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JANUARY 31, 2012

SPECIAL MEETING

The meeting of the Regency Tower Board was called to order at 7 PM on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, in the Rendezvous Room of the Regency Tower by the President.

Roll Call - Iris Anastasi, Eileen Bendis, Eric Berkowitz, Bernard Larkin, Cathie Lenz, Fern McBride (speakerphone), and Margaret Thompson.

Approval of Minutes - Eric Berkowitz made a motion to approve the minutes from the December 13, 2011 meeting, which was seconded by Cathie Lenz and unanimously passed.

President Eileen Bendis
President Eileen Bendis
President’s Report -
After stating that although the vote totals would be revealed under New Business, President Bendis announced that the unit owners’ referendum on impact glass balcony doors was approved. President Eileen Bends then read her President’s Report. Click Here to read the President's Report.

President Bendis then asked Treasurer Cathie Lenz to read the Financial Report. (Reported financial details are available to Regency Tower owners in our newsletter, the “Regency Tower Times”. - editor)

Treasurer Cathie Lenz
Treasurer Cathie Lenz
Financial Report -
Cathie Lenz

We opened an account with American National Bank in order to be within FDIC limits at 1st United.

Assessment receivable continue to be aggressively tracked and pursued. Largest single item is Apt 1508 totalling $26,058.61. That unit is the only one in foreclosure.

There is currently only one other delinquent unit that is being handled by our lawyers. (Once a receivable is past due more than 45 days, it is sent to our lawyers.)

Click to Fuoco Group website Our new accounting firm, the Fuoco Group, has begun the year-end 2011 audit. We are also working with them to ensure that our bookkeeping procedures for 2012 are consistent, something that wasn’t the case in prior years. we are also going to address – and correct – all of our fixed asset account balances.

A motion was made by Eric Berkowitz to approve the Treasurer’s report, seconded by Fern McBride and unanimously approved.

Secretary Fern McBride
Secretary
Fern McBride
Manager’s Report -
President Eileen R. Bendis then called for the Manager’s Report. Click Here to read the Manager’s Report.

Committee Reports - President Bendis then called for Committee Reports. Click Here to read the Committee Reports.

New Business - President Eileen R. Bendis called for New Business. Click Here to read the New Business (vote totals for balcony door referendum).

General Discussion - Many unit owners asked questions about the newly approved balcony doors. Many were very anxious to install them immediately. Hopefully, within the next couple of weeks, specs will be drawn up and sent to owners.

Adjournment - A motion was made by Iris Anastasi and seconded by Margaret Thompson to adjourn the meeting at 7:45 PM, unanimously approved.

Fern McBride
Board Secretary

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PRESIDENTS REPORT

JANUARY 2012

Board President Eileen Bendis'
Message to Members

President Eileen Bendis
President Bendis
Impact Glass Door
Impact Glass Door
Welcome to all our “snowbirds”. I think our winter season is in full bloom. I hope you can see and enjoy all our improvements and new accommodating attitude that we are trying to adopt. We are trying to enforce rules and procedures for everyone equally. Of course, however hard we try, we cannot please everyone. For some, community living isn’t exactly what they thought and living in close proximity to one another can be challenging at times. Just try to be considerate of your neighbors and hopefully they will as well.

Since last July, in keeping with my promise, one of my priority projects has been the balcony doors. A survey that we distributed was returned with a favorable response. The next step was to amend our governing documents and a proxy was sent to every unit owner. Once again - whenever a majority vote of all the members is required - please, complete and return your limited proxy...FOR OR AGAINST. I cannot tell you how many phone calls I made, just to get your answer. Luckily, I have unlimited calling - nationwide and Canada! Complacency is one of our biggest obstacles. If you want something but don’t vote, you may subsequently find yourself wondering what happened or feeling regret after the opportunity has passed.

The results are in and we did get the needed majority vote for the impact glass balcony doors. I realize that some of you may want to install one immediately, but please be patient. We have proposals to review and more on the way. We will soon begin negotiating a best price. When the vendor is selected, I will then send you the specs and procedures for getting the bulk price. Thank you for the vote.

