The Annual Meeting of The Fort Sumter House Association was called to order by the president, George Boniface, at 6:30 on Monday, October 30, 2017.
Members of the Board of Directors in attendance were:
George Boniface – President and Treasurer
Gordon Strauss – Vice President
Steve Anastasion – Vice President
Beth Dixon – Secretary
Members of the Board of Directors absent:
Granice Geyer-Smith – Vice President
Also present at the meeting was:
Joy Jarvis – Administrative Manager of FSH
1. Calling of the Role and Certifying Proxies
Joy Jarvis 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 86.23% which includes those owners present at the meeting and those owners who sent in a proxy. Thanks to all who participated.
- Present: 28 Owners (63.22% of ownership)
- Proxy: 17 Owners (23.01% of ownership)
- Not present / no proxy: 9 Owners (13.77% 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 16, 2017, meeting Master Deed requirements.
3. Approval of Last Year’s Meeting Minutes
A motion was made to approve the minutes from the 2016 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 there were three sales at Fort Sumter House:
- Dina and Sam Hunter – Apt 105
- Denise and John Zaremba – Apt 402
- Paige and Bill Shaw – Apt 603
5. Recognition of Volunteer Services and Contributions
George Boniface recognized the volunteers and contributors to the Fort Sumter House and thanked them for volunteering their time and effort in assisting to clean, upgrade, and enhance the building, making this a great place to live.
- Contributions: Dr. Michael Kogan gave $2000.00 and a table in the lobby, Louise and Gordon Strauss gave furnishings for the renovated Manager’s office, twelve FSH Monogramed large umbrellas, a laptop to replace the damaged one, and 2 paintings for office wall.
- Volunteers: David Doub, Craig Roskam, Gordon and Louise Strauss, Creighton and Connie Likes, Jim Breeden, John and Denise Zaremba, Beth Dixon, Joy Jarvis, Claudette Boniface, Lee Williams, Martha and Glenn DeBiasi, Helen Jacobs, Hal Cottingham, Beau Clowney, Stephanie Lewis, Dick Donohoe, Carrol Hobbs, Julian and Alice AvRutick, and Lillian Shulten.
6. President’s Report
George’s slide presentation is located here: http://fortsumterhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2017-Fort-Sumter-House-Slides.pdf. He covered the following topics:
A. Property Values
Currently the average price/sf of a unit at FSH is between $700 and $800 /SF.
The resident mix in the building is:
- Full-time Owners: 21
- Part-time Owners: 18
- Full-time Renters: 15
B. Board Goals
- Ensure effective and efficient operation of the building
- Govern within State Law, Master Deed, By-laws, and Rules & Regs
- Provide a safe, healthy, and comfortable living environment
- Preserve, protect, maintain, and enhance assets of the Association
C. Completion of 2nd and 3rd Floor Roofs/Terraces
The previous Board had started working on several projects including the 2nd and 3rd floor roofs/terraces, the front entrance, and the elevators. George gave recognition to prior Board members Glenn DeBiasi and Beau Clowney for all their hard work on getting these projects started back in 2015/2016 time frame. These projects are now completed. We are pleased that the roofs/terraces did not leak during Hurricane Irma and they look very good now.
D. Upgrade of Passenger Elevators
There were several issues with the new passenger elevators (like skipping the 5th floor, etc), but they are now completed and are working well.
E. Completion of Front Entrance Project
This project was delayed into late 2016 and we asked the contractors to wait until after the holidays to re-start work. We addressed some issues with the stairs and waterproofing the surface. The front entrance is now complete.
F. Other Projects Completed in 2017
- Repaired damaged stucco on elevator room on the roof.
- Replaced the slatted window in elevator room on the roof with solid plywood to stop the leaking in the elevator shaft.
- Replaced the old analog electric meters with digital meters that can be read by each owner online. See Joy Jarvis if you need instructions.
- Replaced domestic water pumps.
- Chandelier was rewired by David Doub with help from Craig Roskam. It is now hanging in the lobby and looks beautiful.
- Installed an A/C vent above the ceiling in exercise room.
- Replaced the fence in pool area destroyed by Hurricane Matthew. Unfortunately it was destroyed again by Hurricane Irma.
- Replaced hedges and placed river rock around plants in the pool area.
- Began cleanup from Irma and filed insurance claims.
- Engineers assessed potential water intrusion of entire building. Drones were used to inspect the envelope of the building. Report to follow. Our goal is to make the building water-tight.
- Did some much needed spring cleaning.
G. Future Projects for 2018
- Replace fire hoses and fire extinguishers, as required.
- Repair all windows and frames, as needed. This must be done to make the building envelope water-tight. The perma-coat paint is also deteriorating, so we will also have to pressure wash/recoat the building.
- Replace destroyed pool fence – wood or masonry.
- Repair/replace rear awning, rusted wrought iron railings.
- Restore 8 porches on west-side and 31 balconies. In the case of the 8 porches, some owners placed tile or other adhesive surface on top of the concrete. This caused damage to the iron supports due to water collecting under the tiles. Engineers recommended that tiles (and other similar materials) not be placed on top of the concrete surface.
