadcast or record all or part of the public meeting shall present a plan to the Board at least 48 hours before such public meetings demonstrating that the recording will be accomplished as inconspicuously as possible and in such manner as to not disturb the proceedings of the public agency.

Mr. Sutherland noted that he called the Education Director at FOI Commission in Hartford and spoke to him at length. He said we are allowed to make rules for the body but cannot require any advanced notice. This is a public meeting. You can basically rule camera location such as not obstructing exits or in someone’s way. He also discussed with Chris Jones, the Director of the Trumbull TV, the fact that many people at the meeting are uncomfortable being on camera so he has instructed him to keep the camera on the table with the Commissioners. It is not allowed to shut down the recording of a public meeting. This goes back to Gov. Ella Grasso who wanted to make sure that things were not happening behind closed doors and that meetings were public. She did the FOI regulations and they were unanimously approved by the legislature.

Mr. Sutherland noted that back in 2015 when the policy was put together he was coming to videotape the meetings. There are several things in the original policy that do not conform to the FOI regulations. He tried to accommodate and not film anyone that didn’t want to be filmed. After a while, it was not a big deal and he was not using the videotape for any nefarious purpose. It was basically for open government and it also allows people that can’t make it to the meetings to be able to watch the meeting. It also allows the town representatives to know what is happening so that it provides transparency for them. A policy can be written and voted on today but if you want to require 48 hour notice of a plan as to how it is going to happen, we will have to go to Hartford and have that adjudicated. We do not plan to film anyone who doesn’t want to be filmed. He understands these concerns but it is a public meeting and the laws allow open meetings to be recorded. Anyone can come in and record these meetings and it is better to have a professional.

Maureen stated that she understood the law and what he explained. Part of the problem at the last meeting was that Mr. Sutherland didn’t ask the residents how they felt. It was stated it was FOI and they are going to do it. They are residents of the community and Trumbull and deserve the consideration, respect and regard for living here, for being part of these meetings as they give of their time just as the Board gives of their time. They are asking for consideration and respect to ask before it was said it was the law and they had no choice.

Mr. Sutherland apologized for the way the statement came out at the last meeting. It was not his intention to have it interpreted in such a manner. Ms. Dowd noted this is a committee that represents 222 residents and wants to work to ensure residents’ best interest not necessarily to benefit the town at these meetings. She thought the Chairman would bring up this subject and felt that Mr. Sutherland took it over so that it wasn’t the Boards project but his own. She did not feel included in the process.

Mr. Niebuhr is concerned that residents bring up some personal items during the meeting that they would prefer not to be broadcast whether or not they are seen. The Board cannot say no to anyone who wants to record. At this point, the only recourse you may have is to contact directly whoever is recording and express your feelings.

Question was asked if the Board were to go private if that would change the circumstances. It was noted that the THS is a public board. It was suggested that sharing of personal information at a public meeting may not be the right venue. If there is a private issue to be considered, it would be best to take it up with whoever can help best outside of a meeting.

Comment was made that the residents were only given one hour notice of the recording. Mr. Sutherland noted that at the last meeting, notice was given that the meetings would be recorded each month so there was notice.

Ms. Polansky noted that the THA has an attorney and any type of legal opinion is passed through him. He also spoke with FOI. She felt that this is a THA Board meeting but she is concerned about the welfare of the residents. She reiterated that the THA is required to follow the Charter of the Town. If everyone is disturbed about it, do we still have to comply with it or if we give people notice about it? A robo call can be made and residents can decide if they want to come.

Mrs. Donofrio suggested the Board hold their meeting with business and voting and adjourn the meeting so that residents can comment. After the adjournment, it is no longer a public meeting. Mr. Sutherland asked if there would be public comment during the meeting. There can be two public comments with the one during the meeting about the business of the Board.

Mr. Penkoff asked if the Connecticut Housing Authority had been contacted. In the Fair Housing Act, you cannot intrude on people’s lives. This is a housing authority not a town and she understands the positon of the Town Council needing information. She has concerns about the residents’ comments regarding videotaping. Videotaping can put the Housing Authority in the spotlight and in the past there have been problems. It could become an issue for the residents. She has a hard time relating this to a town meeting and is interested in the Fair Housing Laws and how it affects this concern. This should be looked into.

Mrs. Cantafio noted that she has had residents call her and ask that this information be made public. Some do not mind being recorded. She noted that there are two sides and some people have contacted her directly that they don’t mind being recorded. For those people on Town Council and others, especially when it comes to grants, it gives a little more background to what this Board does. We appreciate the extra help. It gives the Town Council and others a better understanding of what goes on.

Ms. Polansky will look into this matter with regard to the Connecticut Housing Authority. Mrs. Kopchik motioned to table this item until they can follow up with the Connecticut Housing Authority for further clarification. Seconded by Mr. Niebuhr. Approved unanimously.