Margie Nagle
Margie Nagle
Regency Tower Holiday Season Lobby
Margie's Handiwork
On another note, I would like to apologize to Margie Nagle. At our last meeting, I was negligent in thanking her for all her hard work and effort towards the lobby Christmas decorations. She somehow managed to stretch a very limited budget into a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Thank you Margie! Speaking of the Nagles - Robert has graciously volunteered to organize the bicycle racks. If anyone would like to assist him, I am sure he would appreciate the help. As you know, all bicycles must be registered in the office.

Once again, please do not argue with security personnel for doing their job. They are here to enforce the rules and if you have a problem, call me to discuss it. Also, consider this a final warning. Please clear out your AC closet and remove anything in front of your door that is not attached. Letters will be going out shortly to officially notify unit owners in violation of this rule.

I am proud to serve on this board and live in the Regency Tower. I hope all of you feel as I do. If not, let us know what we can do to change your mind. Thank you for all your support and let’s continue to move forward.



Eileen Bendis


Manager Dwight Lyons'


This is Your Office
To meet with me privately...
Please call the office and let me know when it would be convenient!
Your input is important!


Dwight D. Lyons
CMCA, AMS, PCAM

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COMMITTEE REPORTS

JANUARY 2012

Architectural Review & Construction Committee
Eric Peter Berkowitz

Replacing Expensive Building Components

ARC & Construction Committee Chair Eric Peter Berkowitz Gives Report on Big Ticket Mechanical and Structural Expenses
Eric - Big Ticket Items
Click to John R. Frazer website Since the key to maintaining a 42 year-old structure is preparation, the board must lay the groundwork for upgrading systems that are critical to association operations. Last year, Treasurer Cathie Lenz commissioned a study by Reserve Specialist John R. Frazer. Cathie believed that funding reserves to replace expensive building components is less financially painful than getting hammered by special assessments. Also, adequate reserves are required by Federally-backed mortgage lenders to approve prospective purchasers, which impacts unit values. Since Reserves are based on amortizing the replacement cost of an item over its projected useful life, the analyst identified structural and mechanical components that would soon need to be replaced. Among those were the heat pumps that warm our pool, the rusting fan that used to vent our garage and the rooftop cooling tower that enables our air conditioning system.

Since gas-fired pool heaters repeatedly burned out every few years, about eight years ago we replaced them with less expensive heat pump technology. The three heat pumps are more efficient and economical because they initiate serially. Depending on weather fluctuations, one, two or all three will fire up to maintain the proper water temperature. Given their direct exposure to ocean borne chemicals such as halides and PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls), a vendor that recently inspected the heat pumps informed our manager that they were no longer worth repairing.

Click to Custom Air Designs website Click to Edd Helms website After ventilating the garage for more than 40 years, the sputtering garage fan was permanently shut down several months ago. Since Manager Dwight Lyons replaced Edd Helms as the building’s HVAC maintenance contractor with Sam Block of Custom Air Designs, a vendor that earned Dwight’s trust at an association he previously managed, he asked Block what he would charge the association to repair or replace the fan. When Block returned a proposal for $17,325 and Dwight called Edd Helms for a second bid, Helms sent a strange one-page offer to fix the fan for $32,830. Since neither offer was based on a written scope of work, there’s no telling what Edd Helms planned to provide for more than twice the cost of a replacement fan. Dwight recommended that we accept the offer by Custom Air Designs. In the next few days, when several board members questioned Block’s initial proposal and explored other construction options, Block lowered his estimate.

Uncomfortable with the casual process that enigmatically yielded such two widely differing bids, Board President Eileen Bendis agreed to elicit unconflicted professional input for all projects that substantially impact our budget or our home's habitability. As such, we met with John Evans of SPEC Engineering, a structural engineer who guided us through the deck rehabilitation, the installation of our lower driveway gravity well and recovery repairs after Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. Evans also developed the engineering basis for convincing negligent vendors to provide us with a new roof in 2002, electrostatically recoat of our balcony railings in 2006 and patch exterior wall building cracks in 2008 - all at their own expense.

AquaCal Heat Pump
AquaCal Heat Pump
Click to Aquacal Heat Pumps website After inspecting the fan, the heat pumps, our water tower and several smaller sources of concern, Evans issued a written status assessment. His report confirmed that the existing AquaCal heat pumps should be replaced with newer models by the same manufacturer. Having selected one of several proposals from franchised vendors recommended by the manufacturer’s regional representative, new concrete footings were installed and the surrounding fence enlarged to adequately vent the slightly larger new machines. To prolong their lifespan and enhance their efficiency, other than regularly scheduled cleanings performed in-house, the heat pumps will be professionally serviced.

