Pond Place Association, Inc. FY 22-23 Budget Adopted
At their June 30th meeting, the Pond Place Board of Governors adopted the FY 22-23 budget. As suggested by Christopher King, CPA, our long time auditor, projected land lease income is now included in the Association budget and will be included in FY 22-23 Association financial statements. The budget includes large increases for collections, legal services and accounting advice (services) and funds Pond Place Day @ $10/member. Our current arrangement with Ford & Paulekas requires that we advance $2500.00 per dwelling on which foreclosures are commenced and smaller amounts per unit for dunning. (Theoretically all of this is eventually recovered by the Association from those who have defaulted on their obligations.) As you will note from our financial statements there are a significant number of unit owners who are delinquent on their dues and taxes. The budget for legal services is increased because of the projected need to seek advice on several matters including the possible acquisition of 15 Darling Drive parcel from the Connecticut Water Company, and the possible amendment of our Declaration and ByLaws. Bad Debt is funded at $20,000.00 to write off as uncollectible fines being carried as assets on the Association’s books. Our auditors have suggested it be written down as an asset. Dam maintenance and pond algae and weed treatment were underfunded over the past several years which this budget reverses. A $12,084.00 contribution to Tax District Reserves is also provided. Notwithstanding, the annual fee will remain $425.00 with a $234.00 credit, like last year, for those opting out of community trash and recycling service.
The next meeting of the Pond Place Tax District and Pond Place Association, Inc.
Boards will be held on Thursday August 25th at 6:30 P.M. All owners and residents may watch the meetings and are invited to make comments. Hyperlinks and instructions for participation will be posted the day of the meeting. Future Board meetings will be held on the 4th Thursday of the month except for November when it will be held on November 30th. Meetings will normally commence at 6:30 PM.
The Board of Northington Meadow, Inc., which holds title to the Stub Pond parcel, will be holding public meetings going forward and reporting to the community during the regular Pond Place Association, Inc. meetings to provide more openness and inclusion.
Collections Policies Adopted
At their June 30th meeting the Association and Tax District boards adopted White & Katzman’s standard collections policy with respect to delinquent accounts. This means that members owing any money to the Association or Tax District for FY 21-22 or prior years will be given a last chance to pay up this July after which their delinquent accounts will be turned over to legal counsel for collection. Once an account is released for collection attorney’s fees and costs will be added to amounts due. Members behind in their dues, taxes or land lease payments are encouraged to get their finances in order immediately so as to avoid these significant added costs.
Road and Storm Sewer Maintenance
We recently had all 44 of our catch basins inspected and emptied. The Board is reviewing proposals from several area vendors to crack fill and repair our roads. This project is expected to be undertaken later this summer or in the fall.
Common Area Landscaping Maintenance & Improvements
After consultation with the immediately affected residents, relandscaping of the September Way Island and improvements to Morningside, Pond Circle and several other spots will be happening before the summer is out. Also, later this summer several dead or dying trees on common areas will be removed and some existing stumps ground out. Anyone who is concerned about a dead or dying tree on common areas should contact our manager, Mike Montgomery.
Maintenance Violation Notices
This past April, White & Katzman managers conducted a very thorough inspection of all 210 homes and exclusive use areas in Pond Place and homeowner who were in apparent violation of Pond Place standards received written warnings last month. Homeowners may request a hearing before the Board to dispute findings or to request extensions of time to correct violations for good cause.
Several homeowners have attached security lights or cameras to their dwellings or garages without permission of the Design Review Committee. Some of these are white, a color banned for exterior use in Pond Place. The Board passed a resolution at its May 26th meeting requiring that all security lights, landscape lights and security cameras, if permitted by the Design Review Committee, be either black, brown, beige or bronze in color.
New Land Maintenance Rule
Complaints have been received from time to time about Exclusive Use Areas that are not kept up. I suspect we are all familiar with the occasional EUA where grass is not mowed, or leaves are left around to blow on their neighbor’s EUA’s after spring or fall clean up period has passed, or no effort appears to have been made to keep shrubs pruned or dead plantings removed or stuff is left all over the place, etc. Homeowners are reminded that the Pond Place Declaration provides in Article VI Section 1 C of the Declaration: “Dwellings and the Land shall be kept in a neat attractive manner and kept in good repair.” Land refers to Exclusive Use Areas including those which encroach on buffer areas. The Board with one abstention codified this passage as a rule on October 25, 2021 and it will be added to the Rules and Regulations of Pond Place as a reminder that there is an expectation EUAs will be kept in a neat and attractive manner. Homeowners who fail to mow their lawns, weed whack as appropriate or otherwise violate this rule will be cited and fines will be levied for noncompliance starting in June. Again, those seeking additional time or who dispute the findings may appear before the Board. Owners who have tenants should understand that delegating these maintenance obligations to tenants will not excuse compliance or remission of fines in the event of non-compliance.