Adjournment
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:45 pm. Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio and approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

Minutes THA December 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting
December 20, 2017
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present:  Chairman Janice Kopchik, Deborah Dowd, Suzanne Donofrio, Doug Sutherland
and Paul Niebuhr (entered at 4:27 pm)
Also Present:  Executive Director Harriet Polansky
The meeting was called to order at 4:04 pm by Chairman Kopchik.  Mrs. Kopchik welcomed Mr. Doug
Sutherland as a new Commissioner replacing Mrs. Fatse whose term had expired.  Mr. Sutherland is
looking forward to working with everyone.  This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call.

Past Minutes
Ms. Polansky presented the following changes to the minutes of November 27, 2017:
1. Under Executive Director’s Report – sixth paragraph should read “Ms. Polansky thanked
Maureen Bova, the Stern Village Resident Association…”
2. Under Unfinished Business – first paragraph should read “These will be new LG machines, they
will hold larger loads, they will be on pedestals for easy access and will be more energy
efficient.”
3. Under Stern Village Resident Association Updates – Third paragraph was removed.
Mrs. Kopchik motioned to approve the minutes of October 23, 2017 as amended.  Seconded by Ms.
Donofrio and approved with one abstention by Mr. Sutherland.

Treasurer’s Report
Ms. Dowd reported for the Trumbull Housing Authority for the period ending November 30, 2017.  Stern
Village and Stern Center have an overall gain of approximately $126,890.  This is attributable to the
filling of numerous vacancies in the Village and the Center.  We received approximately $135,000 from
United Illuminating as incentive for installing heat pumps.  Under the new GAAP accounting rules, we
now recognize the incentive as income and not part of the reserve for repairs and maintenance, which
has been eliminated.

Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported the current reserve balance is $871,831 which is approximately $3,927 for each
unit in the entire complex.  The overall cash position as of November 20, 2017 shows a balance of
$815,841 including the investment account.  Accounts Payable is approximately $70,900 including the
PILOT accrual for the current and prior year.
At the present time, the Congregate has three vacancies.  These are being sanitized and made ready for
new occupants.  Applications are being taken for Stern Village through December 31, 2017.
Approximately 60 applications have been received and they expect several more.
Ms. Polansky noted several improvements have been made this year and she will continue to look at
other projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability, need and security.
Ms. Polansky thanked the THA Board of Commissioners, Jan, Paul Suzanne, Susan and Deb, for all their
help and on‐going support over the year.
The THA Recap for July 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017 was read by Ms. Polansky and is attached to
these minutes.
Ralph noted that one resident needs some additional assistance in getting into and out of his apartment.
This will be looked into by Ms. Polansky.

Updates from the Stern Village Resident Association
Maureen Bova noted the group has re‐invented themselves and are working towards common goals
with the administration.  She reported
1. The Association was able to procure donations because of the 501(c)3.
2. They want to have more functions and get more residents involved.  The residents are a very
diverse population and they are looking for activities for everyone.  These activities are done by
the group with no budget but residents have been very generous.
3. Several residents were involved in the trip to the capital for the Medicare initiative from the
Village.  They would like to get more residents involved.
Mr. Niebuhr entered the meeting at 4:27 pm.
4. The Association wants to help and support all fund raising activities the Administration may
have.
5. Activities this year included the Welcome for the New Residents, Thanksgiving Drive, the
cleaning out of the pantry, getting food donated for the residents, working on paper goods
donations, gloves, scarves and socks.
Ms. Bova noted that it is very important to get the community behind Stern Village.  Stern Village is a
jewel in the community and it is important it be supported.
She thanked everyone for donating their time and to the new Commissioner, Mr. Sutherland, as well as
everyone else on the Board.  Merry Christmas.  Ms. Polansky noted that she will be working closely with
Jeff Kunkel and Trumbull Helps.  Mrs. Polansky asked residents for ideas on what they could use and in
January she will have a meeting with Jeff Kunkel to their needs.

Resident Comments
Christine – requested the following:
1. Would like to be included in the robo calls that are sent out to the residents. This is
currently not happening; she will give her telephone number to Heather.
2. Requested cameras with lights be placed around her house because of missing items. She
felt all buildings should have cameras especially the Community Room.
3. Work should be done on the sidewalks.
4. Requested repairs be made on her bathtub, stove and drapes – she will put in a work order
for these repairs with Ms. Polansky.
She thanked everyone and wished everyone a Merry Christmas.
Mrs. Kopchik noted that any maintenance that needs to be done requires a work order. This
provides a record of requests. Cameras are around the facility in certain areas; this will be
reviewed. Sidewalks are a priority but requires funding which has not been obtained.
Caroline – welcomed Mr. Sutherland. She also felt the sidewalks were a concern. Mr. Sutherland
noted there is an agreement with the town that should be revisited with the new First Selectman
regarding the paving of roads in the Village.
Ralph – noted he was part of the group that went to the capital about the Medicare cuts. Many
points in the meeting were positive. The cuts were postponed until July 1. He felt they needed to
keep going to the capital and make their statement. He also urged everyone to write their
Congressman about these concerns. It was suggested that bus transportation be provided for the
next trip; this should be coordinated through Paulette.

