Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting – June 23, 2014
Trumbull Housing Authority
June 23, 2014
Community Room of Stern Village
Commissioners Present: Linda Nassrah, Susan Fatse, Janice Kopchik and Suzanne Donofrio
Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky
The meeting was called to order at 4:05 pm by Commissioner Nassrah. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Motion was made by Mrs. Fatse, seconded by Mrs. Donofrio, to approve the minutes of the THA of May 19, 2014 as written. Approved unanimously.
Mr. Paul Littlefield reiterated his concern for the safety of residents in the village. He brought this to the Commissioners last month. He noted a letter of appreciation was sent to Mr. Marsilio from the Tenant Association for the work they have done but more work needs to be done. He noted three areas to be addressed 1) pot holes 2) tree root damage to pavement areas and 3) finish the general clean-up.
Mrs. Polansky reiterated that paving in the village was estimated to be over $1,000,000. This concern has been addressed in the renovation plan. She noted there is an agreement with the town to maintain Hedgehog Circle and they have been down the street to sweep up the debris; the remainder will be addressed. Maintenance has been done by village personnel. Mrs. Polansky stated she is also feels the paving is critical to the safety of the tenants. She has spoken with Mrs. Hammers from the Board of Finance and Mr. Marsilio and this project was not a priority for them at this time. Mr. Marsilio has budgeted for paving roads but there are other roads that are in more critical condition that need to be paved before Hedgehog Circle. Hopefully we will be in the schedule for 2015. The village is on a schedule to have the pot holes filled and they were fix. Ms. Nassrah noted that the Board of Finance approved a $1.00 budget for repaving and will be revisiting the project in the future.
Mr. Littlefield questioned where the $1,000,000 figure was obtained. Mrs. Polansky noted it was in the capital needs assessment that was conducted. A copy of the assessment was requested and will be provided when the appropriate FOIA request is made. Mr. Littlefield questioned why the Commissioners are fighting for the town and not the residents of the village. Mrs. Polansky said that statement was not true and that Mr. Littlefied did not understand the paving process. Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting – June 23, 2014
Nancy, a new tenant, spoke noting Stern Village is a lovely place and that she likes to be here.
She mentioned the world of different between the Bridgeport Housing Authority and the THA.
She is thankful of all the things she has here and thanked the residents for making her feel welcomed
Ms. Nassrah noted that Mrs. Burr was in the hospital for a while but is now recovering at a rehab center and is improving. Mrs. Fatse reported in her absence that all bills are up to date and paid at this time.
Executive Director’s Report
Mrs. Polansky noted that for the eleven months ending May 2014, Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall loss of $8,846. Costs appear to be in line with our anticipated costs for all the services anticipated in the budget for the entire year. The loss can be attributed, at the present time, to a decrease in income due to vacancies, which were higher than anticipated, as well as the increased costs in rehabilitating the congregate apartments. As of now the congregate is fully occupied except for one apartment which will be rented by July 2014. The new rent schedule for the new tenant’s will alleviate this loss in the coming year. Some of our expenses are higher, for example medical insurance, utilities, maintenance wages and supplies, and legal costs which are being offset by lower costs to date in property insurance premiums, contract services, outside accountant, and audit fees. We anticipate that our overall costs should even out by the end of the fiscal year because of timing issues with the budget preparation, but we should show a small overall operating loss due to increased rehabilitation work on the Stern Village and Stern Center rental units.
Currently our reserve balance is over $1,584,000 which is approximately $7,136 for each unit in the complex. Our overall cash position as
of May 31, 2014 shows a balance of $1,607,000. We have no Accounts Payable as of May 31, 2014. We are in a strong position to go forward into the year.
Mrs. Polansky felt there was some confusion about the literature that is generated by her office and what is distributed by the non-duly elected or constituted Tenants’ Commission. She noted the Stern Village Voice is from her office and Joy is the editor. Any information received from Mrs. Polansky will have her name on it. If it does not, it is not from her.
Mrs. Polansky noted there are rumors and speculations regarding several topics. She presented this in a Stern Village Position Page, which is attached to the minutes in its entirety. Topics covered included:
1. Rent – all residents have the same base rent which is extremely low.
2. Recertification – Neil has completed the 2014 recertifications. Rent calculations were given to each tenant. State mandated regulations were followed for the calculations. A comprehensive and detailed software system specifically designed for public housing authorities was used to calculate the rents. CHFA procedures were followed as mandated.
3. Speed Bumps – are essential to keeping the residents safe.
4. Paving – previously discussed.
Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting – June 23, 2014
5. Signs – the village is private property but Trumbull residents (not living in Stern Village)continue to walk dogs, dump garbage, solicit and use the parking lot without visiting anyone. Please say something if you see something.
6. Rehabilitation and Renovation – working with Millennium and currently in the preliminary stages to get funding. C.G.S Section 8-64c requires those undertaking a major rehabilitation to develop and implement a Resident Participation Plan and Mrs. Polansky is working with those residents who have shown an interest in participating. CHFA is also providing assistance.
Mrs. Polansky thanked Aquarion for purchasing a Wii Game System and games for the community room and she encouraged all residents to come and use it.
Mrs. Polansky noted Robert Scinto has provided the village with funding to obtain a golf cart
which will be used by the Stern Village Neighborhood Watch. We will also be able to provide transportation for residents to the Community Room for activities. She thanked Don Scinto for his help in getting the golf cart and residents who did the research towards this goal.
The Veterans Association has been contacted to provide us with a new flag located in the circle.
Another speed bump will be installed at the entrance of the village to prevent drivers from driving around the bump currently in place which is extremely dangerous for oncoming cars.
Mrs. Polansky provided a recap of activities from January 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014 and noted the following. Full report is attached to these minutes in its entirety.
1. Resident Service Coordinator has been approved and will start by August 1, 2014.
2. Sink strainers are still available.
3. Rehabilitation and
Renovation – she is meeting with an environmental specialist; an RFQ has been placed.
4. Substitute cooks have been very good.
5. Sixteen (16) additional non-smoking rooms have designated.
6. University of Bridgeport students have designed a new logo and map.
Ms. Nassrah noted that Mrs. Scarpantonio resigned as a Commissioner because of work obligations. Janice Kopchik has been elected and she is very familiar with the village because her grandfather was a resident for many years. She noted the remaining Commissioners will maintain their current titles and duties with Ms. Burr as Treasurer, Ms. Nassrah as Vice-Chairman, Mrs. Donofrio as Secretary and Mrs. Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting – June 23, 2014
Fatse as Assistant Treasurer. Mrs. Nassrah moved that Janice Kopchik be appointed as Chairman of the Commission, seconded by Mrs. Fatse and approved unanimously.
Mrs. Kopchik noted there was no Executive Session.
There being no further business, it was moved by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:40pm, seconded by Ms. Nassrah, and approved unanimously.