Archives for April 2017


NRC Hosts Brandermill Town Hall Meeting

Posted April 28, 2017 at 2:06 PM
Brandermill Town Hall Meeting
Thursday, May 11, 2017
7 p.m.
Harbour Pointe Clubhouse

The NRC will hold a community meeting at 7 p.m. on May 11, 2017 at Harbor Pointe Clubhouse in a town hall format.

As part of an initiative to increase communication opportunities among neighborhoods and the BCA, the NRC presents this new series of community meetings in 2017. The first town hall will be moderated by NRC officers, and BCA Board and staff will also be invited to participate.

Although questions will be fielded on the floor, please feel free to send suggested questions and discussion topics to the moderators at NRCInfo@BrandermillNRC.com.

 

Information Packets for Two BCA Board Meetings Scheduled for May 1, 2017

Posted April 28, 2017 at 1:59 PM

There will be two BCA Board meetings held on Monday, May 1, 2017. The first will be the Annual Organizational Meeting scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at The Brandermill Church. The agenda for this meeting is available for downloading.

Immediately after the Organizational Meeting, the regular BCA Board meeting will convene. The information packet for this BCA Board meeting is now available for downloading.

Agenda items for the regular BCA Board meeting include:

  • Consideration of a request for Driveway Extension and Front Walkway Alteration in Fortune's Ridge
  • Pool Update
  • Adoption of Management Letter Implementation Plan (pages 16-18 of current Board packet)

The NRC encourages residents to read the minutes of the various BCA committees found within the Board packet (pages 19-36). These committees are hard at work, planning not only this year's projects but next year's projects as well. Your feedback and participation NOW is important to them.

We encourage residents to attend BCA Board meetings to learn of Brandermill "happenings."

 

NRC Commentary on April 17, 2017 BCA Annual Meeting

Posted April 21, 2017 at 2:21 PM
Important Note: The comments below are reported based on unofficial notes taken by NRC representatives who attended the above BCA meeting. Although we believe the reporting is reliable and strive for accuracy, we cannot assure 100% accuracy. It is recommended to all readers that they read the approved BCA 2017 Annual Meeting minutes when published.

Commentary on April 17, 2017 BCA Annual Meeting

General Manager and Executor of Election Cynthia Wright announced that quorum (35.42%) was achieved for this 43rd BCA Annual Meeting. There were no nominations from the floor, and General Manager Wright officially closed the polls.

Manager Wright acknowledged and thanked our current BCA Directors: Charlie Davis, President; Greg Pearson, First Vice President; Frances Hillman, Second Vice President, Bob Gregory, Treasurer; Bob Friedel; Ann Hunt and Tony Nardella. She also thanked all committee members for their hard work and contributing their areas of expertise and knowledge to the betterment of Brandermill. Manager Wright looks forward to working with all in the coming years.

The minutes of the 2016 Annual Meeting were unanimously approved.

President's Remarks

President Davis thanked the BCA Staff, Committee members and the other Directors who have served with him this year and made comments lauding their efforts.

General Manager's Remarks

Having been Brandermill's General Manager only since the beginning of 2017, Manager Wright has spent the January-February to learn the lay of the land by getting to know Staff and Committee members and learning about the processes of the BCA. The foremost topic of the day deals with the pools: how to fix our pools, how to finance the operation and maintenance of our pools, negotiating contracts about the pools, and understanding the history of Brandermill pools.

The Association's website is presently undergoing change, and with the help of Community Services Director Jennifer Strader, changes are now underway. The RFP process is and will be in process this year with contractors providing services to the BCA – our most important contract being the one for a landscape contractor. Open space clean-up is budgeted at $40,000 this year and will be contracted out this year.

Beginning in May, the BCA will institute a new recording system for maintenance to better satisfy members' needs and to better understand our overall maintenance needs. Also beginning on May 1, BCA office hours will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Last month, 34 disclosure packets were distributed. According to Manager Wright, this is a huge number within the industry.

Manager Wright acknowledged the good work of Property Management Director Al Raimo and his team for executing covenant enforcement procedures and their recouping almost $19,000 in legal fees in the process.

Creating a paperless office environment is another goal set by Manager Wright.

Election and Referendum Results

Frances Hillman (4,734 votes or 36.02%) and Greg Pearson (4,540 votes of 34.54%) were elected to the 2017-2020 BCA Board of Directors.

Tax Referendum: "Resolved that any operating expenses for the year ending December 31, 2017 shall be applied against the subsequent tax year member assessment as provided by IRS Ruling 70-604." This referendum overwhelmingly passed with 7,189 or 94.49% of the vote.

