Minutes THA February 2016

Trumbull Housing Authority
February 22, 2016
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Thelma Burr, Susan Fatse, Suzanne Donofrio

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

Commissioners Absent: Janice Kopchik

The meeting was called to order at 4:04 pm by Mrs. Donofrio in the absence of the Chairman. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Past Minutes
Ms. Polansky added under Executive Director’s Report last paragraph the following statement for clarification – “TOVAH is currently educating residents about what constitutes a legitimate resident association which represents the residents as a whole and not exclusive to select residents and to be prepared for when elections take place so that they can make nominations and actively participate.” Motion was made by Mrs. Donofrio to approve the minutes of January 25, 2016 as amended. Seconded by Mrs. Fatse and approved unanimously.

Resident Comments
Ed – Kim sent everyone a letter to join the current residents association. Many residents signed the letter and they were hand delivered to Mr. Littlefield. His comment was that you had to be voted into his committee. It is as if the residents don’t have a choice. He reserved the right to speak later in the meeting. Mrs. Fatse asked for clarification whether the vote was to be on to a committee in the association or in the association. Ed verified it was the association.

Treasurer’s Report
Mrs. Burr reported for the period ending January 31, 2016. Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall loss for the period of $6,690. This was due to the various vacancies reducing rental income. The expense structure is being maintained. All of the vendors have been paid. The Current Accounts Payable amounts to $37,904 which includes the PILOT payments accruing for the current year ending June 30, 2016. The case position is healthy at the present time. The Village current cash position is approximately $8,860 and the Center’s cash position is $17,376. There have been some capital expenditures for this period. Repairs have been made to the sprinkler system in the Congregate and a new truck for the Village has been acquired. The solar initiative for the Congregate has been approved and will not cost the Trumbull Housing Authority any funds. Once implemented, a savings in our electrical cost for the Congregate will be recognized of approximately $2,000 per year for the foreseeable future. Also, in the Congregate, a salad bar will be provided for a better dining experience. A convection oven for the kitchen was purchased to facilitate quicker cooking and additional menu items. These should be up and running by next week.

Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky noted the current reserve balance is over $1,384,014 which is approximately $6,239 for each unit in the entire complex after our purchase of a new truck for the maintenance staff. The overall cash position as of January 31, 2016 shows a balance of $1,071,386 including our investment account. As of January 31, 2016, Accounts Payable is approximately $37,904 including the PILOT accrual for the current year. For the Village, additional energy efficient refrigerators and some ranges have been purchased. For the Center, the sprinkler system was repaired and quotes are being obtained to replace some of the pipes. Quotes are being obtained for security cameras for the entrance/exit to Stern Village which will show and record the license plate, model and color of the vehicles. The Congregate will be receiving 15 new windows. Ms. Polansky noted the new salad bar would be available to all residents. It will be included in the fee for those in the Congregate and a fee for the remainder of the residents is being determined. She is looking for other projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability and need.

Ms. Polansky is working very closely with the Development Team and CHFA and DOH for the Redevelopment of Stern Village. CHFA has asked us to bifurcate the property into two phases. Last week the Advisory Committee for the Redevelopment held a meeting with the residents to provide updates.

New kitchen equipment was delivered and will be operational shortly.

All THA residents will be recertified starting in March. Neil and Paulette will be recertifying the residents for Stern Village. Letters with time slots will be going out to the residents this week.

Ms. Polansky noted she is starting her third year as Executive Director and that it has been a pleasure and honor to work for the betterment of Stern Village and serve the needs of our wonderful, vibrant residents.

The second grant has been received from the state to have Kim from TOVAH on board. Kim is currently educating residents about what constitutes a legitimate resident association which represents all the residents, not select residents. She is also preparing the residents for elections that will take place soon so that they can make nominations and actively participate.

Ms. Polansky recognized Kim Pietrorazio, Executive Director from TOVAH (Transforming Outcomes For Vibrant Affordable Housing), who provided the Commission with her Project Reach Update: Stern Village. Kim reviewed the update which is attached to the minutes. She noted that there has been a divide among the residents with regard to the current association including how to join the association and the requirement that bylaws be reviewed to make certain the association is following their own rules. She noted she provided a sample letter to the residents to complete and submit to the Association because that is what it states in the current bylaws. Those letters submitted were brought to Mr. Littlefield for consideration of membership who stated the board would have to take a vote. There is no public information regarding the association. She noted that no resident should need to request membership because they should be in the association by virtue of residency.

Kim requested that “the Trumbull Housing Authority Board of Commissioners engage the legal counsel of the Trumbull Housing Authority to act upon the interests and desires of the residents who wish to participate in their community via the Tenant Association and ensure that they are provided with equal opportunity to do so. The resident association should exist and be open for all residents not a selective few. Although I am not a legal expert, I find this to be highly discriminatory.” Kim noted she has not ever seen this before even in places where there were problems. Sometimes these associations were formed many years ago and were developed without guidance and support. However, in speaking with the association members, they were willing to make sure everything was done properly. Kim was placed at Stern Village by the State because they knew Stern Village was applying for funding. At that time she tried to engage the current tenant association through the only known officer but was unsuccessful. Rather than delaying the process for residents to be able to participate, she developed a Resident Development Advisory Committee which was an avenue for the residents to be engaged in the revitalization of their community. This is a short-term committee that will be in place as long as the revitalization occurs from the point of the initial plans and pre-development phase, through the financing and construction phase and post development.

Kim is concerned about the number of residents who feel they are not being represented because it is an injustice not to be represented and not be able to participate.

Discussion was held regarding the original tenant association and its bylaws. Mr. Lewis noted he was a member and was actually voted in as president but did not like the lies being spread about Ms. Polansky and he thought the organization should be closed because it was causing problems. Collection of dues was discussed. This may be okay for some residents but it may be a hardship on others. The residents should be receiving information about the association including how is the money collected being used.

Mrs. Fatse questioned if there is a tenant association that is functioning, would the Board recognize it? Kim described the election of officers for the association and what is expected of them if they are elected. She reiterated that residents do not have to be voted in due to the fact that they are residents of the community and are already members. Once an election is held, the association would be recognized by the Board when they have filed appropriate paperwork with the State of Connecticut. At this time, the Board should be recognizing the association but there is a problem. That is why she went down the other route. You cannot have two competing organizations. Once she finds out an organization exists, she will work with them over time to make the organization function properly. Unfortunately, that process didn’t work at Stern Village and that is why they developed the Advisory Committee. Legal counsel should be involved at this point to find out what needs to be done to be able to move forward in a productive way.

Mr. Horan stated that Mr. Littlefield changed the bylaws himself which he cannot do. Mr. Littlefield stated there cannot be two sets of board of directors. He has stated that his association has an attorney and his association will be the one that will be in charge. It was felt by the Board that his attorney and the Trumbull Housing Authority attorney must work together on this. Kim feels she has done all she can do without the advice of legal counsel. Mrs. Fatse recommended a meeting be scheduled to discuss this topic with Kim invited to share her information.

One resident stated that Mr. Littlefield is intelligent and has a lot of expertise and it would be helpful to have him on the board as long as he is cooperative.

Unfinished Business
None.

New Business
None.

Adjournment
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Donofrio, seconded by Mrs. Fatse, to adjourn the meeting at 4:42 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.