Upper Patio Deck Vent Housing
Upper Patio Deck Vent Housing
The enormous garage fan evacuates the garage through the housing that straddles the upper patio deck and the pool deck (the "little house" behind the pool shower). In the more than four decades since the huge fan was first installed in the southeast corner of the garage, technology has understandably produced smaller, more efficient versions that do the same job.

Low Profile Fan
Low Profile Fan
The construction committee chair suggested that a smaller fan with the same specifications could be wholly installed within the upper patio deck vent housing, creating an additional parking space that could be deeded and sold. The incremental association income could wholly or partially fund the cost of a new fan. Expressing reservations about the viability of this option, the building manager enlisted vendor Sam Block to detail perceived drawbacks to changing his original proposal - including concerns about aesthetics, noise levels, rain infiltration and costly alterations to the vent housing. Since neither our manager nor the attending board members were qualified to credibly respond, we requested that Block direct his objections to engineer John Evans.

Click to Twin City Fan Low Profile Hooded Propeller Roof Ventilator - Belt Driven web page At a subsequent meeting attended by Board President Eileen Bendis, Vice President Eric Berkowitz, Manager Dwight Lyons, Block and John Evans, Block and Lyons repeated their concerns. Evans first answered Block’s installation issues, after which Block agreed that prospective alterations to the vent housing could be reasonably achieved. Eileen, a dedicated devotee of our swimming pool, asked Evans and Block if the noise would disturb pool-goers. Although the new configuration moved the fan engine a few feet closer to the deck, its technical specifications are rated to run more quietly than its predecessor (33 sones vs. 38 sones). Since the fan’s hood is also fitted with sound insulation, noise levels would roughly approximate those of the old fan. Eileen was also pleased to learn that the fan’s exposed low profile hood could be ordered in any color, allowing it to better aesthetically blend with its surroundings. Lyons’ concern about rainwater infiltrating the garage proved unfounded since the fan’s ribbed construction deflects runoff.

Rooftop Cooling Tower
Rooftop Cooling Tower
A few minor issues must be addressed before finalizing this strategy. An added baffle will help diffuse air intake. Although a consulting mechanical engineer confirmed that it’s not required to evacuate the garage, we plan to investigate whether a plenum would make a reasonable contribution to the fan’s efficiency. We hope to tie up these loose ends within the next week or so.

If authorized, President Bendis can instruct John Evans to create a scope of work which can be sent to board-approved vendors for competitive bidding. When the bid packages are returned, Board members can make an “apples to apples” comparison of the proposals and question the engineer before voting to select the bid-winning contractor.

Given its substantial replacement cost, the cooling tower represents our greatest challenge. Fortunately, the engineer claims that it is currently operating properly and foresees no immediate danger. While we need to begin preparations for its replacement, unless it abruptly fails for some reason, we have adequate time to commission a scope of work and competitively bid out the job.

Disruption of our air conditioning should be minimal. When authorized, the components will be lifted to the roof and assembled while the existing water tower is still operating. The only expected air conditioning “down time” will occur while the connections are switched to the new water tower, a procedure that is ordinarily accomplished in one day. In an emergency, we can make arrangements for unit owners to rent individual AC units at reduced rates if they so choose.

Impact Glass Door
Impact Glass Door
President Bendis also asked John Evans to draw up wind load specifications for impact glass balcony doors conditional on her referendum being approved by the membership. The key to this project has always been the numbers.

Since every door must be measured individually and custom manufactured (even doors in the same stack are sized differently), the primary cost benefit of a bulk installation accrues to the installer, who will realize a substantial savings in consolidated labor costs. The fact that we are providing vendors with a reliable and significant source of business in a down market will also work to our advantage.

Since Committee Reports are accessible to anyone with a computer, it would be counterproductive to disclose information about price points included in the proposals thus far received by the Board President before negotiations are completed. Suffice to say that they already represent an impressive discount as compared to individually contracted installations. Thank you for your kind attention.

 

Beautification Committee
Margie Nagle

Dear Regency Tower Neighbors:

Regency Tower Holiday Season Lobby
Holiday Tree
Beautification Committee Chair Margie Nagle
Margie Nagle
Committee Members: Margie Nagle, Eileen Bendis, Heida Boucher.

