We held the annual meeting of the 205 West End Owners Corporation (the formal name of our Cooperative) on Tuesday, May 12. The meeting was attended by the usual number of shareholders, slightly fewer than fifty. For the convenience of shareholders unable to attend the meeting, we are publishing the highlights of the President’s report and some of the questions asked by attendees along with the Board’s responses.
Keith Bleiweiss from our accounting firm reviewed the consolidated financial statements of the Cooperative and the Condominium. The financial condition of the building remains excellent. He noted that the incapacitation of the Cogen units early last year resulted in increased energy spending and was mostly responsible for the budget overrun in 2014
President’s report highlights:
The past year has been another busy one:
The roof replacement will be complete within two weeks. As you know, we investigated closely the possibility of adding an amenity for residents to the roof, but ultimately concluded that it would be too expensive to extend one or more of our elevators to the roof so that we could accommodate handicapped and elderly residents unable to negotiate the stairs up from 29, so we decided to abandon the project, despite the overwhelming support it had gained from shareholders.
We have awarded a contract to Tecogen to replace our Cogeneration system. The new system should be online sometime in the next six to nine months. Compared with our first cogen system, this one is much more standardized and its operation will be more straightforward. The total cost, slightly above $750K dollars, will be subsidized about 50% by NYSERDA (the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority). We also received reimbursement from our insurer for about $130K for the premature failure of the cogens, so the new installation will pay for itself in under a year. In addition, this set of generators will become part of the Coop’s disaster preparation – if there should be a blackout, the Cogen systems will power the common areas, including one elevator on each side of the building.
In addition, the board asked the shareholders for volunteers to serve on the Interview Committee.
Q: The City provides a collection service for recycling of compostable household scraps. Could the Cooperative establish collection of such materials?
A: We asked the Management office to investigate and report back. We will communicate the outcome of this investigation.
Q: What are the ways that the board and management post notices to shareholders? Why can’t shareholders post notices to the entire community?
A: An item that is of tremendous interest to one shareholder may be perceived as an imposition by other shareholders. In consequence the board prohibits the distribution of notices under residents’ doors and reserves the right to review for appropriateness notices proposed by shareholders for posting in the mailrooms. The laundry room bulletin boards and the BuildingLink system are alternative communication venues that may be used if the Board disapproves a posting.
Q: The problem of dogs relieving themselves against the planters right outside the front door has not abated. What will the board do about this?
A: We will review our options again. In the meantime, if you see a dog relieving itself in an inappropriate place, please notify the management office, particularly if you know the name of the owner.
Q: An alteration in an adjoining apartment is running much longer than originally estimated. Noisy construction continues unabated. Would the board please consider establishing guidelines for renovation project durations and incentives to help motivate contractors to finish on time?
A: We will consider this topic at the next opportunity.