Old Business
No Old Business.

New Business
No New Business.

Mr. Sutherland commented on the following:
1. He has noticed that other Commissions have emails for the commissioners on the Trumbull
website so that individuals can contact them. He would like to see emails for the THA
Commissioners posted.
2. He noted that in the effort for more transparency, there is an effort to video all Boards and
Commissions meetings for public access TV. The THA Commission meetings are more
difficult to fit into the schedule because of the late afternoon meeting time. He noted he has
forwarded the 2018 meeting dates to the video service and they will work to accommodate
recording the meetings. This is a public meeting and although the Commission developed
guidelines for recording the meetings, they are in violation of the FOI Act.

Adjournment
There being no further business, Mrs. Kopchik motioned to adjourn the meeting at 4:47 pm.
Seconded by Ms. Dowd and approved.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

 

 

Minutes THA November 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting
November 27, 2017
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Chairman Janice Kopchik, Deborah Dowd and Suzanne Donofrio
Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky
Commissioners Absent: Susan Fatse and Paul Niebuhr
The meeting was called to order at 4:04 pm by Chairman Kopchik followed by Roll Call and the Pledge of
Allegiance.

Past Minutes
The following changes were made by Ms. Polansky to the October 23, 2017 minutes:
Under Executive Director’s Report, seventh paragraph should read: Ms. Polansky thanked the Stern
Village Resident Association for hosting a wonderful potluck luncheon for the residents. This was also to
welcome the new residents. Nick took the lead to make the event amazing. Approximately 46 residents
attended the program. Everyone had a good time. It is hoped to make this an annual evet. Nick gave
small handmade metal garden decorations to everyone who helped or attended.
Mrs. Kopchik motioned to approve the minutes of October 23, 2017 as amended. Seconded by Ms.
Dowd and approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report
Ms. Dowd reported for the Trumbull Housing Authority for the period ending October 31, 2017. Stern
Village and Stern Center currently have an overall gain of $124,312. This is attributable to the filling of
numerous vacancies in the Village and the Center. We also received approximately $135,000 from
United Illuminating as incentive for installing heat pumps. Under the new GAAP accounting rules, we
now recognize the incentive as income and not part of the reserve for repairs and maintenance, which
has been eliminated. Currently our reserve balance is $837,531, which is approximately $3,773 for each
unit in the entire complex. Our overall cash position as of October 31, 2017 shows a balance of
$770,906 including our investment account. Accounts Payable is approximately $57,687 including
the PILOT accrual for the current and prior year.

Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky is looking for other projects to improve the facility within the realm of affordability,
need and safety.
Replacement of the windows in the Congregate with new, energy efficient windows should begin in
December.
At the present time, the Village has nine vacancies and the Congregate has three vacancies.
Applications will be accepted for the Village through December 31, 2017.
The recipients for the April SSHP funding round have not been announced by Governor Malloy.
DOH thinks this announcement may be made by the end of December. Ms. Polansky is meeting with
the Town this week to discuss a Small Cities Grant for 2018. Ms. Polansky and Neil are also meeting
with financial institutions to see how they can help us. After the first of the year, the THC will
create a prospectus to be used to ask for major contributions.
Inspections are still in progress and will be completed by the end of December. Letters will be
distributed to residents who have failed part of their inspections. Residents will be given a week to
fix the deficiencies and if the resident still does not pass, Paulette will meet with them and/or
contact their family to intervene. Examples of problems include mold issues, narrow pathways,
damage to residence and overabundance of items.
Ms. Polansky thanked Maureen Bova, Stern Village Resident Association, Paulette and Heather,
Stern Village residents, Trumbull residents, Stop & Shop, International Food Bizarre and Stew
Leonard for helping to make the Stern Village Friendsgiving a huge success. There was an
abundance of turkey and all the fixings and everyone who attended received food items to make
their Thanksgiving dinner extra special.
Ms. Polansky discussed the THA food pantry. There will always be non-perishable foods and they
will also keep paper goods and cleaning items. Residents are encouraged to utilize the pantry if
they are in need. Any donations should be brought to the office.
The next Board meeting is December 18, 2017.

Unfinished Business
Discussion/Possible Action for New Laundry Service Vendor – Ms. Polansky noted there is a revised
agreement since the last Board meeting. This agreement will be for five years and will increase the
cost by $.10 for the first six months and then each year there will be $.05 increase. These will be
new LG machines, they will hold larger loads, they will be on pedestals for each access and will be
more energy efficient. Costs for doing laundry by residents were reviewed. Each resident will
receive a laundry card. Each card will already be loaded with $4.00. The current contract ends on
December 17 and the new vendor will coordinate the changeover. There may be a short lapse
when machines will be unavailable when the new ones are being installed.
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the agreement for the automatic laundry services.
Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio. Approved unanimously.