In November we started working on our holiday decorations. Eileen and I went to the storage area where the Christmas decorations are kept. We found that most of the trimming and lighting for our Christmas tree was very old and some things did not work. We cleaned and discarded the things that did not work or looked out of place with what I had in mind. Mark was a great help in bringing what we had left down, to the lobby for inspection.

Eileen and I went in search of things that we needed. It was not that easy since I have expensive taste and a low budget. We went to the high end stores to get ideas, than shopped at discount stores for the same look.

We finally bought all our trimmings and worked on our pretty tree within budget. It was fun and looked beautiful.

Thank you to our building workers for all their help.

The holidays are over and all our decorations are put away safely for next year. Thank you to Heida for all her help.

I would like to say to some people that have something to say about what we do for the building, thank you for all your suggestions and we can use donations to replace the things that are not to your pleasing.

Happy New Year!

 


We Care Committee
Ofelia Alleguez

Members of the new formed “We Care” Committee are: Naomi Griner (2020), Margie Nagle (911), Joyce Ramey (501) and Joyce Woodward (307).

We Care Committee Chair Ofelia Alleguez of Regency Tower Angel Squad
Ofelia Alleguez - Regency
Tower ANGEL SQUAD
July

  • Shirley Hopkins (1411) - had surgery, went to rehab, notice in bulletin board, cards sent; upon her return home flowers were sent.

August

  • Robert Derham (810) - passed away on Wednesday, August 17, 2011, following a brief decline in health; Card of Perpetual Masses was sent in his memory. Condolences to his wife, Denise Whittle Derham, who can be reached at:

    150 Westmoreland Court #10
    Danville, Va. 24541

  • Martha Sellas (803) - fell last Tuesday (August 30, 2011). She was taken to the Holy Cross Hospital and was admitted that evening. She suffered some fractures and will stay at Holy Cross until further notice. Get well cards may be sent to the Hospital or placed in her Mail Box #802. The address for the Holy Cross is:

    Holy Cross Hospital
    4725 North Federal Highway
    Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 33308

October

  • Joanne Barrett (511) - fell at home and spent a few days at the hospital. She is now back home. Get well cards and/or expressions of friendship and love may be sent to:

    Joanne Barrett
    470 Mahogany Ct., #401
    Palatine, Il. 60067

  • Howard Hirschman (1702) - fell at home and broke his ankle. He spent a few days at the Holy Cross Hospital and is now in a Rehabilitation Facility.

    Get well cars may be placed in his Mailbox # 1702

  • Barry Nesbitt (203) - passed away on October 8th at his home in Canada. May he rest in peace. His funeral is taking place in Toronto. Condolences and or sympathy cards may be sent to his family at one of the following addresses:

    Andrew Tolson
    15 Hialeah Cr.
    Whitby, Ontario
    L1N 6P9
    Glenn Tolson
    P.O. Box 257
    Norland, Ontario
    K0M 2L0

Although Committee Reports are ordinarily submitted in conjunction with Board Meetings, we believe that our members should be expeditiously informed about the afflictions or passing of friends and neighbors. Going forward, We Care information will be posted as soon as it is made available by the We Care Committee. Our thanks to Ofelia! As such, the following notices were forwarded by Ofelia Alleguez subsequent to the October 17, 2011 Committee Report:

November

  • Phil Nadeau (205) - was taken to Holy Cross yesterday (November 29), early in the morning. He is undergoing tests.

    Get well cards may be placed in his Box #205.

  • Raymond Zabal (1406) - spent a few days in the Holy Cross Hospital, he was undergoing tests and cardiology procedures, he came home last night (November 29).

    Get well cards may be placed in his Box #1406.

January

  • Kenneth Wolnowski (504) - was admitted at Holy Cross Hospital last December 31.

    Get well cards may be placed in his Mailbox #504.

  • Linda Pines (1009) - was admitted to the Broward General Hospital. On January 12 she underwent heart surgery.

    Get well cards and/or expressions of love and support may be placed in her Mailbox #1009.

  • Adelina "Ad" Wilson (909) - fell at home Thursday, January 12. She was taken to the Holy Cross Hospital and was admitted. She had suffered a fracture. On January 14 she was transferred to a Rehabilitation facility.

    Get well cards and/or expressions of love and friendship may be placed in her Mailbox #909.