Service Line Maintenance Responsibility
The Board recently requested guidance from the Association’s attorney on maintenance and repair responsibility for water, sewer and gas pipes outside of a dwelling unit or other structure. His written opinion of counsel is posted elsewhere on the Pond Place website. I will summarize it as follows: Homeowners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of water and sewer pipes that exclusively serve their dwelling unit. The Pond Place Association, Inc. and Tax District are responsible for those which serve multiple dwellings. CNG currently retains full responsibility for gas pipes that extend from the foundation of dwellings outward. Homeowners are urged to obtain an indorsement to their HO6 homeowner’s insurance policy for “service line coverage”. Most insurance companies offer this endorsement for a small additional annual premium. Outside pipe breaks or ruptures can be very expensive to repair. Do yourself a favor and acquire such a rider or endorsement. The Board has been unable to obtain coverage for all exterior service line pipes in Pond Place but will continue to endeavor to do so.
Please furnish your E-Mail Addresses
In order to cut the cost of, document and speed up communication, Pond Place residents and association members who have not already done so should provide their e-mail address to White & Katzman Property Management. FYI it costs more than $2.00 to send a postal communication presently. Bills, budgets, meeting notices, violation letters and similar really important messages will continue to also be sent by mail. Quite a few units still do not have e-mail addresses on file. Let’s improve this statistic, please. Most courtesy messages will only be delivered electronically.
FY 2020-2021 Audit Available
The Association and Tax District FY 2020-2021 audits conducted by King & King, CPAs are now available on our website.
Kindly respect the 20 MPH speed limit on all Pond Place roads for everyone’s safety, including pets.
There has been improving compliance with our trash and recycling barrel rules. Residents are reminded that trash and recyclable barrels must be kept in the garages or sheds except on the night before (currently Tuesday nights) or the day of (currently Wednesdays) pickup. Those who do not have garages or sheds are expected to place their barrels out of public view. It is not acceptable for those with garages or sheds to store their barrels outside. Please comply and help to keep the community sightly. Except for a handful of residents, the community is in compliance with these rules. Habitual violators will be subject to fines for non compliance. Those members who opted out in writing last year from community wide trash and recyclables service through Paine’s will be treated automatically as continuing their opt out without further action on their part. Members who purchased after 6/30/2021 are NOT eligible to opt out. Those who wish to receive service should contact Mike Montgomery or Lauren Pizzoferrato at White & Katzman, not Paine’s.
Design Review Committee
Owners and residents are cautioned that virtually any change to the exterior of a dwelling, garage or shed, including re-staining, requires written prior approval of the Design Review Committee. The Exterior Modification application form is available at www.pondplace.org .Those who have applications pending are advised that the committee has been reviewing and voting on applications electronically to expedite processing. Association members are urged to read the Pond Place Building Guide carefully to assure that they have submitted all necessary information and documentation required. It has been my experience many do not do so which will cause delays in approval. Insurance documentation is only needed if the Committee so requires after their review of the application. Color approvals now require submission of swatches. Most modifications of the exterior of your dwelling, garage or shed require prior approval of the Design Review Committee. You act at your peril if you execute an exterior modification without prior approval. Applications and correspondence should be sent to White & Katzman by uploading through the PILERA platform or by e-mail or snail mail to the attention of our manager, Michael Montgomery.
Trash & Recyclables pick-up: Paine’s picks up trash on Wednesdays weekly and recyclables on Wednesdays bi-weekly on their B-Week schedule with one day delays for certain specified holidays: Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving during 2022.
Paine’s Pick-Up Schedule:
Your barrels need to be on the curb by 6:00 AM on Wednesday mornings and should be returned to their sheds or garages before sunrise the day after. Should new residents or owners wish smaller or larger barrels than those inherited from the prior owner or tenant they should contact White & Katzman, not Paine’s. Likewise any requests for special pick-ups or complaints regarding non pick-ups should be routed through White & Katzman.
Persons who have fallen into arrears on their obligations to the Pond Place Association or the Pond Place Tax District are reminded their delinquent amounts will be carrying a high rate of interest. It is in their best interest to get these arrearages paid off.
- Unpaid FY 21-22 dues and taxes are now DELINQUENT and will be turned over for collection if not paid by July 31, 2022.
- FY 22-23 Dues to the Association will become delinquent if not paid by July 31st; 2022 FY 22-23 Taxes to the Tax District are due in two installments, the first half (like town taxes) on July 1st and the second half on January 1st, 2023.
- Taxes become delinquent if not paid by the 31st of the month in which they are due and will carry retroactive interest at 1 ½% per month (18% per annum) until paid;
- Your land lease payment (if you have not already paid your lease off) is due in the amount of $50 on the 1st of every month. Those who are not delinquent may prepay an entire year in the amount of $519.11 and take advantage of a significant savings.
- Land Leases in arrears on July 1, 2022 will carry retroactive interest at prime plus 3% from the date of delinquency.
- Taxes in arrears are currently carrying a rate of 1.5% per month retroactive to the date of delinquencies.
- Delinquent Association obligations carry interest at the rate of 12% per annum from
Christopher J. Rossetti, President