New Business
No New Business.

Stern Village Resident Association Updates
Maureen noted the participation for the Friendsgiving was great. Everyone had a lot of fun. The
community has been very generous. This year’s donations were exceptional. Ms. Polansky and Ms.
Dowd thanked Maureen for all her work on this event.
There is a Bingo party for the Bingo players in December. Ms. Polanksy is also having a party on
December 14 funded by ServePro. This will be for 40 residents and will be catered by Creative
Culinary. Grab bag amount will be determined.
The Executive Board is discussing different activities for different ages.
Adjournment
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at
4:25pm. Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio. Approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

 

THA Recap: July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017

Remodeling Vacant Units for Incoming Residents

We completed the remodeling of four vacant units in order to increase the base rent for these particular units. The remodeling consists of upgrades to units and implementing ADA design factors:

-Replaced existing kitchen cabinets and knobs with new cabinets for easy access.

-Replaced the countertops with a “granite like”, easy to clean, Formica.

-Installed new, non-slip, easy to clean, vinyl wood flooring throughout.

-Installed an ADA shower.

New Stratified Base Rent for Incoming Residents to Stern Village

We increased the base rent to $500 and $550 for the newly remodeled units.

Floors for the Community Room

New, non-skid wood-like floors were installed in the Community Room.

New Windows in the Congregate

Windows were replaced in thirty-six apartments and in the congregate office. The new windows are double pane, energy efficient and easy to open.

Paulette Mack and Jenn Gillis Honored by Senator Moore

Paulette and Jenn were award recipients of the 2017 Trumbull Integrity Awards by Senator Moore for making a positive impact in the Trumbull community through their work and volunteer efforts. Both were nominated by Stern Village resident Patricia Carter.

Chairs for the Community Room and Congregate Dining Room

New, sturdy and comfortable chairs were purchased for the Community Room and Congregate Dining Room.

Annual Inspections

The annual inspections were more detailed this year, heat pumps, mold inspections and overabundance of items were checked. Those who did not pass any part of their inspection were provided with letters outlining the issues and remediation.

New Lights

We installed new, energy-saving, LED lights in the common areas of the congregate. The brighter lights have had a positive effect on the residents.

Laundry Service

We selected a new laundry service provider to install and maintain front-loading washers and dryers, as well as a smart card system. The installation and training to use the new cards will take place January 25 and 26.

Stern Village Food Pantry

We have a well-stocked food pantry with non-perishable food items, laundry detergent, and paper products.

Friendsgiving

The Stern Village Resident Association and THA Staff held a Friendsgiving, whereby residents received turkeys, hams, and assorted potatoes and vegetables, stuffing, gravy, corn and other items, to allow our residents to make Thanksgiving. These items were donated by several THA and Trumbull residents, Stop & Shop, Stew Leonard’s, and the International Food Bazarre.

 The Trumbull Housing Corporation

A 501(c) 3 was established for the Trumbull Housing Corporation, allowing us to accept donations and contributions for various initiatives at Stern Village. Harriet Polansky, Executive Director, has been applying for grants.

ConnNAHRO Convention

Harriet Polansky participated in the Annual ConnNAHRO Convention for Executive Directors of Connecticut Public Housing. The information received and connections made is invaluable to the THA.

The THA Annual Picnic

This year’s THA Annual Resident Picnic was a huge success. We had more residents attending and the THA received many donations that paid for all the costs involved.

Wellness Nurse

The Town of Trumbull has provided us with Nurse Stephanie, at no charge. Stephanie is on-site every Wednesday and can be found in the Community Room and in the Congregate.

Harriet’s Monthly Tuesday Tea

Every month, Harriet Polansky, Executive Director, meets with the residents to provide updates and discuss important issues. ServPro has attended some of the meetings to discuss mold prevention.  Jeff and Rene, THA Maintenance, have also discussed mold removal with the residents. We have conducted trainings sessions on how to set your heat pump and Jeff Barry from Barry Associates discussed using the heat pump remote control.

Pool Table

A new, regulation pool table, pool cues, chairs and accessories was donated to the Community Room for all residents to enjoy.

Personal Grocery Shoppers

Stern Village residents can now receive custom and personalized grocery shopping each week through the Kennedy Center. Residents can provide a grocery list, coupons and money to Paulette Mack, THA Resident Services Coordinator and The Kennedy Center will shop and deliver groceries and residents’ change.

