Trumbull Housing Authority
May 23, 2016
Community Room of Stern Village
Commissioners Present: Chairman, Janice Kopchik; Commissioners Thelma Burr, Susan Fatse
Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky
The meeting was called to order at 4:15 pm by Chairman Kopchik. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of April 25, 2016 as written. Seconded by Mrs. Burr and approved unanimously. It was agreed to move the approval of the minutes of May 9, 2016 to the next meeting.
Sandy Fisher requested that the Resident Comments be moved to the end of the meeting. Mrs. Kopchik agreed to move them to after New Business on the agenda.
Mrs. Burr reported for the period ending April 30, 2016. Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall loss for the period of $20,041. This is due to the vacancies in the Village and the Center reducing the rental income. Expenses have been reduced and the expense structure has been maintained. Ten units are being held in the Village for the redevelopment. Applicants for the Village have been met. The Congregate has three vacancies. Two of them will be filled by June 1, 2016. All vendors have been paid. The current Accounts Payable amounts to $50,778 which includes the PILOT payments accruing for the current year ending June 30, 2016. The cash position continues to be healthy. The Village current cash position has approximately $55,945 and the Center’s cash position is $13,640. There have been some minor capital expenditures for this period.
Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported the current reserve balance is over $1,372,115 which is approximately $6,181 for each unit in the entire complex. The overall cash position as of April 30, 2016 shows a balance of $1,115,744 including the investment account. As of April 30, 2016, Accounts Payable is approximately $50,788 including the PILOT accrual for the current year. Ms. Polansky is always looking for projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability, need and security.
Ms. Polansky introduced Daisy Torres who is the new Congregate Manager. She will be starting on June 1, 2016.
The Maintenance crew has been patching areas in the road and pathways until funding is received to redo them. They are also seeding and planting. Ms. Polansky thanked Home Depot in Trumbull for providing soil, mulch and plants. She is working on getting volunteers to help residents with gardens and to beautify Stern Village.
The application for Rehabilitation and Redevelopment of Stern Village is being reviewed with the various state agencies. Last Tuesday, Bruce Whittaker from Millennium had a meeting with several residents and explained everything about the process. Minutes from the meeting are posted on the board and will be in the June newsletter. Ms. Polansky noted plans will be available for review in the Community Room shortly but she emphasized these are draft drawings. Final plans will be drawn once funding is secured.
Ms. Polansky noted she is waiting to approve a three-way interconnection application for the solar project. The interconnection application and agreement are documents which are approved by the Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA), the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) and the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC).
Doug Holcomb, GBTA, held a meeting with residents to determine how to meet their transportation needs. A new schedule has not been established and there will be meetings with the town and the new Senior Center Director before anything is decided.
A letter from Barbara in the First Selectman’s office was discussed regarding issues residents had with the Commissioners. This letter was addressed to Ms. Polansky who shared it with the Commissioners and she applauded the Commissioners for their work at Stern Village noting their positions are volunteer positions. Mrs. Fatse stated she was offended by the letter. She felt the Commissioners have not been rude, have not yelled at residents or brought anyone to tears over something said at meetings.
The letter listed derogatory comments which were debunked during the meeting.
Discussion was held regarding the Commissioners involvement with the business of the Village. Ms. Polansky stated she uses various methods to keep the Commissioners informed. She sends the Commissioners a weekly update and discussion items with supporting information as needed. She also uses telephone calls, emails and texts to relay information. Mrs. Fatse stated no decisions are made that have not been run through the Commissioners and that all Commissioners are very well informed about events. However, it is not the role of the Commissioners to know the personal details of everyone who lives in the Village. The Board makes decision for the Village and the betterment of the residents’ lives as a whole. Mrs. Fatse also noted the one resident previously referred to who was upset at the last meeting had personal information, including financial, that needed to be discussed. That was the reason to have a separate meeting with the resident and her son outside of the Board meeting. Mrs. Fatse was upset about the residents being cut off when making comments at the last meeting and discussed it with Ms. Polansky but there has to be a limit so that a resident cannot speak about things that untrue, make false statements or upset members in the community. One resident felt that people with legitimate concerns should be allowed to speak.
Several residents discussed maintenance items that needed to be addressed such as steps, snow removal, walkways and roads, privacy issues, doors and plumbing problems. Ms. Polansky addressed these issues. She reminded the residents that a work order needs to be put in for any maintenance issues they may have. It was agreed that Ms. Polansky would meet with the Maintenance Staff regarding work orders and the length of time until they are addressed and corrected. Ms. Polansky will also meet with Maintenance in November to discuss winter projects that need to be addressed. Administration and Maintenance need to be proactive. We should do something now to keep everyone safe until the redevelopment is done.
No unfinished business.
Stern Village Management Plan for 2016-2017, Congregate Management Plan for 2016-2017 and Congregate Service Plan for 2016-2017. Ms. Polansky and Neil have been working on the Management Plans for the Village and Congregate for 2016-2017. Fiscal year starts July 1 2016 and ends June 20, 2017.
Village Management Plan: rents stayed the same; expenses stayed the same; vacancy loss is higher this year since we are saving ten units for “hotel units” as part of our redevelopment. The State measures the average cost per unit per month. Current year is $324 which will remain the same for 2017. This includes salary increases and reduction of utility and legal expenditures.
Congregate Management Plan: DOH requested that we increase the base rent by $50 per month from $350 to $400. All DOH procedures were followed including alerting the residents in the beginning of the year, having meetings with the residents, taking minutes, etc. The Asset Manager at DOH has all of the information. This helped increase the reserve which was mandated by DOH. The reserve RM&R (repair, maintenance & replacement) was increased by $25,000. The expense structure remained the same, there was a reduction of legal and utilities.
Services: Remain the same as the previous year at $736 per month.
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the Budget Plan for Stern Village and the Management Plan and Service Plan for the Congregate for the fiscal year July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017. This includes increasing the base rents for the Congregate. Seconded by Mrs. Burr and approved unanimously.
Sandy Fisher noted that residents do not read the newsletter to keep informed. Everyone has a responsibility to get the appropriate information that ultimately affects them as residents. If they do not do this, it is their own fault. The administration is trying to improve things and maintenance does a great job taking care of everything with only three men. She did not feel anyone on the Board or any Commissioner was offensive to the resident at the last meeting; that resident was just told to speak with everyone after the meeting.
Other residents commented it was great to get to know the Commissioners better after this meeting. Paulette is working with the residents and it was noted it is better since Paulette has been involved and she deserves a lot of credit for her work. Misinformation has caused some of the problems because people do not reach out to get the proper information.
Gloria noted there have been a lot of improvements in the Village. Neil has been very helpful and has answered questions and resolved problems. Paulette is an asset. No complaints about the maintenance crew.
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 5:18 pm. Seconded by Mrs. Fatse and approved unanimously.
These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.