Minutes THA February 2016

Minutes THA January 2016

Trumbull Housing Authority – January 25, 2016
Trumbull Housing Authority
January 25, 2016
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village
Commissioners Present: Thelma Burr, Susan Fatse, Janice Kopchik Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky Commissioners Absent: Suzanne Donofrio
The meeting was called to order at 4:03 pm by the Chairman, Mrs. Kopchik. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Past Minutes
The following corrections were made to the minutes by Ms. Polansky – Page 1, Under Resident Comments, 7th line down should read “extermination of pests.” and last line should read “but did not receive”. Page 2, under Executive Director’s Report, third paragraph should read “Ms. Polansky spoke with the Charter representative…” Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik, seconded by Mrs. Burr, to approve the minutes of December 22, 2015 as amended. Approved unanimously.
Resident Comments
Paul Littlefield requested a statement on the record with regard to the purchase of a truck that all state purchasing procedures were followed and that no one affiliated with the Trumbull Housing Authority or Stern Village had any financial interest in the transaction. He announced that the Stern Village Tenants Association is now incorporated. Incorporation papers have been received from the state and he requested records be corrected. They have retained a corporate attorney. Mrs. Kopchik requested a copy of the incorporation letter for the record and to verify that they are legitimately approved. Mr. Littlefield asked why the THA needs it and refused to provide the information.
Pat Horan wanted to thank everyone for coming out in the snow and thanked Harriet for the great breakfast for the volunteers. Thanks also to Bob, Jeff and Renee for the good job they did with the snow.
Treasurer’s Report
Mrs. Burr reported for the period ending December 31, 2015. Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall loss of $12,321. This is attributable to the various vacancies in the Village and in the Center which reduced the rental income. The vacancies in the Center are being rehabilitated and new residents are moving into the Village. All vendors have been paid. The current Accounts Payable amounts to $42,666 which includes the PILOT payment for the current year. The PILOT payment has been paid for the year ending June 30, 2015. The cash position is healthy at the present time. The Village’s current cash position is approximately $18, 187 and the Center’s cash position is $14,085. In addition, they are looking to acquire a new truck for the Maintenance staff. The current truck needs repairs and has served well for the past ten years. The THA is also looking to obtain solar energy for the Congregate. This is the first step towards having a green housing authority.

Trumbull Housing Authority – January 25, 2016
Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky noted the current reserve balance is over $1,413,399 which is approximately $6,367 per unit in the entire complex. The overall cash position as of December 31, 2015 shows a balance of $1,154,379 including the investment account. As of December 31, 2015, Accounts Payable is approximately $42,666 including the PILOT accrual for the current year. In the Village, some additional refrigerators and ranges were purchased and kitchen equipment was repaired in the Center. For the Center we had some sprinkler and elevator repairs as well as repairs to the stove. As always, she is looking for projects to improve the facility within the realm of affordability and need.
Ms. Polansky thanked the Maintenance staff. They did a great job during the storm. Several residents have voiced their appreciation and she thanked the younger residents for helping to clean vehicles. Many of the resident’s care givers helped also. Several residents have not taken items off their porches which hinders Maintenance from clearing the area.
On behalf of the THA Board of Commissioners, Paulette and herself, Ms. Polansky thanked the resident volunteers for all their help in making Stern Village and the Congregate an incredible place to live and having a positive impact on the community.
A Proclamation was received from First Selectman Herbst stating January 19, 2016 as Stern Village Volunteer Day.
Weatherization of the Stern Village apartments is still in progress and should be completed within the next three weeks. The lighting project will start soon; LED bulbs have been ordered. Many units have had the weatherization and hopefully, the residents can feel a difference. Residents have stated they are happy with the changes.
Ms. Polansky noted she and Neil have had several phone calls with CHFA for Phase 1 providing
information to the underwriters and technical staff. Phase 1 goes hand-in-hand with Phase 2. Everyone is working hard to provide information to the underwriters. Phase 2 will be discussed at the next Board meeting.
Three Charter representatives met with Ms. Polansky. Over the last six months, they recorded 20 calls from Stern Village for customer education and replacing boxes. They mentioned some channels experience breakup. That is due to the station broadcasting directly. Wednesday, January 27 at 10 am, a representative from Charter will be in the Community Room to discuss issues. There will be a resident meeting with him to discuss problems and different types of Charter packages.
Kim from TOVAH will be at Stern Village to work with the residents on January 26 at 10 am to establish a new, duly elected Residents Association.
Unfinished Business No unfinished business.
New Business
1. Ms. Polansky noted they need a new maintenance truck and Neil has been sourcing costs and negotiating for a new one. The current truck is ten years old and has over 100,000 miles on it.

Trumbull Housing Authority – January 25, 2016
The current truck needs a lot of work, including but not limited to a new engine, suspension, muffler system and hydraulics. The underbody is rusted and it needs new tires. Neil and Jeff from the Maintenance staff went to Park City Ford and Stevens Ford. A quote was also obtained from Crowley which is in Plainville. The DAS website which includes all vendors, recommended Crowley, but they had the highest cost at $52,000 and it is far away for maintenance purposes and warranty work. Stevens in Milford had a 2015 with 500 miles on it. Ms. Polansky noted a strobe light is needed for insurance purposes and to know that a truck is approaching. This was approximately an additional $700 at Stevens. Cost at Stevens was close to $41,000. Another dealership in Danbury provided a quote but it is too far from Trumbull for immediate service. Neil and Ms. Polansky recommend Park City Ford. They have a 2016 for $40,924. These prices do not include trade-in. The current truck will be taken as a trade-in but it is unknown what they will give them. This price is also with a new plow. This plow is angled which will make it easier to maneuver the snow. Park City will negotiate the price of the strobe when the cost is known – no more than $325. Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik that the Trumbull Housing Authority approve the purchase of a new Ford truck with a plow for Maintenance with Park City based on Harriet’s and Neil’s recommendation. Seconded by Mrs. Burr and approved unanimously.
2. Ms. Polansky noted that in April 2015 the THA was selected to participate in CHFA’s Solarized SSHP Program for the Congregate building. At the time, THA was one of 36 housing authorities selected to work with CT Green Bank and C-TEC Solar to provide solar energy. The Congregate building is perfect for solar because it has a southern exposure and there is no shade on the building. Ms. Polansky introduced Benjamin Healey from CT Green Bank, Alex Fox from C-TEC Solar and Attorney Melanie Rausch, attorney for the THA. Ms. Polansky noted the THA is not paying for installation of solar panels nor the connectivity or equipment. Since 2015 they have been working on finalizing the agreements for the project. CT Green Bank is acting as a syndicator and leasing the Congregate roof only to the Clean Energy Investment Authority to provide us with solar. With the use of solar, savings will be in the range of $4,000 to $6,000 per year for the next 20 years. Based on the agreement, the THA can purchase the system any time after five years. Mr. Healey and Mr. Fox fielded questions from the residents explaining how the system will work, cost savings, roof structure preparation and upgrade, panel weight (2.7 lbs./sf) and number (216 panels), selling power back to the utilities and maintenance. Mr. Healey noted they plan to start installation in approximately two months once all approvals are received and the project should be completed within four weeks. Question was asked if solar energy was being considered for the water heaters in the smaller units. Solar on the buildings in the Village was discussed previously and can be revisited but it would have to be after the revitalization project is completed and it must meet the southern exposure and not shaded by trees. Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik that the Trumbull Housing Authority approve the solar energy for the Congregate. Seconded by Mrs. Fatse and approved unanimously.
Adjournment
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:35 pm. Seconded by Mrs. Burr and approved unanimously.

Trumbull Housing Authority – January 25, 2016
Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Crandall Clerk
These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.
Minutes THA January 2016

Minutes THA January 2016

Trumbull Housing Authority – January 25, 2016

Trumbull Housing Authority January 25, 2016 4:00 pm Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Thelma Burr, Susan Fatse, Janice Kopchik Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky Commissioners Absent: Suzanne Donofrio

The meeting was called to order at 4:03 pm by the Chairman, Mrs. Kopchik. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Past Minutes

The following corrections were made to the minutes by Ms. Polansky – Page 1, Under Resident Comments, 7th line down should read “extermination of pests.” and last line should read “but did not receive”. Page 2, under Executive Director’s Report, third paragraph should read “Ms. Polansky spoke with the Charter representative…” Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik, seconded by Mrs. Burr, to approve the minutes of December 22, 2015 as amended. Approved unanimously.

