From time to time the board or the managing agent will post important announcements here.

Sometimes notices that are distributed to shareholders or tenants  or notices that are posted in the lobby will also be posted here, though, for various policy reasons, not every notice will be posted here.

Building Operations IX

posted Jul 29, 2020, 2:37 PM by Marc Donner

Coming back to NY from Restricted States

 

Now that New York is turning in strong results from its COVID-19 containment programs we expect that folks who decamped for other areas may be returning to the city.

 

The Governor’s travel advisory identifies states with high COVID-19 outbreaks.  People coming to NY from these states are required to self-quarantine for fourteen days after returning.

 

This means that you must self-quarantine for fourteen days after you return to 205 after spending time in one of the restricted states: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Puerto Rico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, and Wisconsin.

 

We will support you during the self-quarantine phase by having building staff bring deliveries from the front desk to your front door, by picking up garbage from outside your front door, and by additional disinfecting of your floor during the quarantine period.

 

When you return to the building, please notify the management office.  They will keep a list of self-quarantined units and track the remaining quarantine time.  You will be able to check with them to find out how many days you have left.

 

Laundry Room

 

Please practice appropriate social distancing in the laundry room, as in all other common areas of the building.  Wear a mask at all times.  While the room is large, there is only one entry and exit door, so please stand well away from the door when someone else is going through it.

 

We are asking you to limit the occupancy of each room to six people, so please stay outside or come back later if there are six inside.

 

Please keep your time in the laundry room as brief as possible.  This means that you should take your clean laundry up to your apartment for sorting and folding, not do it in the room.

 

We also ask that you not empty other residents’ machines, nor handle their clothes.  And if you have laundry in the washer or dryer, please set an alarm and come down to retrieve them promptly.

 

And remember that you can check on the status of the machines in the laundry rooms over the Internet: [redacted] with password [redacted].

Building Operations VII

posted Jun 29, 2020, 12:32 PM by Marc Donner   [ updated Jun 29, 2020, 12:45 PM ]

Privacy and Visitor Screening

As we reported in Building Operations VII, we are required by the NYS DoH to gather and retain health screening information on all non-residents who enter the building.  This information is for use of contact tracers in the event that an outbreak is connected to our building.  We have been trying to get guidance from the DoH as to how long we must retain this information.

In the absence of DoH guidance and in order to protect the personal privacy of visitors to the building, the Board has decided that the building will retain only the most recent four weeks of these data and will shred the rest.

Elevators

In Building Operations VII we revised the guidance on riding elevators.  Several shareholders pushed back on the new guidance, so we feel that it is important to clarify the situation.

In the beginning there was no DoH or other authoritative guidance on elevator use.  The board and management, after serious discussions of options, decided on the one-family-per-ride guideline.

The new guidance by the NYS DoH specifies that elevators may be operated at 50% of capacity.  The 205 elevators have a rated capacity of eight people.  Given how small the elevators are, we decided to limit usage to three people per ride.

Based on recent news reports we expect CDC guidance on elevator usage in the near future. (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/health/coronavirus-elevator-reopen.html)

In the meantime, please observe our interim guidance:

No more than three people in the elevator cab,
No talking during the elevator ride,
Face forward.

Finally, please be considerate.  If someone on the elevator expresses a desire to ride alone, please try to accommodate their wishes.

Guests in the park

The LTCA board has agreed to let Lincoln Towers’ residents bring up to two guests into the park at a time (i.e. no more than two guests per apartment). Nannies and home health-care aides do not count as guests. The guest must be the resident's visitor (not that of the nanny or home health care aide). Additionally, the resident must stay in the park with their guests the entire time.

Building Operations VII

posted Jun 19, 2020, 4:35 PM by Marc Donner

Elevators - up to THREE people

We have received guidance from the NYC Department of Health that their social distancing guidelines specify either six foot separation or face masks.

This leads to their guidance that we allow our elevators to be operated at partial capacity despite the inability to maintain six foot separation.

The partial capacity for the 205 elevators is three (3) people.  We are eliminating the restriction that only family members ride together.  Masks remain mandatory.

You may wonder, as we have, why CDC guidance requires wearing masks in public areas, if six feet of distance is enough.  We surmise that this is in case of inadvertent encounters that violate the six foot distance guidance.

Visitor screening

The NYS Department of Health has published detailed guidance for buildings like ours (https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/realestate-masterguidance.pdf).

We are required to gather and retain health screening information on all non-residents who enter the building.  This information includes name, email address, phone number, and the answers to three screening questions, listed on page 10 of the guidance document.  The front door staff will ask these questions and record visitor responses on forms to be preserved for the DoH.  Please let your visitors know so that they are not surprised.

Noise - new construction rules

We live in a concrete frame apartment building.  While walls and floors are thick, noise remains a challenge.  With the resumption of renovations, construction noise has become a serious challenge.