 Activities 

  • Yarn Arts and Chair Exercise Classes are held weekly in the Congregate for all THA residents.
  • Art Therapy Crafts are taught by Allison Spitzer-London bi-weekly in the Congregate.
  • Lisa Allabal from SWCAA discussed Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Crossroads Community Church provided a luncheon with music for residents
  • Each month, members of the Long Hill Garden Club work with residents to create beautiful, floral arrangements and they discuss the plants and flowers being used.
  • Pot Luck Stern Village Resident Association Luncheon to Welcome New Residents.
  • Lena from Medical Arts Pharmacy discussed medication use and provided treats.
  • Romy Ganser, Wellness Coach, accompanied residents to dine at the Cracker Barrel. She also accompanied the residents to Silverman’s Farm for apple picking.
  • Nick Vertucci, Board Member for the Stern Village Resident Association, plays monthly movie trivia games with the residents.
  • The Tuesday Morning Men’s Coffee & Conversation Club is very active and gaining new members.
  • Leeann Patrick of Crossroads Church sang Christmas Carols with our residents.
  • Geri Westover, Senior Benefits Consultant, discussed cuts in the Medicare savings program.
  • Holiday Party for Villagers, sponsored by ServPro, was well-received.
  • Crossroads Church sang Christmas Carols and provided desserts to our resident.

Download: THA Recap July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017

Special THA Board Meeting Agenda June 6, 2017

SPECIAL THA BOARD MEETING AGENDA

DATE:            June 6, 2017
TIME:            4:00 PM

LOCATION: STERN VILLAGE (COMMUNITY HALL)
200 HEDGEHOG CIRCLE
TRUMBULL, CT 06611

1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call and Pledge of Allegiance
3. New Business
Discussion/Possible Action the Stern Village Management Plan for
2017-2018, the Congregate Management Plan for 2017-2018 and
Congregate Services Plan for 2017-2018

4. Resident Comments
The ‘Resident Comments’ portion of the THA Board Meeting are an opportunity for residents to provide comments relating to Stern Village. This portion of the meeting is not intended to be a question and answer session. If a resident poses a question to the THA Board, THA Board Members will hold their remarks on that question until the resident has concluded his or her comment. At that point, THA Board Members can choose to answer such questions posed during the comment or decline to answer. Resident will be provided three (3) minutes to speak on matters relating to Stern Village and will not be interrupted by THA Board Members, except for extenuating circumstances, such as profanity, slander or verbally attacking another person, or to simply ask the resident to restate or clarify a comment. If a resident is interrupted during their comment, the Acting Chair shall allow the resident additional time to speak for a rough equivalent of the time period of the interruption. If a THA Board Member wishes to remark on the content of a comment made by a resident, he or she will hold that remark until the resident has concluded his or her comment and then state it for the record.
5. Adjournment

Meeting Agenda May 22, 2017

MEETING AGENDA

DATE:           May 22, 2017
TIME:            4 PM
LOCATION: STERN VILLAGE (COMMUNITY HALL)
200 HEDGEHOG CIRCLE
TRUMBULL, CT 06611

1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call and Pledge of Allegiance
3. Reading and Approval of Minutes for the regular April 24, 2017 Board
Meeting
4. Treasurer’s Report
5. Executive Director’s Report
6. Unfinished Business
7. New Business
8. Updates from the duly elected Stern Village Resident Association
9. Resident Comments
10. Adjournment

Meeting Agenda April 24, 2017

MEETING AGENDA

DATE:            April 24, 2017
TIME:            4 PM
LOCATION:  STERN VILLAGE (COMMUNITY HALL)
200 HEDGEHOG CIRCLE
TRUMBULL, CT 06611

1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call and Pledge of Allegiance
3. Reading and Approval of Minutes for the regular March 27, 2017 Board
Meeting
4. Treasurer’s Report
5. Executive Director’s Report
6. Unfinished Business
7. New Business
8. Updates from the duly elected Stern Village Resident Association
9. Resident Comments
The ‘Resident Comments’ portion of the THA Board Meeting are an opportunity for residents to
provide comments relating to Stern Village. This portion of the meeting is not intended to be a
question and answer session. If a resident poses a question to the THA Board, THA Board
Members will hold their remarks on that question until the resident has concluded his or her
comment. At that point, THA Board Members can choose to answer such questions posed
during the comment or decline to answer. Resident will be provided three (3) minutes to
speak on matters relating to Stern Village and will not be interrupted by THA Board Members,
except for extenuating circumstances, such as profanity, slander or verbally attacking another
person, or to simply ask the resident to restate or clarify a comment. If a resident is
interrupted during their comment, the Acting Chair shall allow the resident additional time to
speak for a rough equivalent of the time period of the interruption. If a THA Board Member
wishes to remark on the content of a comment made by a resident, he or she will hold that
remark until the resident has concluded his or her comment and then state it for the record.
10. Adjournment

Meeting Agenda March 27, 2017

MEETING AGENDA

 

DATE:            March 27, 2017

TIME:             4 PM

LOCATION:  STERN VILLAGE (COMMUNITY HALL)