Resident Comments

Paul Littlefield requested a statement on the record with regard to the purchase of a truck that all state purchasing procedures were followed and that no one affiliated with the Trumbull Housing Authority or Stern Village had any financial interest in the transaction. He announced that the Stern Village Tenants Association is now incorporated. Incorporation papers have been received from the state and he requested records be corrected. They have retained a corporate attorney. Mrs. Kopchik requested a copy of the incorporation letter for the record and to verify that they are legitimately approved. Mr. Littlefield asked why the THA needs it and refused to provide the information.

Pat Horan wanted to thank everyone for coming out in the snow and thanked Harriet for the great breakfast for the volunteers. Thanks also to Bob, Jeff and Renee for the good job they did with the snow.

Treasurer’s Report

Mrs. Burr reported for the period ending December 31, 2015. Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall loss of $12,321. This is attributable to the various vacancies in the Village and in the Center which reduced the rental income. The vacancies in the Center are being rehabilitated and new residents are moving into the Village. All vendors have been paid. The current Accounts Payable amounts to $42,666 which includes the PILOT payment for the current year. The PILOT payment has been paid for the year ending June 30, 2015. The cash position is healthy at the present time. The Village’s current cash position is approximately $18, 187 and the Center’s cash position is $14,085. In addition, they are looking to acquire a new truck for the Maintenance staff. The current truck needs repairs and has served well for the past ten years. The THA is also looking to obtain solar energy for the Congregate. This is the first step towards having a green housing authority.

 

Trumbull Housing Authority – January 25, 2016

Executive Director’s Report

Ms. Polansky noted the current reserve balance is over $1,413,399 which is approximately $6,367 per unit in the entire complex. The overall cash position as of December 31, 2015 shows a balance of $1,154,379 including the investment account. As of December 31, 2015, Accounts Payable is approximately $42,666 including the PILOT accrual for the current year. In the Village, some additional refrigerators and ranges were purchased and kitchen equipment was repaired in the Center. For the Center we had some sprinkler and elevator repairs as well as repairs to the stove. As always, she is looking for projects to improve the facility within the realm of affordability and need.

Ms. Polansky thanked the Maintenance staff. They did a great job during the storm. Several residents have voiced their appreciation and she thanked the younger residents for helping to clean vehicles. Many of the resident’s care givers helped also. Several residents have not taken items off their porches which hinders Maintenance from clearing the area.

On behalf of the THA Board of Commissioners, Paulette and herself, Ms. Polansky thanked the resident volunteers for all their help in making Stern Village and the Congregate an incredible place to live and having a positive impact on the community.

A Proclamation was received from First Selectman Herbst stating January 19, 2016 as Stern Village Volunteer Day.

Weatherization of the Stern Village apartments is still in progress and should be completed within the next three weeks. The lighting project will start soon; LED bulbs have been ordered. Many units have had the weatherization and hopefully, the residents can feel a difference. Residents have stated they are happy with the changes.

Ms. Polansky noted she and Neil have had several phone calls with CHFA for Phase 1 providing

information to the underwriters and technical staff. Phase 1 goes hand-in-hand with Phase 2. Everyone is working hard to provide information to the underwriters. Phase 2 will be discussed at the next Board meeting.

Three Charter representatives met with Ms. Polansky. Over the last six months, they recorded 20 calls from Stern Village for customer education and replacing boxes. They mentioned some channels experience breakup. That is due to the station broadcasting directly. Wednesday, January 27 at 10 am, a representative from Charter will be in the Community Room to discuss issues. There will be a resident meeting with him to discuss problems and different types of Charter packages.

Kim from TOVAH will be at Stern Village to work with the residents on January 26 at 10 am to establish a new, duly elected Residents Association.

Unfinished Business No unfinished business.

New Business

  1. Ms. Polansky noted they need a new maintenance truck and Neil has been sourcing costs and negotiating for a new one. The current truck is ten years old and has over 100,000 miles on it.

 

Trumbull Housing Authority – January 25, 2016

The current truck needs a lot of work, including but not limited to a new engine, suspension, muffler system and hydraulics. The underbody is rusted and it needs new tires. Neil and Jeff from the Maintenance staff went to Park City Ford and Stevens Ford. A quote was also obtained from Crowley which is in Plainville. The DAS website which includes all vendors, recommended Crowley, but they had the highest cost at $52,000 and it is far away for maintenance purposes and warranty work. Stevens in Milford had a 2015 with 500 miles on it. Ms. Polansky noted a strobe light is needed for insurance purposes and to know that a truck is approaching. This was approximately an additional $700 at Stevens. Cost at Stevens was close to $41,000. Another dealership in Danbury provided a quote but it is too far from Trumbull for immediate service. Neil and Ms. Polansky recommend Park City Ford. They have a 2016 for $40,924. These prices do not include trade-in. The current truck will be taken as a trade-in but it is unknown what they will give them. This price is also with a new plow. This plow is angled which will make it easier to maneuver the snow. Park City will negotiate the price of the strobe when the cost is known – no more than $325. Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik that the Trumbull Housing Authority approve the purchase of a new Ford truck with a plow for Maintenance with Park City based on Harriet’s and Neil’s recommendation. Seconded by Mrs. Burr and approved unanimously.

  1. Ms. Polansky noted that in April 2015 the THA was selected to participate in CHFA’s Solarized SSHP Program for the Congregate building. At the time, THA was one of 36 housing authorities selected to work with CT Green Bank and C-TEC Solar to provide solar energy. The Congregate building is perfect for solar because it has a southern exposure and there is no shade on the building. Ms. Polansky introduced Benjamin Healey from CT Green Bank, Alex Fox from C-TEC Solar and Attorney Melanie Rausch, attorney for the THA. Ms. Polansky noted the THA is not paying for installation of solar panels nor the connectivity or equipment. Since 2015 they have been working on finalizing the agreements for the project. CT Green Bank is acting as a syndicator and leasing the Congregate roof only to the Clean Energy Investment Authority to provide us with solar. With the use of solar, savings will be in the range of $4,000 to $6,000 per year for the next 20 years. Based on the agreement, the THA can purchase the system any time after five years. Mr. Healey and Mr. Fox fielded questions from the residents explaining how the system will work, cost savings, roof structure preparation and upgrade, panel weight (2.7 lbs./sf) and number (216 panels), selling power back to the utilities and maintenance. Mr. Healey noted they plan to start installation in approximately two months once all approvals are received and the project should be completed within four weeks. Question was asked if solar energy was being considered for the water heaters in the smaller units. Solar on the buildings in the Village was discussed previously and can be revisited but it would have to be after the revitalization project is completed and it must meet the southern exposure and not shaded by trees. Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik that the Trumbull Housing Authority approve the solar energy for the Congregate. Seconded by Mrs. Fatse and approved unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:35 pm. Seconded by Mrs. Burr and approved unanimously.

 

Trumbull Housing Authority – January 25, 2016

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall Clerk

These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.