We are implementing several changes to our construction procedures during the emergency:
  • Noisy activities will be limited to no more than half of each day, in the afternoon;
  • Each contractor will be required to estimate the number of half days of noisy work in each project;
  • The required notification will now include the noisy day count estimate;
  • We will notify the entire building of each project, not just the contiguous neighbors.

A Correction and An Apology

posted Jun 12, 2020, 6:59 AM by Marc Donner

We would like to add a note about the Operations VI update that we sent out yesterday.


In the email, we urged shareholders to 'police' the noise coming from their apartments. It was a very poor choice of words given the horrific cases of police brutality that are in the news and the broader and very important discussion going on about the overpolicing of communities of color. We should have phrased that sentence differently.


We were also remiss in yesterday's note in not acknowledging the stress that families with children are under during the emergency.  Juggling both work and childcare is a major source of stress on both parents and children.


While it's important for each of us to manage the noise coming from our apartments so that it doesn't become a burden on our neighbors, we also ask residents to be mindful of the strains that families are under. Please find it in yourself to be as tolerant and patient as you can with your neighbors during these unsettling times.

Building Operations VI

posted Jun 11, 2020, 7:56 AM by 205 West End Avenue Owners Corporation

Primary Elections

The New York primary elections are June 23, and, as in years past, you'll be able to vote in the lobby of 205. We and the Board of Elections will be taking several precautions to ensure that voting is safe.  Among them: The room will be cleaned before, during and after the vote; poll workers will be wearing masks; and social distancing will be enforced.

Noise Awareness

Since the pandemic started, we've been spending more time in our apartments, and our kids are at home instead of at school. All of that can cause noise levels to rise, which can impact our neighbors. Please police the noise levels in your apartment so they don't get to that point.

More people are also purchasing home gym equipment, which can be another source of noise. Remember that with home gym equipment, the usual rules apply: Machines should only be used between the hours of 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., and floors should be covered by rugs or other noise-reducing materials over at least 80 percent of each room. Please refer to the house rules for more detail on our noise regulations.

Valet Reopening

The valet in the lobby has reopened for business three days a week—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Building Operations V

posted Jun 5, 2020, 6:50 AM by Marc Donner   [ updated Jun 5, 2020, 7:55 AM ]

Phase 1 of Reopening Is Coming


A moment that we have simultaneously craved and dreaded is approaching.  Late last month Governor Cuomo announced that New York City would enter Phase 1 of the reopening on June 8th.  Detailed guidance by industry are published on the Phase One Industries web page.


The construction guidelines, which are the ones of most import to 205 right now, are in ConstructionMasterGuidance.pdf.


205 West End Preparation


While the time between the announcement and the start of Phase 1 is short, the board and management have anticipated and worked to prepare for this event.


At the time of the New York State PAUSE there were ten apartment renovations under way at 205.  Building management is preparing to work to restart these projects, prioritizing those that will be completed quickly and those that are minimally disruptive.


Beyond that, we have prepared addenda to our existing documented renovation procedures.  They are available on the 205 West End website in this document, “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alteration Agreements Addendum.”  If you have an existing renovation — or are planning one — please familiarize yourself with these procedures because you will be expected to follow them.


One Step at a Time


The Phase 1 reopening is only the first step on what will almost certainly be a long process to get back to where we were before the pandemic hit.


In the meantime, please continue to follow the guidance that we have published over the past three months.  The Community Room and Gym remain closed.  Face coverings are required of everyone in the common areas of the building.  Limit elevator occupancy to one family at a time.  Deliveries will be kept at the front desk for pickup by residents.  We have published all of these rules in the COVID-19 Communications Archive on the 205 West End website.


Also, all of the building’s usual rules continue in force.


AKAM Office Reopened


The AKAM office in the 205 Lobby has reopened from 9AM to 4PM on weekdays.  You may consult with Mark Weil in person, but please be careful to observe social distance guidelines.


Please continue to mail maintenance payments to the AKAM main office.  Please do NOT leave them in the lobby office.

Building Operations IV

posted May 18, 2020, 9:02 AM by Marc Donner   [ updated May 18, 2020, 5:54 PM ]

Thank you volunteers!


A month ago we started soliciting resident volunteers to learn how to staff the building in the event, which we fervently hope will never happen, that so many of our staff contract COVID-19 that we can no longer operate the building normally.


You responded to our call magnificently and we now have well over forty volunteers enrolled in our program.


Jose, Mark, and the board are now working on training materials and schedules for the main services - front desk duty, package intake and distribution, and building hygiene.


FYI - board packages


Historically purchase and financing applications have been submitted to our management company’s back office for validation and distribution to the board for review.


Our practice has been to require that eight copies be spiral bound and submitted - one for the permanent file and seven to be distributed to the board members for review.


Early this year we initiated a new system whereby we securely distribute board packages electronically.


We initiated this program to help make our building more green, to improve security, and to streamline package handling.  It has turned out to be timely in the COVID-19 pandemic emergency because it also eliminates a potential infection pathway.


We will be publishing revised procedures documents that eliminate the requirement for eight copies to be delivered to the AKAM back office, rather submitting one unbound original to AKAM.


