The Annual Meeting of The Fort Sumter House Association was called to order by the president, Glenn DeBiasi, at 6:30 on Monday, October 27, 2014.
Members of the Board of Directors in attendance were:
- Glenn DeBiasi – President
- Joy Jarvis – Vice President
- George Boniface – Treasurer
- Beth Dixon – Secretary
- Beau Clowney – Board Member
Also present at the meeting was:
- Joe Yetsko – Manager of FSH
1. Calling of the Role and Certifying Proxies
Joe Yetsko confirmed that we satisfied the quorum requirement (>50%) for a valid meeting. The percentage of ownership is based on square footage owned, not headcount. We had a quorum of 66.5% which includes those owners present at the meeting and those owners who sent in a proxy. Thank you to all who sent in proxies! Without your proxies, we would not have had a quorum.
- Present: 19 Owners (41% of ownership)
- Proxy: 15 Owners (25.5% of ownership)
- Not present / no proxy: 19 Owners (33.5% of ownership)
2. Proof of Notice of the Meeting
Proof of notice of the meeting was confirmed. The letter scheduling the meeting was dated and mailed on October 10, 2014, meeting the requirements of the Master Deed.
3. Approval of Last Meeting Minutes
A motion was made to approve the minutes from the 2013 Annual Meeting and it was seconded. The minutes were approved and are posted on Fort Sumter House web site (fortsumterhouse.org).
4. Welcome to New Owners
This year we welcome these new Owners to Fort Sumter House:
- Andre Bauer in Apt 403
- Jan Tucker in Apt 405
- Suzanne Ross in Apt 603
- Carroll Hobbs in Apt 605
5. President’s Report
A. Joe Yetsko has been the Building Manager for 19 years and he has done an excellent job managing FSH. As Joe approaches retirement, the Board is endeavoring to have a seamless transition into a new staffing structure. We have begun a search for a Facility Manager with the expectation that once we have the new Facility Manager, Joe will work part-time on the financial aspects of FSHA, and at the same time be available to train the new person on managing the building. The Board will be sending a letter about this shortly to all homeowners.
B. Glenn’s slide presentation covered the following topics about FSHA.
The Board’s goals are to:
- Ensure the financial viability and financial integrity of the FSH
- Maintain the physical facility
- Ensure safety, cleanliness and livability for the residents
- Govern within the Master Deed, By-laws and Rules/Regulations
- Ensure effective and efficient operation of the building
- Upgrade the physical facility, when feasible within FSHA budgetary constraints
For item #6, we want to enhance the building in a fiscally prudent way while at the same time, we need and want to increase the Reserve Fund and reduce the need for assessments and regime fee increases.
The FSHA has 2 accounts. The Operating Account is used for routine operational expenses and is funded through regime fees and antennae income. The Reserve Account is used to replace assets that have a finite life expectancy and is funded from earmarked regime fees and replenishment assessments.
The Board objectives are to enhance the physical facility, increase the Reserve Fund balance, restrict assessments to only large projects such as roof, elevators, and building coating, and to minimize regime fee increases.
The maintenance activities for 2014 are the hall project, replacement of the washers/dryers, elevator safety upgrades, and new exercise equipment. For 2015, we plan to replace the front awning and redo the elevator interiors, and possibly add some pool shade. For 2016, we would like to replace the front doors at the King Street entrance and pressure wash the building.
There are no projected dates or decisions for any other enhancements at this time. Some other potential enhancements include replacing the back doors and back awning, building a new pool fence, parking lot fence and gate along with parking lot plantings, creating an enlarged workout room, repaving the parking lots, creating a permanent pool shade structure, and upgrading the lobby.
The major projects that we face within the next 3 to 10 years are replacing the roofs, upgrading the elevators, and recoating the building. These projects could cost close to $1.5 million and our Reserve Fund will not cover these expenses. We will only do these projects when absolutely necessary, but we will have to have assessments to pay for them.
To summarize, the Board is endeavoring to increase the Reserve Fund, have assessments only when absolutely necessary, maintain competitive regime fees, and enhance the building to the best of our ability to promote a livable building and environment that we can all be proud of.
C. Beau presented some drawings for a new awning for the King Street entrance. This permanent awning will replace the canvas awning that is damaged. The plans include removing the canvas awning and support structure, repositioning the stair railings to allow for a wider entrance, and installing a smaller awning extending out about 5 feet that allows more light into the lobby. Throughout its history, the Fort Sumter Hotel had a number of awnings that varied in both style and their materials. There were also years where there was not an awning on the King Street entrance of the building, but only along the Murray Blvd. entrance. The BAR enthusiastically approved the smaller awning design, as the current awning and the quality of the construction is architecturally inappropriate for this building. We anticipate that the cost of this new awning will be less than half of the cost of replacing the existing outdated canvas awning which typically needs replacement every 4-6 years.
D. Other expenditures this year include a new cart, new water shut-off valves on the second floor, and new sump pumps in the basement. There are also several inspections that take place every year including: fire alarm system, storm windows, water heaters, elevators, and the pool and backflow.
E. The Board has made a minor change to the rules and regulations related to building projects and the employment of FSH staff. We agreed to allow “quiet” work to take place Monday – Friday from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM and on Saturday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This only applies if work is performed by FSH staff.
F. The South Battery parking lot gets over-crowded due to the number of contractors using that lot. Some owners/residents leave town for an extended period of time and leave their car parked there long-term. We ask these owners/residents to please park in the Murray Blvd. parking lot (preferably on the back row) while they are away. This will help alleviate congestion in the South Battery parking lot.
G. FSH Insurance covers walls-out only. The interior of all condos is covered by an H06 policy that is purchased by the individual owner. It is the responsibility and a requirement of the Master Deed that every owner purchase an H06 policy. Specific questions about insurance coverage can be directed to the FSHA insurance agent, Guy Riska, at 843-416-1111.
H. The City of Charleston and the Charlestowne Neighborhood Association (CNA) are addressing the South of Broad ‘lack of restrooms’ issue by assigning two tourism enforcement officers to patrol the area. They also plan to post signage directing tourists to the nearest restrooms and to create an app to help tourists locate bathrooms via a mobile device. The CNA and City are adamantly opposed to providing restrooms South of Broad. The two main reasons why they are opposed to restrooms are: (1) this is a residential neighborhood. Almost no residential neighborhoods in other cities offer restrooms, and (2) a restroom in or near White Point Gardens would be a stopping area for tour buses, which we would not want to see happen.
6. Financial Report
George Boniface, FSHA Treasurer, reported that we have recently had two audits. (1) The financial audit showed that the FSHA books were in order. The auditor made 14 recommendations, basically a boiler plate for internal controls, all of which we are following. These recommendations are posted on our web site here: fortsumterhouse.org. (2) A Worker’s Comp auditor also reviewed our books. We provided supporting documentation for all requested records and have heard nothing further from Worker’s Comp.
The 2014 Budget (January 1 through October 15) was provided to those Owners present at the meeting. We are on target for our 2014 budget.
7. Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.
8. New Business
The FSHA Master Deed Section 19 currently provides for collection of two (2) months regime fee upon sale (transfer) of an apartment. This money goes directly into the Reserve Fund to pay for the maintenance of the building. The Board recommends approval of this amendment to increase the FSHA transfer fee to three (3) months regime fee.
Ballots must be received (postmarked) not later than 12/31/14.
9. Election of Board Members
A notification letter about the Annual Meeting and election of officers was duly sent out on October 10, 2014, as required by the Master Deed. Joy Jarvis and Beau Clowney were elected to the Board for two (2) year terms by majority vote.
A motion was made to adjourn the meeting and it was seconded.