Minutes THA January 2016

Minutes THA February 2016

Trumbull Housing Authority

February 22, 2016

4:00 pm

Community Room of Stern Village

 

 

Commissioners Present: Thelma Burr, Susan Fatse, Suzanne Donofrio

 

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

 

Commissioners Absent: Janice Kopchik

 

The meeting was called to order at 4:04 pm by Mrs. Donofrio in the absence of the Chairman. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Past Minutes

Ms. Polansky added under Executive Director’s Report last paragraph the following statement for clarification – “TOVAH is currently educating residents about what constitutes a legitimate resident association which represents the residents as a whole and not exclusive to select residents and to be prepared for when elections take place so that they can make nominations and actively participate.” Motion was made by Mrs. Donofrio to approve the minutes of January 25, 2016 as amended.  Seconded by Mrs. Fatse and approved unanimously.

 

Resident Comments

Ed – Kim sent everyone a letter to join the current residents association. Many residents signed the letter and they were hand delivered to Mr. Littlefield.  His comment was that you had to be voted into his committee.  It is as if the residents don’t have a choice.  He reserved the right to speak later in the meeting.  Mrs. Fatse asked for clarification whether the vote was to be on to a committee in the association or in the association.  Ed verified it was the association.

 

Treasurer’s Report

Mrs. Burr reported for the period ending January 31, 2016. Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall loss for the period of $6,690.  This was due to the various vacancies reducing rental income.  The expense structure is being maintained.  All of the vendors have been paid.  The Current Accounts Payable amounts to $37,904 which includes the PILOT payments accruing for the current year ending June 30, 2016.  The case position is healthy at the present time.  The Village current cash position is approximately $8,860 and the Center’s cash position is $17,376.  There have been some capital expenditures for this period.  Repairs have been made to the sprinkler system in the Congregate and a new truck for the Village has been acquired.  The solar initiative for the Congregate has been approved and will not cost the Trumbull Housing Authority any funds.  Once implemented, a savings in our electrical cost for the Congregate will be recognized of approximately $2,000 per year for the foreseeable future.  Also, in the Congregate, a salad bar will be provided for a better dining experience.  A convection oven for the kitchen was purchased to facilitate quicker cooking and additional menu items.  These should be up and running by next week.

 

Executive Director’s Report

Ms. Polansky noted the current reserve balance is over $1,384,014 which is approximately $6,239 for each unit in the entire complex after our purchase of a new truck for the maintenance staff. The overall cash position as of January 31, 2016 shows a balance of $1,071,386 including our investment account.  As of January 31, 2016, Accounts Payable is approximately $37,904 including the PILOT accrual for the current year.  For the Village, additional energy efficient refrigerators and some ranges have been purchased.  For the Center, the sprinkler system was repaired and quotes are being obtained to replace some of the pipes.  Quotes are being obtained for security cameras for the entrance/exit to Stern Village which will show and record the license plate, model and color of the vehicles.  The Congregate will be receiving 15 new windows.  Ms. Polansky noted the new salad bar would be available to all residents.  It will be included in the fee for those in the Congregate and a fee for the remainder of the residents is being determined.  She is looking for other projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability and need.

 

Ms. Polansky is working very closely with the Development Team and CHFA and DOH for the Redevelopment of Stern Village. CHFA has asked us to bifurcate the property into two phases.  Last week the Advisory Committee for the Redevelopment held a meeting with the residents to provide updates.

 

New kitchen equipment was delivered and will be operational shortly.

 

All THA residents will be recertified starting in March. Neil and Paulette will be recertifying the residents for Stern Village.  Letters with time slots will be going out to the residents this week.

 

Ms. Polansky noted she is starting her third year as Executive Director and that it has been a pleasure and honor to work for the betterment of Stern Village and serve the needs of our wonderful, vibrant residents.

 

The second grant has been received from the state to have Kim from TOVAH on board. Kim is currently educating residents about what constitutes a legitimate resident association which represents all the residents, not select residents.  She is also preparing the residents for elections that will take place soon so that they can make nominations and actively participate.

 

Ms. Polansky recognized Kim Pietrorazio, Executive Director from TOVAH (Transforming Outcomes For Vibrant Affordable Housing), who provided the Commission with her Project Reach Update: Stern Village.  Kim reviewed the update which is attached to the minutes.  She noted that there has been a divide among the residents with regard to the current association including how to join the association and the requirement that bylaws be reviewed to make certain the association is following their own rules.  She noted she provided a sample letter to the residents to complete and submit to the Association because that is what it states in the current bylaws.  Those letters submitted were brought to Mr. Littlefield for consideration of membership who stated the board would have to take a vote.  There is no public information regarding the association.  She noted that no resident should need to request membership because they should be in the association by virtue of residency.

 

Kim requested that “the Trumbull Housing Authority Board of Commissioners engage the legal counsel of the Trumbull Housing Authority to act upon the interests and desires of the residents who wish to participate in their community via the Tenant Association and ensure that they are provided with equal opportunity to do so. The resident association should exist and be open for all residents not a selective few.  Although I am not a legal expert, I find this to be highly discriminatory.”  Kim noted she has not ever seen this before even in places where there were problems.  Sometimes these associations were formed many years ago and were developed without guidance and support.   However, in speaking with the association members, they were willing to make sure everything was done properly.  Kim was placed at Stern Village by the State because they knew Stern Village was applying for funding.  At that time she tried to engage the current tenant association through the only known officer but was unsuccessful.   Rather than delaying the process for residents to be able to participate, she developed a Resident Development Advisory Committee which was an avenue for the residents to be engaged in the revitalization of their community.  This is a short-term committee that will be in place as long as the revitalization occurs from the point of the initial plans and pre-development phase, through the                                                     financing and construction phase and post development.

 

Kim is concerned about the number of residents who feel they are not being represented because it is an injustice not to be represented and not be able to participate.

 

Discussion was held regarding the original tenant association and its bylaws. Mr. Lewis noted he was a member and was actually voted in as president but did not like the lies being spread about Ms. Polansky and he thought the organization should be closed because it was causing problems.  Collection of dues was discussed.  This may be okay for some residents but it may be a hardship on others.  The residents should be receiving information about the association including how is the money collected being used.

 

Mrs. Fatse questioned if there is a tenant association that is functioning, would the Board recognize it? Kim described the election of officers for the association and what is expected of them if they are elected.  She reiterated that residents do not have to be voted in due to the fact that they are residents of the community and are already members.  Once an election is held, the association would be recognized by the Board when they have filed appropriate paperwork with the State of Connecticut.   At this time, the Board should be recognizing the association but there is a problem.  That is why she went down the other route.  You cannot have two competing organizations.  Once she finds out an organization exists, she will work with them over time to make the organization function properly.  Unfortunately, that process didn’t work at Stern Village and that is why they developed the Advisory Committee.  Legal counsel should be involved at this point to find out what needs to be done to be able to move forward in a productive way.

 

Mr. Horan stated that Mr. Littlefield changed the bylaws himself which he cannot do. Mr. Littlefield stated there cannot be two sets of board of directors.  He has stated that his association has an attorney and his association will be the one that will be in charge.  It was felt by the Board that his attorney and the Trumbull Housing Authority attorney must work together on this.  Kim feels she has done all she can do without the advice of legal counsel.  Mrs. Fatse recommended a meeting be scheduled to discuss this topic with Kim invited to share her information.

 

One resident stated that Mr. Littlefield is intelligent and has a lot of expertise and it would be helpful to have him on the board as long as he is cooperative.

 

Unfinished Business

None.

 

New Business

None.

 

Adjournment

There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Donofrio, seconded by Mrs. Fatse, to adjourn the meeting at 4:42 pm.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Barbara Crandall

Clerk

 

 

 

These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.