Several shareholders have inquired about our handling of application packages in this context and we are happy to report that we already have a good solution.


REMINDER Face covering


In addition to recommendations from the CDC that everyone wear a face covering when out of their home, the State of New York has made such coverings mandatory.


Remember, every building occupant and visitor is to wear a face covering while in any common area of the building.  This includes hallways, stairwells, elevators, lobby, and laundry room.


This is not only for your protection, but also for others who may come into contact with you.


Board of Directors

Eleanor Applewhaite

Abigail Burns

Larry Chaifetz

Marc Donner

Ernie Sander

Robert Stein

Stuart Sugarman


Building Operations II

posted Apr 14, 2020, 5:37 AM by Marc Donner   [ updated Apr 14, 2020, 5:41 AM ]

A lot has changed in the four weeks since our first building operations update.  The board and management of the building has learned a lot, and external public health and public safety agencies have been sharing what they have learned in the form of advice and guidance.


Masks and face coverings


The CDC now strongly recommends that people wear masks or other suitable face covering when going out of their residences.


205 has adopted a policy that all people without face covering will be stopped at the lobby entrance.


205’s COVID-19 Archive


The Board, Building Management, LTCA, and various public health agencies have written information and advice that we have chosen to share over BuildingLink and with paper postings in the mail rooms.


There are now so many of them that we have undertaken to accumulate an archive.  These documents are now available on the 205 West End website (205westend.com) here: 205westend.com/home/covid-19-communications.


A couple of the items in the archive are not published for policy or privacy reasons.


Laundry Room online monitoring


When we recently signed our new laundry room contract we asked for and received web-based access to the status of the machines.  You can go here: [REDACTED]. To identify our laundry room, you enter in the password field the string [REDACTED] (capitalization matters).  You can view individual machines in both the east and west rooms.


Using this you can see whether there are machines available.  And if you note which machines you are using, you can check whether your washing or drying is done.  This will help maintain proper social distancing in the laundry rooms. The alert service is not functional, unfortunately.


Ideas for amusement while at home


If you have links to entertaining and inexpensive or free entertainments that you are enjoying during this time, please share them with your neighbors on BuildingLink.


To get you started, here are two that you might find useful:

Electricity Metering During The Emergency

posted Mar 26, 2020, 6:58 AM by Marc Donner

As some of you may recall, when Lincoln Towers was built in 1961 there was a combination of low electricity costs and an oversupply of rental apartments.  As a result, the owner decided not to charge for electricty.


On conversion in 1986 the new Cooperatives continued this policy.


One consequence of this practice was widespread waste of electricity within the complex.


Submetering


In 2003 this Cooperative, 205 West End, voted overwhelmingly to install electricity meters in the spaces originally constructed for them and start billing shareholders for their actual usage along with the monthly maintenance.  One of the consequences of making consumption visible was a dramatic drop in usage. After submetering went into effect in 2003 electricity usage in the residence dropped 25%. This drop in usage has persisted.


The meters are in hallway cabinets on every third floor.  These meters are read each month by a company, Bay City, that has contracted with us to do this meter reading.


Meter Reading in the COVID-19 Emergency


As you know, the Cooperative has established stringent restrictions on traffic to the building during the emergency.  Delivery people must leave items at the front desk, and residents must come down to pick them up.


The Cooperative has informed Bay City that we will not let their meter readers into the building during the emergency.  As a result, Bay City will be estimating electricity consumption for each unit during the emergency, and charges will be posted accordingly.  These estimates will be based on the historical usage by each unit.


Once the emergency is over and meters can be read directly again, AKAM will reconcile the differences between the estimated and actual usage, crediting or debiting the monthly bill as appropriate.


Thank you for your understanding of actions we are taking to ensure your health and safety during this emergency.

Social Distancing

posted Mar 20, 2020, 6:13 AM by Marc Donner

The Board and Management of the Cooperative have agreed on a set of recommendations for residents and guidelines for staff to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 during this emergency.


Front Desk


Please stay six feet from the front desk staff at all times.  This means that a number of customary front desk services will be suspended for the foreseeable future:


      Helping residents and visitors into and out of taxis

      Only using the electric lobby doors

      Helping with packages and luggage


In addition, the front desk will no longer stock dog treats and staff will be asked not to welcome residents and their pets behind the desk.


We will be marking the floor at the sides of the front desk with a line that we ask residents not to cross.


Maintenance Visits to Apartments


To protect both staff and residents, maintenance visits will be limited to urgent matters only.  A leak or a safety condition counts as urgent, but changing a light bulb does not.


Hygiene in Elevators

 

We have been instructed that the elevator control panels present a substantial risk for transmitting the virus.  We are examining things that we can do to allow residents and staff to minimize this risk. In the interim, please use your keys, elbow, etc., to press your floor.


It is also okay to wait for an empty elevator to implement social distancing. This may increase your travel time but is safer.


Visitors


The Cooperative does encourage you to minimize the number of visitors into your apartment during the COVID-19 emergency.

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