Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting
October 23, 2017
Community Room of Stern Village
Commissioners Present: Chairman Janice Kopchik, Deborah Dowd, Paul Niebuhr, Suzanne Donofrio
Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky
Commissioners Absent: Susan Fatse
The meeting was called to order at 4:00 pm by Chairman Kopchik followed by Roll Call and the Pledge of Allegiance.
The following changes were made by Ms. Polansky to the September 25, 2017 minutes:
1. Under Past Minutes – should read “Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of the August 15, 2017 Special Board Meeting as written.”
2. Under Treasurer’s Report – should read “Stern Village and Stern Center currently have an overall gain of $154,974.”
3. Under Executive Director’s Report – Paragraph 8 – Ms. Polansky noted the inspections will start the week of October 30 which was changed from the original start date of October 16.. Paragraph 9 should read “If a vehicle is parked in the circle longer than 20 minutes without providing the THA notice, the car will be towed at the owners’ expense.” Paragraph 10 should read “He will also be providing handcrafted metal ornaments to those residents who provided a food item. Paragraph 12 should read “Applications for Stern Village will be accepted mid-October through the end of December.” Paragraphs 14 and 15 – the word facility should read THA.
Mrs. Kopchik motioned to approve the minutes of September 25, 2017 as amended. Seconded by Mrs. Dowd and approved unanimously.
Mrs. Dowd reported for the Trumbull Housing Authority for the period ending September 30, 2017. Stern Village and Stern Center currently have an overall gain of $131,681. This is attributable to the filling of the vacancies in the Village and the Center. We received approximately $135,000 from United Illuminating as incentive for installing heat pumps. Under the new GAAP accounting rules, we have to recognize the incentive as income and not part of the reserve for repairs and maintenance, which has been eliminated. Currently our reserve balance is $881,127, which is approximately $3,969 for each unit in the entire complex.
Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported the overall cash position as of September 30, 2017 shows a balance of $789,738 including the investment account. As of September 30, 2017, Accounts Payable is approximately $40,292 including the PILOT accrual for the current and prior year.
New chairs and flooring for the Congregate have been purchased. Units 5, 6, 7, 8 and 40 are being rehabbed in order to increase the base rent for incoming tenants. Improvement in the lighting in the common areas in the Congregate will continue to be done with LED lights. Ms. Polansky is looking for other projects to improve the facility within the realm of need, affordability and security.
The windows will be replaced in the Congregate for more energy efficient units. Ms. Polansky is applying for various grants to cover this cost and other incentives.
At the present time the Village has nine vacancies, five of which are being remodeled. The Congregate has four vacancies which are being sanitized for new residents coming in November 1 through November 15. Applications are being accepted for Stern Village through the remainder of the year. This is posted in the CT Post, on social media, at Town Hall and through social workers. Ms. Polansky is working on a Facebook page.
At last week’s Tuesday Tea, Jeff and Renee showed everyone how to change the settings on the heat pumps for climate control. If anyone needs help, contact Ms. Polansky or complete a work order and the Maintenance Department will help.
The THA picnic was a success. Several corporate friends of Stern Village donated funds or items for the picnic. Thanks to their generosity, there was no cost to the THA. Food and entertainment was great.
Ms. Polansky thanked the Stern Village Resident Association for hosting a wonderful potluck for the residents. This was also a welcome to the new residents. Nick took the lead to make the event amazing. Approximately 46 residents attended the program. Everyone had a good time. It is hoped to make this an annual event. Nick gave a small handmade metal decoration for the gardens to everyone who helped or attended.
All residents will be receiving letters regarding inspections of their units. This year, besides cleaning the filters on the heat pumps, Maintenance will be checking for any mold issues and overabundance of items in the living spaces. Inspection forms were created. Paulette and Ms. Polansky attended some sessions with CHFA which addressed issues with housing authorities and specifically the overabundance of items. This is an illness. If you can no longer use the rooms for their intended purposes, there is a problem. This is a health problem for the resident and their neighbors as well as a fire hazard. Everyone will get a rating this year. Help will be available for those who need it.
Ms. Polansky noted there are several problems with the infrastructure. She has requested $5 million from the State to address them. However, until Connecticut has a budget, it is unknown if any funding will be available. If these funds are not approved, the THA will need to look at other means. The roads and sidewalks are treacherous and the sewer and sanitary systems need to be addressed. It is not just repaving, it is a large project with roads, sidewalks, curbs and pathways. Representative David Rutigliano has been in touch with Ms. Polansky and he noted he is still working with the State to approve the funding. These issues will be addressed in the spring due to the winter weather. It is unknown how long after the budget is approved that the entities would be notified of the funding approval.
Ms. Polansky discussed the possible approval of a new laundry service vendor. She noted there are problems with the current vendor, CSC – prices were raised without notification, service does not answer calls for issues or problems with the machines in a timely manner, machines are not serviced in a timely manner, old technology, coin operated and they also started charging for administrative fees. Ms. Polansky would like to cancel their contract and start with a new vendor, Automatic Laundry, which serves PHAs throughout CT and MA. They have great references.
Automatic Laundry will provide LG front load washers and dryers. They are ADA approved, simple to use and energy efficient. An additional washer/dryer will be located in the Community Room. Each resident would have laundry cards instead of using quarters. Prices were reviewed. Standard wash will be $1.50 instead of $1.25. Dryer will be $1.25. Prices are guaranteed for 24 months. The standard contract with housing authorities is ten years. Mr. Niebuhr asked if the current vendor is in breach of contract. Ms. Polansky noted they are not in breach just that they are not responsive and are very hard to deal with. Contracts were briefly discussed. Attorneys are working on this matter. This change was tabled until additional information can be obtained.
Updates from the Duly Elected Stern Village Resident Association
Maureen gave an update on the welcome to Stern Village luncheon. Nick was the chair of this event and did a great job. He got everyone involved. There was good participation. Next year they hope to have more residents attend.
Maureen asked if Mitsubishi was contacted about the frequency of changing the filters. Ms. Polansky stated Mitsubishi went by the manual with changes as necessary depending on circumstances.
Ms. Polansky encouraged the residents to take a copy of the CT Guide to Emergency Preparedness booklet which is available in the Community Room.
Mr. Niebuhr asked if the repairs and maintenance account funds were redistributed. These funds have been recorded appropriately. There are no tax implications for the THA.
Motion was made by Mrs Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:25 pm. Seconded by Mrs. Dowd and approved unanimously.