 

 

Minutes THA February 2016

Minutes THA December 2015

Trumbull Housing Authority
December 22, 2015
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Thelma Burr, Suzanne Donofrio, Susan Fatse, Janice Kopchik

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

Commissioners Absent: Linda Nassrah

The meeting was called to order at 4:02 pm by the Chairman, Mrs. Kopchik. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Past Minutes
Ms. Polansky provided the Clerk with the following changes to the November 23, 2015 minutes:
– Under Past Minutes – last paragraph should read: “Mrs. Donofrio motioned to accept the minutes…”
– Under Resident Comments, under Sandy, third line should read: “waste the Boards’ time…”
– Under Resident Comments, under Christiane Poggi, third line should read: “If anyone wants to see it, you can see everything.” Sixth line down should read: “Polansky stated they know exactly what is going on…”
– Under Executive Director’s Report, second paragraph, fourth line should read: “She is looking to improve the facility…”
Mrs. Kopchik motioned to accept the minutes as amended; seconded by Mrs. Fatse and approved unanimously.

Resident Comments
Paul Littlefield – Mr. Littlefield stated he did not know what the motion will be to address #8 under New Business. He felt it may have to do with a policy change switching the burden of cost for extermination from the landlord to the tenant. He wanted to know what precedent this comes from and what legal basis the Commission has for doing that. He stated that for non-profit housing, the landlord is responsible and that is backed up by the Trumbull Housing Code and the Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants in CT put out by the Judicial Department. They point out that the landlord is responsible for expenses having to do with extermination of pest. Under HUD, Harrison House had had extermination of bed bugs several times and the tenants have not been charged except for the prior preparation, such as clothing removal. He recommended the Commissioners look at this very carefully because he does not want them to be tagged as one of the first housing authorities to put in such a rule. Mr. Littlefield discussed extermination prices at the facility. He recommends the motion, which he requested in advance but did not received because the Executive Director was away and when she returned, was too busy to respond to his request, be carefully reviewed and he would like to hear the discussion. He does not want to just have a motion. Mr. Littlefield thanked the commission for their attention.

Patricia Lungi – Mrs. Lungi noted she has lived in 15 different places and in 27 years and she has never paid for pest control, in any location. This service was provided every month and, if needed, would be provided a second time. She doesn’t understand this at all.

Treasurer’s Report
Mrs. Burr reported for the period ending November 30, 2015, Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall gain for the period of $10,229. All vendors have been paid. The current Accounts Payable amounts to $50,067 which includes our PILOT payment for the previous year. The cash position is healthy at the present time. For the Village, the current cash position is approximately $50,199, and the Center’s cash position is $19,464. Capital expenditures have increased for the Village. New refrigerators were purchased that are energy efficient.

Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky noted that currently the reserve balance is over $1,438,629 which is approximately $6,480 for each unit in the entire complex. The overall cash position as of November 30, 2015 shows a balance of $1,191,510, including the investment account. She is looking at various grants to off-set costs to procure a salad bar with sneeze guard and convection oven; both are necessary for the congregate.

She thanked the THA Commissioners for their hard work this year and all the volunteers who have made a positive impact on the community. She also thanked the following vendors for making the holidays extra special for the residents – Home Depot, Ed Henrich from United Healthcare, Mark, Melick, Omar and Naiomi from Hancock Pharmacy, Chips Restaurant, W.B. Mason and Verizon.

Ms. Polansky spoke with the Chart representative from Massachusetts. Charter will be assessing the signal strength for the property and do whatever they can to fix issues. A mid-January time frame was discussed for the results.

Ms. Polansky read the THA Recap covering the period from July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. This Recap is attached to the minutes as an addendum.

Unfinished Business
None.

New Business
Ms. Polansky noted that when a unit is rented, it is delivered to the tenant in a sanitized condition. There have been residents with bed bug infestations and roaches. These are brought into the apartment; they don’t just appear. For some infestations, like bed bugs or roaches, the Orkin exterminator is called. They are able to source and validate where the infestation originates, therefore that resident should be responsible for payment. In 2015, over $2,700 was spent on extermination services for bed bugs. When Orkin comes in, they do all four apartments; they can’t just do one. It is an upheaval for the residents that don’t have a problem and it is money that she would rather spend somewhere else. Attorney Ray Rizzio, THA General Counsel was called upon for his expertise in this matter. Discussion was held regarding the circumstances where this would be imposed. It would not cover things like food spoilage or the covered spraying for bugs such as ants, spiders or termites. Anything the maintenance men can handle would not be included. However, unkempt apartments or something brought in from the outside that causes a problem would be the tenant’s responsibility. This would be spelled out in the new lease. A payment plan can be agreed upon should that be necessary.

Mrs. Kopchik made a motion that the Trumbull Housing Authority units will be delivered to the tenants in a sanitized condition and the tenant will affirm the same at the acceptance of the unit. The tenant will be responsible for the cost of extermination for any future infestations discovered by the landlord that is not normally covered within the daily maintenance of the Trumbull Housing Authority Maintenance people. Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio and approved unanimously.

Adjournment
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik, seconded by Mrs. Fatse, to adjourn the meeting at 4:24 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.

Minutes THA December 2015

Minutes THA November 2015

Trumbull Housing Authority
November 23, 2015
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Thelma Burr, Suzanne Donofrio, Susan Fatse

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

Commissioners Absent: Linda Nassrah and Janice Kopchik

The meeting was called to order at 4:00 pm by Mrs. Donofrio in the absence of the Chairman. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Past Minutes
Ms. Polansky provided the Clerk with the following changes to the October 27, 2015 minutes:
– Under Public Comment – first line should read “Two residents thanked the Commission and Ms. Polansky for all the work that is being done.”
– Under Treasurer’s Report – second line should read “All vendors have been paid.” End of last line should read “Center’s cash position”.
– Under Executive Director’s Report – second page, first paragraph – should read “approximately $10,000 mostly for cleaning various units.” Next paragraph should read “families in Trumbull who are interested in volunteering”.
Mrs. Fatse motioned to accept the minutes of October 27, 2105 as amended, seconded by Mrs. Burr, and approved unanimously.

Resident Comments
Paul Littlefield – Mr. Littlefield made a recommendation that in the emergency planning the Board have
authorization to hire additional help for snow removal. In the past when we had a severe storm, one of the Board members and director did hire a contractor. There is a legal agreement with the town but he felt that was not going to work. He recommended the additional help be dedicated to removing the snow from the secondary bedroom exits. During the last storm, people were frightened because they thought they were trapped. This way if something happens to the front room, they have a secondary exit.

Roberto – he is not happy with his cable TV. He pays a lot and wondered if the Board could do something to change it. The service is terrible and the channels cannot be seen correctly. He has reduced his service to the minimum level and is at a point to just not have the service. Ms. Polansky will check on this. Many factors could contribute to this service problem. Residents have already spoken to the cable service with no change in service. Ms. Polansky will contact Charter and ask for a meeting to resolve this.

Sandy – asked if there isn’t anything to come before the Board, if the meeting could be postponed until January. It was noted that it is part of the bylaws to have a meeting every month. She doesn’t want to waste the Boards time for a meeting if it is not necessary. Also, there may be something important come up for discussion and it is good to have the meeting already scheduled. Sandy also acknowledged Harriet and all that she has done since she first came. It has only improved. It hasn’t slacked off or lost enthusiasm. She feels that she has always been encouraged to speak her mind, to feel comfortable and feel a part of the community. She is pleased with the improvements and knows it is only through someone who cares and showing that they care. She feels Harriet has done a marvelous job.

Christiane Poggi — stated she does not feel safe in Stern Village. She moved from #90 to #9 because of this woman who is a convicted killer. She stabbed someone 29 times and then killed someone else 10 years later. It is in the computer. If anyone wants to see, it you can see everything. She does not feel safe. The other day this lady tried to run her over. She called the Police and the Police haven’t done anything. She tried to kill her. She also tried to kill her friend, as well. She does not feel safe. Ms. Polansky stated they know exactly is going on as well as Paulette, the Commission and the Police. It is all being taken care of. The attorneys have been advised of this also.