200 HEDGEHOG CIRCLE

TRUMBULL, CT 06611

 

  1. Call to Order
  1. Roll Call and Pledge of Allegiance
  1. Reading and Approval of Minutes for the regular February 27, 2017, Board Meeting
  1. Treasurer’s Report
  1. Executive Director’s Report
  1. Unfinished Business

Reading and Approval of Minutes for the February 13, 2017  Special Board Meeting

  1. New Business

Discussion/Possible Action: Trumbull Housing Corporation, 501(3)(c)

Discussion/Possible Action: Congregate Lease and Village Lease

Discussion/Possible Action: AIA Agreement for the 2017 SSHP Application

  1. Updates from the duly elected Stern Village Resident Association

 

  1. Resident Comments

The ‘Resident Comments’ portion of the THA Board Meeting are an opportunity for residents to provide comments relating to Stern Village. This portion of the meeting is not intended to be a question and answer session. If a resident poses a question to the THA Board, THA Board Members will hold their remarks on that question until the resident has concluded his or her comment. At that point, THA Board Members can choose to answer such questions posed during the comment or decline to answer. Resident will be provided three (3) minutes to speak on matters relating to Stern Village and will not be interrupted by THA Board Members, except for extenuating circumstances, such as profanity, slander or verbally attacking another person, or to simply ask the resident to restate or clarify a comment. If a resident is interrupted during their comment, the Acting Chair shall allow the resident additional time to speak for a rough equivalent of the time period of the interruption. If a THA Board Member wishes to remark on the content of a comment made by a resident, he or she will hold that remark until the resident has concluded his or her comment and then state it for the record.

  1. Adjournment

Minutes THA October 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting
October 23, 2017
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Chairman Janice Kopchik, Deborah Dowd, Paul Niebuhr, Suzanne Donofrio

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

Commissioners Absent: Susan Fatse

The meeting was called to order at 4:00 pm by Chairman Kopchik followed by Roll Call and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Past Minutes
The following changes were made by Ms. Polansky to the September 25, 2017 minutes:
1. Under Past Minutes – should read “Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of the August 15, 2017 Special Board Meeting as written.”
2. Under Treasurer’s Report – should read “Stern Village and Stern Center currently have an overall gain of $154,974.”
3. Under Executive Director’s Report – Paragraph 8 – Ms. Polansky noted the inspections will start the week of October 30 which was changed from the original start date of October 16.. Paragraph 9 should read “If a vehicle is parked in the circle longer than 20 minutes without providing the THA notice, the car will be towed at the owners’ expense.” Paragraph 10 should read “He will also be providing handcrafted metal ornaments to those residents who provided a food item. Paragraph 12 should read “Applications for Stern Village will be accepted mid-October through the end of December.” Paragraphs 14 and 15 – the word facility should read THA.
Mrs. Kopchik motioned to approve the minutes of September 25, 2017 as amended. Seconded by Mrs. Dowd and approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report
Mrs. Dowd reported for the Trumbull Housing Authority for the period ending September 30, 2017. Stern Village and Stern Center currently have an overall gain of $131,681. This is attributable to the filling of the vacancies in the Village and the Center. We received approximately $135,000 from United Illuminating as incentive for installing heat pumps. Under the new GAAP accounting rules, we have to recognize the incentive as income and not part of the reserve for repairs and maintenance, which has been eliminated. Currently our reserve balance is $881,127, which is approximately $3,969 for each unit in the entire complex.

Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported the overall cash position as of September 30, 2017 shows a balance of $789,738 including the investment account. As of September 30, 2017, Accounts Payable is approximately $40,292 including the PILOT accrual for the current and prior year.

New chairs and flooring for the Congregate have been purchased. Units 5, 6, 7, 8 and 40 are being rehabbed in order to increase the base rent for incoming tenants. Improvement in the lighting in the common areas in the Congregate will continue to be done with LED lights. Ms. Polansky is looking for other projects to improve the facility within the realm of need, affordability and security.

The windows will be replaced in the Congregate for more energy efficient units. Ms. Polansky is applying for various grants to cover this cost and other incentives.

At the present time the Village has nine vacancies, five of which are being remodeled. The Congregate has four vacancies which are being sanitized for new residents coming in November 1 through November 15. Applications are being accepted for Stern Village through the remainder of the year. This is posted in the CT Post, on social media, at Town Hall and through social workers. Ms. Polansky is working on a Facebook page.

At last week’s Tuesday Tea, Jeff and Renee showed everyone how to change the settings on the heat pumps for climate control. If anyone needs help, contact Ms. Polansky or complete a work order and the Maintenance Department will help.

The THA picnic was a success. Several corporate friends of Stern Village donated funds or items for the picnic. Thanks to their generosity, there was no cost to the THA. Food and entertainment was great.

