Trumbull Housing Authority – April 25, 2016
Trumbull Housing Authority
April 25, 2016
Community Room of Stern Village
Commissioners Present: Chairman, Janice Kopchik; Commissioners Thelma Burr, Susan Fatse, Suzanne Donofrio
Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky
The meeting was called to order at 4:02 pm by Chairman Kopchik. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ms. Polansky noted the following changes for the April 4, 2016 minutes:
1. Page 1 under Public Comment, first paragraph, third to last line should read – “He asked that under Thelma Burr…”
2. Page 2 under Treasurer’s Report, second to last line should read – “Most important is the cash position…”
3. Page 3, sixth paragraph should read – “A resident took pictures of the salad bar and lied to the attendant about why he was there.”
4. Page 3, last paragraph, second line should read – “If Villagers are abusing this privilege, it is a violation of their lease agreement.”
5. Page 4 third paragraph, second line should read – “Ms. Polansky has been abiding…”
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of April 4, 2016 as amended. Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio and approved unanimously.
Paul Littlefield began speaking on behalf of the Tenant’s Association. Mrs. Kopchik stated that he could only speak on his own behalf and not on the part of the Tenant’s Association. It was his recommendation to the Board of Commissioners that they write a letter to the First Selectman requesting him to utilize the $1.27 million in State funds that have been approved for the use of the town and many other towns for paving. It has been many years that Hedgehog Circle has been deteriorating and it is getting worse. He asked that the Board, for the safety of the tenants and their vehicles, to have the town pave the road.
Edward Horan stated there is no reason to put a band aid on the roads. They have to be dug up, fixed and then paved. Ms. Polansky has a plan to fix the sidewalks where needed until all the money is in place.
Trumbull Housing Authority – April 25, 2016
Sandy Fisher acknowledged that the new lights are really nice and brighter. She also spoke about the repaving of the roads. This has been discussed at other meetings. It does have to be addressed but there can’t be anything done until the underlying problems are addressed. Otherwise it is a waste of time and Ms. Polansky is working on the pathways. Things are in progress and she wished things were not being held up unnecessarily with the various personalities.
Vera Malesky questioned the increase in her rent. She has a problem as her rent was doubled. Neil corrected this problem. She felt the increase was too much and noted that she had no change in her status. Vera’s son was present but was told that only residents were allowed to speak at the meeting. Ms. Polansky noted this has been addressed by Neil and CHFA with Vera. Ms. Polansky also sent all of the calculations for Vera’s rent to the Asset Manager at CHFA. Ms. Polansky noted the recertification is mandatory and everyone must get recertified. Any missed appointments need to be rescheduled. If a resident refuses to recertify, it is cause for eviction. This is the law. Ms. Polansky recommended that Vera and her son, George, meet after the Board meeting to discuss this.
Sydney Nguyen questioned if residents have the right to say no with regard to the construction of their units. Sydney asked if the rent will increase or stay the same. Ms. Polansky asked why she would not want to be redeveloped and renovated. Sydney stated she does not want an increase in her rent. Ms. Polansky noted the project will not be done without the RAP (Rental Assistance Program). The base rent will change and that is why they are applying for the RAP. Residents will be protected for up to 15 years. Ms. Polansky said this topic will be revisited once the money has been approved. Frank from Millennium noted that rent will need to go up over time and the whole preservation issue is predicated on having protection for a period of 15 years from the State. This is confusing because Stern Village has never participated in any RAP. This is now an opportunity to become involved in the RAP. If the RAP is not secured, the project will not be done and this would put more economic pressure on the team to maintain the rent over that 15 year period. He noted residents are more exposed if it doesn’t go through and less exposed if the State is shouldering the burden of capital improvement as well as the rent.
Mrs. Burr reported for the period ending March 31, 2016. Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall loss of $22,601. This is due to the various vacancies in the Village and the Center which reduced the rental income. However, expenses have also been reduced. All vendors have been paid. The current Accounts Payable amounts to $55,673, which includes the PILOT payments accruing for the current year ending June 30, 2016. Most important, the cash position is healthy at the present time. The Village current cash position is approximately $17,616 and the Center’s cash position is $17,529. The fourth quarter subsidy from the State was received this past week. The solar for the Congregate should be installed shortly once C-TEC Solar receives the various approvals from the town.
Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported the current reserve balance is over $1,366,054 which is approximately $6,153 for each unit in the entire complex. The overall cash position as of March 31, 2016 shows a balance of $1,080,722.
Ms. Polansky wished Thelma Burr a Happy Birthday this week. She also wished Vera Malesky a Happy Birthday.
As always, Ms. Polansky continues to look at other projects to further improve the facility with regard to wellness and security that is within the realm of affordability and need.
There are now four vacancies in the Congregate and they will be filled shortly. A new resident is coming to the Congregate on May 1 and details for others are being worked out. The Village will have new residents in May. Ten apartments are being kept as hotel units for relocation purposes for when the funding is awarded to us. Having these ten apartments also looks good on the application.
Ms. Polansky welcomed Gus back to the Stern Village neighborhood watch. Gus and John will be driving the golf cart and Gus will be providing THA car stickers to new residents and to residents that have a new car.
The recertification for residents of Stern Village is near completion. It is mandatory by the State that residents be recertified. If a resident refuses to be recertified or does not show up for their scheduled appointments and do not reschedule, it is cause for eviction.
Ms. Polansky noted that based on the transportation grant, she is allowed to provide bus service to residents for their medical appointments or employment. First Selectman Herbst was at Stern Village last Monday and several residents voiced their concerns about GBT. Ms. Polansky read a letter from Mr. Herbst to Doug Holcomb, CEO for GBTA, which is attached to these minutes for the record. This is an issue and she thanked First Selectman Herbst for his help. Mr. Herbst also spoke about the roads in the Village and all roads in Trumbull.
On April 27, Ms. Polansky is applying for funding from DOH. The Development Team, Neil Gerhardt, Ms. Polansky and the Commissioners spent months working on the application. Ms. Polansky has discussed the small cities application and the SSHP application during meetings with the residents. As everyone is aware, the scope of the project has been decreased as well as the RAP ask. In order to lower the total cost of redevelopment, the bump-outs for the efficiencies were removed and the cost was lowered for rehabbing the community room (plans are to gut the existing space, increase the space by using the two small apartments that are attached and, if possible, add some minor new construction). The new construction for ADA units has been reconfigured and the storm water management cost has been lowered. All energy efficiency upgrades remain the same. Ms. Polansky is hoping the town is awarded the Small Cities Grant which will be used for heat pumps for all the apartments in the Village. Additional
tweaks were made to the project and the new total is $21,072,000. The RAP is now $364,296 which is considerably lower than what was asked for previously. This all takes time to get where we need to be.
Steve and Paulette are working on some new and exciting programs this spring. Creative Culinary will be sponsoring the Third Annual Mother’s Day Breakfast. There will be sign-up sheets. Romy will be working with the Congregates. Her expertise is in relaxation techniques and alternative approaches to decrease stress. She will provide workshops in the Congregate and work one-on-one with the residents. Steve did a great presentation on many programs he would like to do. Ms. Polansky thanked Steve and Nancy for the games they donated.
Unfinished Business None.
New Business None.
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik, seconded by Mrs. Donofrio, to adjourn the meeting at 4:25 pm. Approved unanimously.
Barbara Crandall Clerk
These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.