Also, there are no cameras here. The Police came when this woman tried to run her over and kill her. She came in the back with her car and she tried to kill her and her dog. She brushed her jacket. She stated she should have gone to the hospital although she wasn’t injured. The Police have not done anything. She did the same thing to her girlfriend. The camera was not working. It happened right in front of the camera. She would like someone to fix it and that it be working for their safety. Question was asked why the cameras are not working. Ms. Polansky noted they were working for a while and then it cost a lot of money to fix them so they decided to wait until the revitalization. There are cameras in the Congregate that work, the Maintenance one works, as well as other places in the Village.

She also noted she has roaches in her apartment. Ms. Polansky and others came and found no roaches. Ms. Polansky stated she was aware of the problem. A sample of the bug was provided and it was felt it was a carpet beetle not a roach. Ms. Polansky will work on this.

Treasurer’s Report
Mrs. Burr reported for the period ending October 31, 2015. Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall gain of $9,391.00. All vendors have been paid. Current Accounts Payable amounts to $59,992.00. That includes our PILOT payment for the previous year. Our PILOT payment will not be paid until the outside account finishes the annual audit. The cash position is healthy. The current Village cash position has approximately $34,397.00 and the Center’s cash position is $38,005.00.

There are currently ten vacancies in the Village and four in the Congregate. Rehabilitation of the apartments is being done in the Congregate to allow for new residents. There were some capital expenditures this period. Repairs have been made to the stove and vent in the kitchen in the Congregate as well as to the sprinkler and the elevator. For the Village, additional refrigerators and ranges were purchased.

Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky wished Mrs. Fatse a Happy Birthday and everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Currently the reserve balance is over $1,435,830.00 which is approximately $6,468.00 for each unit in the complex. The overall cash position as of October 31, 2015 shows a balance of $1,194,056.00 including the investment account. Accounts Payable is approximately $59,992.00 including our PILOT accrual for the current and past year. She is looking into project to improve the facility within the realm of affordability and any need for security that we can afford.

An update of the revitalization was provided to the residents at Ms. Polansky’s Tuesday Tea. This plan is also available in the Community Room and in December’s newsletter. We are transparent and we want to keep everyone involved. Thank you to the members of the Resident Development Advisory Committee who are always spreading the word. CHFA and DOH told them through a conference call that they want to do the project and they currently have updated plans for review. Ms. Polansky hopes that in December, she, Neil, any Commissioners and perhaps the architect will have a meeting with them. It was decided that bifurcating the redevelopment process into two phases would make sense to meet the identified financial goals set by the state and CHFA. The scope has been scaled back, thoughtfully, to control the overall cost of the project without diminishing the sustainability. In other words, Ms. Polansky noted they will be getting what they need and want. There will still be additional parking, the loop road for improved access for residents and first responders, only demolishing two buildings to accommodate the parking and roadway design from the initial 18 in the original concept. We also need a comprehensive storm water management plan including asphalt curbs, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots. We will have upgraded landscape. There will be a renovated Community Room with, perhaps, an addition. New roofs, doors and windows will be done. They will be adding bedroom additions to the efficiency units. The front porch or foyers have been deleted from the scope because if was out of their realm. Emergency efficient ductless heat and cooling, hot water heaters, energy recovery ventilation systems, step in showers, and other improvements will be made. Ten percent will be designated as ADA or handicapped units. We are still on track. Ms. Polansky stated because the project was cut in half, they can’t renovate just one side. We will ask for a commitment to do both sides.

Ms. Polansky extended a special thank you to John and Darby Ruby and Don Scinto for the Second Annual Turkey Fest. The Ruby’s donated 25 turkeys and Mr. Scinto organized the event. She also thanked the First Selectman for joining the event and selecting the recipients. There should be an article in the Trumbull Times this week.

According to Ms. Polansky, residents chosen for the sampling of weatherization said they did a great job. The residents felt their apartments are less drafty now that the improvements have been made. A formal report will be given to UI and didn’t think there was any hindrance for UI not to say yes to everyone else. There is also a lighting study being conducted on Tuesday, December 1 at 9:00 am in the common areas in resident apartments. Thirty-seven residents were selected and should have received a letter regarding this.

There are a lot of parties going on in December in Stern Village. More information to follow.

Kim from TOVA will be back on December 15. TOVAH is working to educate Stern Village residents to understand how they can contribute to the growth and sustainability of our community and in the process prepare residents for taking on leadership roles when leadership opportunities, tenant association nominations and elections occur.

Question was raised if during the project, some of the trees would be cut down around the edge where it is shady and where mold sets in. It was noted that if it is in the landscape plan, it would be done.

Question was raised about the cabinets in some of the units. They are unusable and wanted to know if that is standard. Mrs. Burr noted some of the units had new cabinets put in and they are 1/3 less than other units. They cannot be used because of the size. Ms. Polansky noted everyone will love the new cabinets to be put in.

Unfinished Business
None.

New Business
None.

Adjournment
Motion was made by Mrs. Donofrio, seconded by Mrs. Burr, to adjourn the meeting at 4:28 pm. Approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.

THA Board Meeting Minutes November 2015

Minutes THA October 2015

Trumbull Housing Authority
October 27, 2015
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Chairman Janice Kopchik; Commissioners Thelma Burr, Linda Nassrah and Suzanne Donofrio (4:07 pm)
Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky
Absent: Commissioner Susan Fatse
The meeting was called to order at 4:04 pm by Mrs. Kopchik. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Past Minutes
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik, seconded by Ms. Nassrah, to approve the minutes of September 28, 2015 as written. Approved unanimously.
Public Comment
Two residents stated thank you for all the work that is being done by the Commission and Ms. Polansky. Another resident spoke on the water problem at her unit and noted that her neighbor’s unit was flooded. Ms. Polansky noted work orders are written for these types of incidents and she will follow up on this event.
Mrs. Donofrio entered the meeting at 4:07 pm.
Treasurer’s Report
Mrs. Burr reported for the three months ending September 30, 2015 that the Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall gain of $28.00. All vendors have been paid currently. Accounts Payable amounts to $47,747, which includes the PILOT payment for the previous year. The PILOT payment will not be paid until the outside accountant finishes the annual audit. The cash position is healthy. The current Village cash position has approximately $43,302 and the Center’s case position is $17,921.
Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported for the period ending September 30, 2015. Currently the reserve balance is over $1,423,218 which is approximately $6,411 for each unit in the entire complex. The overall cash position as of September 30, 2015 shows a balance of $1,240,727 including the investment account. As of September 30, 2015, Accounts Payable is approximately $44,747 including our PILOT accrual for the current and past year.
There were some unusual expenses in the Village totaling approximately $10,000 for extermination services and in-depth cleaning of various units. The vacancies in the Village have increased and vacancies in the center have reduced. There have been some capital expenditures. Some repairs were made to the kitchen equipment in the Congregate. In the Village, there were some unusual expenses totally approximately $10,000 for cleaning various units. In addition, some additional appliances for the Village have been acquired. She will continue to look further at other projects to improve the facility with the realm of affordability, need and security.
Minister Jeff Schachinger from Southern CT Church of Christ in Fairfield has seven families in Trumbull who are interesting in volunteering at Stern Village. They will provide light housekeeping to any resident that is interested.
UI has several free incentives that will be provided to the residents. These incentives have nothing to do with the larger UI program for the redevelopment of Stern Village. Competitive Resources through the UI Home Energy Solutions Program (HES), will be making improvements to increase the energy efficiency of the apartments. This is a free service that will benefit the residents by increasing the comfort in their homes, as well as result in savings on current and future utility bills. Competitive Resources will do a sampling of 20 apartments from November 9 – November 20. They will assess 2 per day. Certified technicians will be replacing light bulbs with new energy efficient bulbs, caulking window/door trims, foaming around plumbing penetrations, replacing the water measures on the faucets/shower, installing weather stripping on the doorways (when applicable), installing outlet and switch insulated gaskets, evaluating windows, insulation and appliances, etc.
Maintenance needs a new basic truck. The current truck is over 10 years old and has about 110,000 miles. It needs a lot of work and won’t make it through the winter. They are looking at a Ford pick-up truck. The state’s Department of Administrative Services has a portal of vendors and contractors. The dealer on the portal is higher even on a pre-owned, 4 year old model. They are looking at other dealers in Bridgeport and Milford for the truck which will cost approximately $35,000.
A Resident Participation meeting was held with Bruce Whitaker and Frank Stellato from Millennium. Stern Village residents were provided updates to the revitalization and rehabilitation for Stern Village. Thirty-six residents attended and minutes will be posted in the laundry rooms and main bulletin board, in the November Stern Village Voice and on the website. Anyone with questions, should contact Ms. Polansky.
Solar for Congregate is still being investigated. C Tech Solar has evaluated the roof as part of the process.
Unfinished Business
None.
New Business
None.
Adjournment
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik, seconded by Mrs. Burr, to adjourn the meeting at 4:17 pm. Approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.