Ms. Polansky thanked the Stern Village Resident Association for hosting a wonderful potluck for the residents. This was also a welcome to the new residents. Nick took the lead to make the event amazing. Approximately 46 residents attended the program. Everyone had a good time. It is hoped to make this an annual event. Nick gave a small handmade metal decoration for the gardens to everyone who helped or attended.

All residents will be receiving letters regarding inspections of their units. This year, besides cleaning the filters on the heat pumps, Maintenance will be checking for any mold issues and overabundance of items in the living spaces. Inspection forms were created. Paulette and Ms. Polansky attended some sessions with CHFA which addressed issues with housing authorities and specifically the overabundance of items. This is an illness. If you can no longer use the rooms for their intended purposes, there is a problem. This is a health problem for the resident and their neighbors as well as a fire hazard. Everyone will get a rating this year. Help will be available for those who need it.

Ms. Polansky noted there are several problems with the infrastructure. She has requested $5 million from the State to address them. However, until Connecticut has a budget, it is unknown if any funding will be available. If these funds are not approved, the THA will need to look at other means. The roads and sidewalks are treacherous and the sewer and sanitary systems need to be addressed. It is not just repaving, it is a large project with roads, sidewalks, curbs and pathways. Representative David Rutigliano has been in touch with Ms. Polansky and he noted he is still working with the State to approve the funding. These issues will be addressed in the spring due to the winter weather. It is unknown how long after the budget is approved that the entities would be notified of the funding approval.

Unfinished Business
None.

New Business
Ms. Polansky discussed the possible approval of a new laundry service vendor. She noted there are problems with the current vendor, CSC – prices were raised without notification, service does not answer calls for issues or problems with the machines in a timely manner, machines are not serviced in a timely manner, old technology, coin operated and they also started charging for administrative fees. Ms. Polansky would like to cancel their contract and start with a new vendor, Automatic Laundry, which serves PHAs throughout CT and MA. They have great references.

Automatic Laundry will provide LG front load washers and dryers. They are ADA approved, simple to use and energy efficient. An additional washer/dryer will be located in the Community Room. Each resident would have laundry cards instead of using quarters. Prices were reviewed. Standard wash will be $1.50 instead of $1.25. Dryer will be $1.25. Prices are guaranteed for 24 months. The standard contract with housing authorities is ten years. Mr. Niebuhr asked if the current vendor is in breach of contract. Ms. Polansky noted they are not in breach just that they are not responsive and are very hard to deal with. Contracts were briefly discussed. Attorneys are working on this matter. This change was tabled until additional information can be obtained.

Updates from the Duly Elected Stern Village Resident Association
Maureen gave an update on the welcome to Stern Village luncheon. Nick was the chair of this event and did a great job. He got everyone involved. There was good participation. Next year they hope to have more residents attend.

Maureen asked if Mitsubishi was contacted about the frequency of changing the filters. Ms. Polansky stated Mitsubishi went by the manual with changes as necessary depending on circumstances.

Resident Comments
None.

Ms. Polansky encouraged the residents to take a copy of the CT Guide to Emergency Preparedness booklet which is available in the Community Room.

Mr. Niebuhr asked if the repairs and maintenance account funds were redistributed. These funds have been recorded appropriately. There are no tax implications for the THA.

Adjournment
Motion was made by Mrs Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:25 pm. Seconded by Mrs. Dowd and approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

Minutes THA September 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting

September 25, 2017

4:00 pm

Community Room of Stern Village

 

 

Commissioners Present:  Chairman Janice Kopchik, Deborah Dowd, Paul Niebuhr, Suzanne Donofrio and Susan Fatse

Also Present:  Executive Director Harriet Polansky and Neil Gerhardt

The meeting was called to order at 4:05 pm by Chairman Kopchik followed by Roll Call and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Past Minutes

Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of July 24, 2017 as written.  Seconded by Mr. Niebuhr and approved.  Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of August 15, 2017 Special Board Meeting as written.  Seconded by Mr. Niebuhr and approved with one abstention by Mrs. Dowd.

Treasurer’s Report

Mrs. Dowd reported for the Trumbull Housing Authority for the period ending August 31, 2017.  Stern Village and Stern Center currently has an overall gain of $154,974.  This is attributable to the filling of the vacancies in the Village and the Center.  We received approximately $135,000 from United Illuminating as incentive for installing heat pumps.  Under the new GAAP accounting rules, we have to recognize the incentive as income and not part of the reserve for repairs and maintenance.  Currently our reserve balance is $927,637, which is approximately $4,179 for each unit in the entire complex.

Executive Director’s Report

Ms. Polansky reported the overall cash position as of August 31, 2017 shows a balance of $822,770 including the investment account.  As of August 31, 2017, Accounts Payable is approximately $50,107 including the PILOT accrual for the current and prior year.

During this time period, new chairs were purchased, new flooring was installed, as well as the remodeling of Units 5,6,7,8.