- Replace building roof.
H. Hurricane Irma
George’s presentation has some photos of the damage from Hurricane Irma: http://fortsumterhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2017-Fort-Sumter-House-Slides.pdf. The basement and crawl space were flooded. The passenger elevators lost power, but we did not lose power on floors 1-7. The pool fencing, potted plants, and landscaping were damaged. There were fewer water leaks in the front vestibule and lobby due to the newly coated 2nd and 3rd floor roofs/terraces. We prepared in advance with sand bags to protect the front entrance, but there were still some leaks from different sources. We want to thank everyone who helped prepare before the storm and clean up after the storm!
I. Other Future Projects
- Repair pool surface.
- Resurface pool deck.
- Repair plaster in Lobby (after all leaks are fixed).
- Install wall around parking lots (w/entry gates) & landscape parking lots.
7. Financial Report
The 2017 Budget was provided to owners. The highest expenditures in the FSHA budget are insurance and personnel. We cannot feasibly reduce those expenses. The regime fee does not cover all of the operating expenses. We use some of the income from antennae leases for the operating budget to cover remaining costs. The Board’s position is that the regime fee should cover all of the operating expenses so that the antennae income can go to the Reserve account.
George Boniface, FSHA Treasurer, provided an Asset Replacement worksheet that shows all asset items with a cost over $5,000, along with Useful Life, Remaining Useful Life, and cost. We should be collecting enough money each month/year to implement these replacements in a pro-active way, rather than doing reactive maintenance. This calls for planning ahead for these known expenses. The Board’s responsibility is to preserve, protect, maintain, and enhance assets. If we fail to fund the Reserve account properly, we risk the following:
- Frequent Special Assessments
- Lower property values
- Deferred maintenance
- Mortgage difficulties
- Unfair financial burden to owners
8. Unfinished Business
- The Rules and Regulations in the Master Deed state that owners are responsible for removing their personal items (furniture, plants, etc.) from the porches, terraces, and balconies. During the last hurricane, the staff (with help from owners who were onsite) had to move items from some porches, terraces, and balconies. Staff responsibility is for the Common Areas, not individual apartments. During hurricane preparation, the staff is too busy securing the Common Areas and do not have the time to secure other apartments. In the future, we may charge a fee for this service.
- Pool rules are DHEC directives. DHEC does not give advance notice of an inspection. FSH was sited with 2 violation notices. One write-up had to do with the gate not being locked. Please do not prop the gate open for any reason. It must remain closed. Remember that no glass is allowed in the pool.
- Storing items in Common Areas is not permitted per the Master Deed and the Rules and Regulations. The Common Areas are not secured and ingress/egress may be obstructed by leaving items in these areas. This is also a fire hazard. Any owner leaving items in Common Areas is solely responsible if their items are damaged or missing.
- Dumping discarded items on the loading dock (like old furniture, appliances, toilets, etc) is not allowed. It costs the Association (all of us) money to take these items to a landfill site.
- There are over 250 FOBs out and we need to have a better handle on who has FOBs for security reasons. There are also too many pool keys. A suggestion was made to have a FOB for the pool or get new keys made to secure the pool area.
- A request was made to have the pool remain open until 8:30 in the evening starting in the spring.
9. New Business
Gordon Strauss proposed that FSH acquire an Alfred Hutty giclee of the Attack on Fort Sumter. This painting used to be located in the FSH lobby before being donated to The Charleston Museum. An image of the painting is in the last slide of George’s presentation located here: http://fortsumterhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2017-Fort-Sumter-House-Slides.pdf. Below is the appeal for donations:
As announced at the Annual Meeting on October 30th, we have the opportunity to have a full size (13.7 feet by 6.8 feet) copy of Alfred Hutty’s ATTACK ON FORT SUMTER, painted in about 1948 and formerly hanging in our building, placed in our main lobby. Alfred Hutty was an important Charleston Renaissance artist. The painting was given to The Charleston Museum and now hangs in its auditorium. It is of extreme value and importance, and its return to our lobby, albeit as a copy, makes sense.
The cost would be about $4,000.00, and we hope to raise the money on a voluntary basis from owners and residents. The copy will be a giclee that will be affixed to the wall. There is one other full size copy, and that is in the Bastion Ballroom at Carolina Yacht Club. We implore everyone to pledge at least $100 — and many have already done so — by depositing a pledge form in the ballot box on the desk in the lobby or by sending a letter or e-mail pledge to the office. Any amount pledged in excess of the project cost will reduce all pledges pro-rata before billing.
For those who have not yet contributed, now is the time, and thank you, in advance, for your generosity.
10. Election of Board Members
A notification letter about the Annual Meeting and election of officers was sent out on October 16, 2017, as required by the Master Deed. Dick Donohoe and Denise Zaremba were elected to the Board by majority vote for two-year terms.
A motion was made to adjourn the meeting and it was seconded.