Minutes THA October 2015

Revitalization and Rehabilitation of Stern Village Minutes October 2015

Minutes for the Resident Participation
Meeting for the Revitalization & Rehabilitation of Stern Village

DATE: OCTOBER 22, 2015
TIME: 11 AM
LOCATION: STERN VILLAGE (COMMUNITY HALL)
200 HEDGEHOG CIRCLE
TRUMBULL, CT 06611
SPEAKERS: Harriet Polansky, Executive Director THA
Frank Stellato and Bruce Whitaker, Millennium

-Discussed Revitalization and Redevelopment Project Backdrop.

Harriet provided a backdrop to refresh everyone’s memory about the project. The project has been discussed at several meetings since early 2014.

Backdrop
In 2012, Stern Village was deemed critical and at risk. A CNA study was conducted by the State and several things were left out of the study. For example, the study did not take into account any energy efficiencies, nor did it take into account the major site work that is needed.

The THA has been working on the revitalization and redevelopment project since February of 2014. Neil, Bruce, Frank and I were selected to participate at a training session through the Affordable Housing Academy to prepare us for the SSHP April 20, 2015 funding round.

Harriet: As you know, we asked for approximately $28 million for Stern Village. We did not get the funding for this particular round, however I received a call from the State saying they want to do the project.

As you know, we have been exploring several options to make this project a reality.

The THA is an Affordable Housing Authority. This means being able to house people with various income levels. We were never meant to be housing of last resort, meaning that you don’t have a choice of where to live.

Priorities.
#1 is the Infrastructure
“Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.” said Harriet
-Major sewer issues. (Bows in one of the sewer lines)
-Must have a storm water management system (pond by Community Room, middle section has been known to have water in the basements)
-Obvious is the condition of the roads and path.
-Create a loop road for 1st responders.

#2
Renovation of all the units.
The THA has submitted several plans to the State.
-We first submitted a plan to add capacity, meaning building a brand new building in order to rent to more people at Stern Village. The State was against this.
-Our plan is to bump out the bedrooms in all the efficiencies, to make them true 1 bedroom apartments.

As per Bruce Whitaker:
Due to severe budget cuts (as per Governor Malloy) which trickle down to Affordable Housing, the State wants us to divide the project into Phase 1 and Phase 2
-CHFA indicated they have $5 million for THA, Phase 1.
-We will also use 4% LIHTCs

As per Harriet:
As you know, we went into the funding round as one project.
We were even told by the State and at the Affordable Housing Academy Sessions not to phase the project. However, as Bruce pointed out, due to recent budget cuts, we must phase the project if we want to get money from the State.

-This is doable. As you know, Stern Village was originally built in 4 phases, not including the Congregate.
-Entering Stern Village, the right side would be Phase One and the left side would be Phase Two.

Questions:
Can you give us an approximate time when we’ll start?
Bruce referenced several authorities that didn’t get funding for 8 years, others 18 months and others within 6 months. It all depended on the amount of funding for the project. Let’s say you have $10 to spend, you are not as concerned how you are going to spend it. If you have a $1,000, you are very concerned how you are going to spend it. Since our project is large and costly, it takes more time to figure out how to fund it. By phasing the project, we can bite off chunks, which will be more appealing for the state.

Will the investor own Stern Village?
Absolutely not. As Harriet has explained numerous times, the State mandates that we have 4% LIHTCs. That means the THA selects a syndicator. The syndicator has an investor, usually it’s a large bank, who invests in the property in order to get a significant tax credit, for 15 years and then they are gone, based on IRS guidelines.

Will this property be HUD owned?
Absolutely not. We are under the State’s Housing Portfolio. We are not Federal or HUD.

Once the money is allocated, does it go into escrow?
Answer: No it doesn’t.

Meeting adjourned at 11:35 am.

Revitalization and Rehabilitation of Stern Village Minutes October 2015

Minutes THA September 2015

Trumbull Housing Authority
September 28, 2015
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Chairman Janice Kopchik; Commissioners Thelma Burr, Linda Nassrah and Suzanne Donofrio

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

Absent: Commissioner Susan Fatse

The meeting was called to order at 4:04 pm by Mrs. Kopchik. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Past Minutes
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of July 27, 2015 as written. Seconded by Ms. Nassrah and approved unanimously.

Resident Comments
Paul – Mr. Littlefield began to speak on behalf of the Tenant’s Association and was told by Mrs. Kopchik that he had to speak on behalf of himself at the meeting not the Association. He spoke regarding the drafty windows that drive up winter heating costs. He urged the Board to authorize management to immediately seek ways to remediate the problem before cold weather sets in. He offered to work with management in seeking suitable remediation. Mrs. Kopchik stated the Board would take it under advisement for Mr. Littlefield.

Pat – Mr. Littlefield who has been trying to represent the tenants. He has tried for several weeks to get Mr. Littlefield off the board. Mrs. Kopchik stated he is not recognized as a representative of the Tenant’s Association. However, Pat stated according to the Women’s League of Voters he is. Mrs. Kopchik noted the residents have indicated that they do not believe the Tenants’ Council to which Mr. Littlefield claims to represent is affiliated, represents their interests. It doesn’t exist and the Board does not recognize it so when Mr. Littlefield speaks, he is speaking on his own behalf. There was never a previous board of directors. This subject will be addressed later.

Thelma – speaking as a tenant and not as a commissioner, questioned the flyer that was distributed by Mr. Littlefield. She noted the windows were put in in 2010. They were eventually put in units from 1-100 and they were put in under the former director, Mr. Wise. She wondered why it was being brought up at this time and why residents didn’t complain over the past five years if there was a problem. People should have complained when the windows were put in. She stated they were put in improperly and should have been taken care of under the other director.

Bob – He noted that Harry put in his windows at 57 and 59 as an experiment. He didn’t wait long before he put in additional windows. There is no insulation and they do not do the job they were designed to do. He noted the project coming up is the way to make it better as they will be energy efficient.

Sandra – She has not had a discussion about the windows with Mr. Littlefield. He does not represent her needs in any way. She is not a member of the Tenant’ Association. No one can speak for her without consulting her and she felt he has abused this. She also spoke about the windows and noted this topic has not been presented to the Board or at Harriet’s tea. Personally she is distressed to learn about a gentleman who left and wished that he had been treated more courteously by different people who live in the village. She encouraged all to be a little more warm-hearted towards others. She would like to be shown respect. She has not seen residents be Christian in their actions or humanitarian. Everyone live in the village as a group and should enhance one another, encourage one another and have empathy towards one another. This has not been seen and we have lost a good person.