The THA is always making additional improvements for the comfort and well-being of the residents within the realm of safety, necessity and affordability.

In the Congregate, the lighting will be improved in the common areas of the Congregate by changing to LED lights, chairs will be replaced with similar ones to the Community Room and the carpeting in the vestibule will be replaced with new flooring.

At the present time, the Village has three vacancies not including the ones being remodeled.  The Congregate has three vacancies.

Ms. Polansky noted that until the State budget is passed, approval for the SSHP funding round would not be announced.  These funds were requested in April 2017.  Funds would be used for updates to the roads, sanitary systems, water management systems, fascia, etc.  She will continue to look for grant opportunities now that the 501c3 has been established.

October 13 is the annual THA Fall Fest.  We have received donations from friends and vendors to help offset the cost of the event.

Annual inspections will start the week of October 16.  This will include the heat pumps and the vents.

Ms. Polansky thanked Gus and John for their dedication to help keep Stern Village safe.  Gus provides THA parking stickers to the residents as long as they provide a valid vehicle registration.  She noted it is important to differentiate residents from visitors.  Visitors continue to park in the circles which are prohibited areas. Gus has made up a notice that is placed on these vehicles stating they must move their cars.  If a vehicle is parked in the circles longer than 20 minutes without providing the THA notice, the car will be towed and the police will be called.

There are several new residents coming in.  Ms. Polansky thanked the Stern Village Resident Association for all the good they are doing and gearing the organization towards having more social events.  Nick organized the potluck dinner.  He will also be providing handcrafted metal ornaments to those residents who provide a food item.

Starting October 1, the Community Room will be closed at 7pm daily.

Applications for Stern Village will be accepted mid-October through December.

Paulette will receive the Trumbull Integrity Award on September 28 at 7pm in the Town Hall.

Ms. Polansky noted the facility would be moving to GAAP accounting that is being mandated by the State.  We have had the RM&R (Reserve Maintenance and Repairs) but that is now gone and things will be accounted for differently in the future.

Mr. Gerhardt noted the facility would be changing their accounting procedures to align with the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Policy).  The change will not affect how we operate but how we present information.  Mr. Gerhardt has been working to transfer information into this new system.  It is a difficult transition because he has to go back decades to figure out what items cost at that time and whether the items should or should not be depreciated.  The State is requiring a Capitalization Policy of $5,000 or more; why they picked that number is unknown but it can be whatever the Commission decides.  This requires approval of the Commission.  Ms. Polansky noted that most of the housing authorities have decided the $5,000 is appropriate; Neil suggested $3,500.

New Business

  1. Capitalization Policy – Mrs. Kopchik moved to approve the Capitalization Policy mandated by the State of Connecticut. A discussion was held regarding changing the number to $3,500.  Polansky read the Capitalization Policy (attached to these minutes).  Depreciation is based on the IRS guidelines.  Mrs. Kopchik moved to approve the Capitalization Policy mandated by the State of Connecticut.  Seconded by Mrs. Fatse and approved.
  2. 2017-2020 Agreement between the THA and Union – Mrs. Kopchik moved to approve the agreement for the 2017-2020 union contracts. Seconded by Mrs. Dowd and approved unanimously.

 Stern Village Resident Association Update

Maureen noted there will be a potluck dinner on October 18 at noon.  Invitations have been sent out.  She is also looking for donations; food will be provided by residents who have volunteered to help.

Resident Comments

James Jenestreet – presented information about the cleaning of the filters in the heat pumps.  He noted the information in the manual stated specifically how and when they are supposed to be cleaned and the functioning of the heat pumps and what they do.  Some filters need to be cleaned every two weeks while others need to be cleaned every three months.  His unit has been installed since the beginning of May and cleaning of the filters has not been done yet.  Two work orders were put in and refused – one because the maintenance department did not have a schedule set and the second because he was told they didn’t have to be cleaned because they were new.  The notice sent to residents states if you break it, you replace it.  He also stated that the Village Voice noted that any mold problem is the responsibility of the tenant.  However, if the units have mold in them, they will be spreading the spores into the apartments.  He stated this is a health issue for the welfare of the people.  He feels the heat pumps should be cleaned per the instructions from the manufacturer.

Ms. Polansky noted that she contacted John Barry and he stated they do not have to be cleaned every two weeks.  The change of seasons is when the filters need to be cleaned.  If you have a pet, it would need to be done more frequently.  The heat pump also has a dehumidifier control on it.    Mrs. Fatse asked Ms. Polansky to get an opinion letter from the company regarding this.  Mrs. Donofrio asked if the units have deodorizing filters because some do not.  This will be confirmed.

Joan – requested an additional explanation of the new accounting system.

Adjournment

There being no further business, Mrs. Kopchik moved to adjourn the meeting at 4:37 pm.  Seconded by Mrs. Fatse and approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Barbara Crandall

Clerk