  • Alton Hollis (904) - had been at Holy Cross for several days as of January 26. He is having tests.

    Get well cards and/or expressions of support and friendship me be placed in his MailBox #904.

February

  • Jack Kooby’s sister (Margo) - passed away on Saturday February 19th. Her funeral will be in New York.

    Expressions of condolences and/or sympathy cards may be placed in his mailbox # 2010.

 

Web Site Committee
Eric Peter Berkowitz

Stay Current - Keep Informed
Eric Peter Berkowitz
Check Website Update
The Regency Tower web site had 101,037 hits and 3,029 unique site visits (first timers) in November and 89,463 hits and 2,962 unique site visits in December. Countries other than the United States from which the most December hits were sourced are the Canada, France, China, Malaysia, Brazil, India, Russian Federation, Uruguay, Germany, Singapore, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Czech Republic, Poland, Mexico, Cayman Islands, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, New Zeeland (Aotearoa) and South Africa.

Since the last web site report in October, minutes of the November 8 and December 13, 2011 Board Meetings were devoted to our Association’s 2012 spending plan. At the November 8th board meeting, Treasurer Cathie Lenz told delighted attendees that the bottom line in next year’s budget would mirror its 2011 predecessor. Assisted by Manager Dwight Lyons, Cathie simplified the basic budget format when she listed line items by account number.

Despite our Treasurer’s admonition that association Reserves were underfunded, Board President Eileen Bends announced at the December 13th Budget Approval meeting that unit owners voted overwhelmingly to partially fund the Reserves. After listing our existing Reserve Accounts for the roof, the driveway, painting the building, the balconies and our elevators; Cathie revealed the creation of new Reserve Funds to address expenses for air conditioning, the pool, mechanical items and common area interiors. She also announced her intention to bulk up reserves via the transfer of equity funds. Fueled by scores of House Channel addicts, a post-meeting buffet organized by Social Committee Chair Nancy Seltzer evolved into a full-blown lobby party.

A November 8th article explained why unit owners observed that their early November tap water had recently acquired a strange taste. A City of Fort Lauderdale Public Works message exclaimed that the unusual taste and scent resulted from the City temporarily treating the drinking water with free chlorine. The periodic switch to free chlorine effectively reduces biological re-growth in the distribution system and helps maintain chlorine residual levels at the extremities of that system during the normal chloramine disinfection process. While largely unnoticeable to most people, the procedure could have harmed persons undergoing dialysis or suffering from a compromised immune system.

Ofelia Alleguez informs unit owners about the health and welfare of their neighbors by affixing current We Care notices to the Mail Room bulletin board. However, information included in her Committee Report grows stale within a month of posting on the website. Last year, the We Care content on the Committee Reports page was altered to reflect timely notices instead of the mostly dated information delivered during board meetings. As such, the current notices on the bulletin board are now also available on the website.

Click to North Beach Art Walk Facebook page After posting mini-bios about new employees Dwight Lyons and Kande Lewandowski, I hoped to receive background info for other Regency Tower staffers. The website would also benefit from small bios about some of our neighbors. If anyone believes they have printer’s ink in their veins, we need your help. Writing skill is wholly irrelevant, and may even be an obstacle. If you can talk, you can do this.

About a year ago, an Art Walk along Las Olas Boulevard became a regular event in the monthly Around Town section on the Home Page. Since then, the former Galt Ocean Shoppes neighborhood was reborn as North Beach and morphed into one of South Florida’s hottest Arts districts. On the first Saturday of each month, the Broward Art Guild, a dozen acclaimed new or established Galleries and a half dozen design centers sponsor the North Beach Art Walk, which is now listed in our monthly offerings. Last month, Mayor Jack Seiler and Commissioner Bruce Roberts joined the Art Walk and cut the Grand Opening tape for a new venue called the North Beach Art Gallery. To learn more about the neighborhood’s remarkable transformation and an event that replaced the Sunset Blue street fairs, click the title in the event list and plan to join the next Art Walk on February 4th. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you for your kind attention.

 

NEW BUSINESS

JANUARY 2012

New Business - 1/31/2012 Meeting

January 31, 2012 - President Eileen R. Bendis called for New Business.

  • The results of the impact glass balcony door referendum:

    • Proxies received               149

    • Proxies “FOR”                   124

    • Proxies “AGAINST”            25

                        Fern McBride, Secretary

 

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