Joan – questioned whether under the new project, if the electric was going to be the same. She is concerned about her oxygen machine and will be unable to come to the community building in the event the power is out. Mrs. Harriet assured everyone their medical needs would be covered in the event of a power outage.

Judy – she was in the first group that had the windows put in and had mentioned to Harry several times about the windows and was told that if she didn’t like it, she could move. This is a pre-existing issue and has nothing to do with Harriet’s administration. Harriet is trying to make the correction and is doing a terrific job in trying to make things better.

Sydney – spoke about the garbage on the street. She encouraged the residents and their families not to litter on the street.

Treasurer’s Report
Mrs. Burr reported for the period ending August 31, 2015. Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall gain of $9,768. All vendors have been paid. As of August 31, 2015, Accounts Payable was approximately $66,267 including the PILOT accrual for the current and past year. The PILOT payment will not be paid until the outside accountant finishes his annual audit. The cash position is healthy. The Village current cash position has approximately $19,049 and the Center’s cash position is $22,191.

Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported for the period ending August 31, 2015. Currently the reserve balance is over $1,430,290 which is approximately $6,443 for each unit in the entire complex. Our overall cash position as of August 31, 2015 shows a balance of $1,211,556 including the investment account.

Some repairs were made to the sprinkler system in the Congregate; air conditioners were purchased for the Congregate and the phone in the office was also repaired. For the Village, some refrigerators and ranges were purchased. Management will always look for projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability and need.

Ms. Polansky noted that residents need to close their windows. If you close them, you have to lock them so it is not drafty. Residents leave the windows open a little bit. Locking them is one way to deal with the drafty windows. There are other ways to stop the drafts by using draft stoppers, using plastic to seal the windows or hanging heavy curtains. There are a lot of energy efficient things you can do and UI also offers suggestions.

Ms. Polansky thanked Sydney for helping with the newsletter and addressing the topic of garbage. Ms. Polansky asked everyone to pick up if they drop something, including water bottles in the outdoor areas. She also thanked all of the volunteers – the Are You Okay Squad leaders, Stern Village Neighborhood Watch and the nine-member Development Advisory Committee. She stated that if you need the facts, she always has the facts; don’t listen to rumors.

Over the next few weeks, the maintenance staff will be patching the paths and the town will be coming on to fill in the potholes. The priority is to repair the roads, the paths, the sewer system and storm water management system once we receive funding.

The annual picnic was a huge success. We received a total of $425 in donations, a $50 Stop & Shop gift card, 2 large cakes from Stop & Shop and 2 large coolers on wheels from Home Depot. Jeff Shapiro, the food vendor, did not charge for the additional foods. She thanked Linda Nassrah, Theresa and Nancy who volunteered time to serve food. Helen Munoz from the Department of Housing was at a meeting with management and then she attended the picnic along with Bruce and Neil from Millennium. The pictures are on Facebook and will be on the website.

Ms. Polansky applied for a grant – the Housing Authority Small Improvement Program for Kim from TOVAH. Kim put together a proposal and we got the grant for her services. She will be conducting a leadership training program on a monthly basis over a period of one year. She will do team building and teach residents to take a leadership role in decision making for the community. Residents will learn skills to enhance communications, address community issues and conflict, participate in community processes, elect resident representatives, facilitate community meetings and sustain resident participation. Kim has gone above and beyond even when she wasn’t being paid by the state to put together the resident participation plan which was mandatory in order to get funding.

Paulette has scheduled some presentations for October. We are having a flu clinic on 10/28. Please sign up. All information is in the newsletter. Thanked those who helped with all the activities that are held.

Unfinished Business
None.

New Business
None.

Adjournment
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik, seconded by Linda Nassrah, to adjourn the meeting at 4:25pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.

Minutes THA September 2015

Minutes THA July 2015

Trumbull Housing Authority
July 27, 2015
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Chairman Janice Kopchik; Commissioners Susan Fatse, Thelma Burr

Also present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

Commissioners Absent: Linda Nassrah and Suzanne Donofrio

The meeting was called to order at 4:04 pm by Mrs. Kopchik. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Past Minutes: Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of June 29, 2015. Seconded by Mrs. Burr. Ms. Polansky noted two minor changes – on Page 2, #4 – sentence should read “Sandy is no longer intimidated to get information.” and on Page 9, under Congregate #6 – sentence should read “…food services in-house which started December 1, 2014.”. Minutes approved unanimously as amended.

Resident Comments
Bob, a member of the Stern Village Revitalization and Rehabilitation Committee, commented that he wondered if Mr. Littlefield has anything good to say about Stern Village. He noted he is very proud to be a part of the revitalization and he sees the business side of it. He believes most of Stern Village is looking forward to the revitalization and the improvement of living. Harriet and Neil, as well as everyone else, are doing a great job. What is going on is wonderful and it is too bad there has to be resistance to it.

Treasurer’s Report
Mrs. Burr reported for the period ending June 30, 2015 that the cash position is healthy at the present time. The Village current cash position, including the cash reserve account, is approximately $1,102,000 and the Center’s is $131,000. All vendors have been paid currently, except for our PILOT payments for the current year, which total $21,882. In the Village there are five vacancies and the Center has none. There have been some capital expenditures this period. Some repairs were made to the kitchen equipment in the Congregate and new carpeting was installed in June. In the Village, additional ovens and refrigerators were purchased. There was also a major sewer problem and it was necessary to pay to have a camera go into the sewer line to see where the blockage was located. As of this date we have received our Fourth quarter payment from DOH for Stern Center.

Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported they have a strong cash position. The overall cash position as of June 30, 2015 shows a balance of $1,233,533, including the investment account. As of June 30, 2015 Accounts Payable is approximately $46,408 including our PILOT accrual for the current year. For June, Stern Village had a loss of approximately $27,000 and Stern Center had an overall loss of approximately $20,300 mainly due to non-cash expenses or accrued compensation expenses. These non-cash expenses are vacations (which the State wants us to now document) including provision for repairs, maintenance & replacement, and vacancy loss (which have always been documented.) For last fiscal year, the non-cash expenses totaled $92,365; without these items we would have a gain of $71,928.

Income increased in the Village due to less vacancies and charging new rents.

Utilities, water, gas, electricity and Cable TV was higher than expected. Insurance rates increased. Maintenance supplies increased since they are fixing things without calling in contractors. Orkin was in several times for bed bug extermination. In-house food services decreased starting in December 2014. Legal fees were high last fiscal year due to dealing with the Labor Attorney on Union issues and FOIA complaints. There was some unforeseen vacancy loss in the Congregate. Repairs were also needed to the elevator, the internal doors and sprinkler system.

The Congregate is a separate financial entity and they rely on the Village to help fund them. In other words, the Congregate borrows money from the Village and pays us back.
Congregate – Rent remained the same for June 2014-June 2015
Services: $736 per congregant per month
Base rent: $350 per month
Total: $1,086

Currently the reserve balance is over $1,429,635 which is approximately $6,440 for each unit in the entire complex.

Ms. Polansky will be continuing to look at other projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability, need and security.

The State agencies are reviewing the funding for the Revitalization and Redevelopment of Stern Village and we should hear back from them the middle of August.

Unfinished Business
None.

New Business
None.

Adjournment
Mrs. Kopchik motioned to adjourn the meeting at 4:15 pm. Seconded by Mrs. Burr and approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.

Minutes THA July 2015 (2)