Pool Compromise Referendum: "All new Brandermill residents purchasing or otherwise being conveyed a residence on or after May 1, 2017, shall be required to pay a Pool Fee every calendar year, entitling them to a Pool Membership for use of the Brandermill pools. The Pool Fee for 2017 shall be $250, and it shall increase year-to-year with any increase in assessments." This referendum failed with only 5,145 (68.52%) voting for the compromise. A membership approval rate of 75 is needed to pass any referendum.

With regards to the non-binding pool survey question, 3,122 (40.86%) supported universal pool access while 4,518 (59.13%) did not.

 

And the Winners Are ...

Posted April 17, 2017 at 8:01 PM
Important Note: The below highlights are reported based on unofficial notes taken by NRC representatives who attended the above BCA meeting. Although we believe the below reporting is reliable and strive for accuracy, we cannot assure 100% accuracy. It is recommended to all readers that they read the approved BCA Board Meeting minutes when published.

BCA Board of Directors Election

Frances Hillman and Gregory Pearson have been re-elected to the 2017-2020 BCA Board of Directors. CONGRATULATIONS, DIrectors!

Referendum: Pool Compromise Amendment

All new Brandermill residents purchasing or otherwise being conveyed a residence on or after May 1, 2017, shall be required to pay a Pool Fee every calendar year, entitling them to a Pool Membership for use of the Brandermill pools. The Pool Fee for 2017 shall be $250, and it shall increase year-to-year with any incraese in assessments.

The Pool Compromise Referendum failed as it achieved 68.5% support while 75% is needed to pass it.

Referendum: Surplus Revenue

Resolved that any operating expenses for the year ending December 31, 2017 shall be applied against the subsequent tax year member assessment as provided by IRS Ruling 70-604.

This referendum overwhelmingly passed.

Non-Binding Survey

Do you support a $125 increase in annual residential assessments for the pools? It could begin in 2018 with all residential members being pool members and is subject to future increases as your current assessments go up.

Majority of the voters did not support (59.13%) the proposed $125 increase in annual residential assessments for the pools, while 40.8% did.
 

BCA Board's Response to NRC Letter Regarding Pools

Posted April 13, 2017 at 11:51 AM
Responding to NRC's letter to the BCA Board regarding the pools, the BCA, on behalf of the BCA Board, sent the NRC the following letter.

April 12, 2017

Ms. Erin Collins
NRC Chairperson, 2017

RE: Pool Plans

Dear Ms. Collins,

Thank you for your letter regarding the above topic which I received when you delivered it to the Brandermill Board of Directors meeting on Monday night April 3, 2017. As you state you are writing on behalf of the Neighborhood Residence Council, a chartered committee of the Association. Board President Mr. Charlie Davis has asked that I respond on the Boards behalf.

The Board has authorized me to enter into a contract with Douglas Aquatics to have the North Beach pool repaired – it requires two patches. Work is scheduled to be completed at North Beach pool over the weekend of April 14-16.

As you may know this is the pool that the Brandermill swim team uses for practice and home meets. The staff has worked tirelessly over the winter accumulating bids from three different contractors to conduct the necessary repairs at the other two pools. This kind of work is specialized, and accordingly in order to prevent another situation like we find ourselves in now, the Board has authorized me to enter into a consultant contract with Mr. Doug Salvia, a well-known expert in all matters relating to pools. Mr. Salvia will act as our consulting expert should we pursue the pool contractor on the sub-standard work that is currently under legal review. Mr. Salvia was recently hired to review bids and provide the Association with his recommendations on whom we should hire to conduct the pool repairs at St. Ledger’s and Harbour Pointe pools.

Trying to expedite this important decision. The Board held four special meetings in March, two of them seeking input from the membership on this crucial matter, and two in early April. At the Board special meeting held Saturday, April 8 they voted to move forward with work on St. Ledger’s and Harbour Pointe pools with the direction of the pool consultant. A contractor has been identified for the repair work of these two pools and we are in the process of finalizing the contracts. The contractor is ready to provide the services necessary to have the pools open for the 2017 season.

I have answered the questions posed in your letter below.
1) If the pool compromise is fails, what are the Board’s next immediate steps?
The Board of Directors will have to meet and review their plan for funding the pools moving forward.
2) If the pool compromise is successful, but the majority of neighborhood votes for UPA, what will the Board do/consider?
The "Pool Compromise" was a referendum so if it passes it will be implemented after due notice and planning.
3) If the pool compromise is successful, and the majority of the neighborhood does not voice support for UPA, what will the Board do to ensure a path to sustained maintenance for each of the pools in Brandermill in the interim between 2017 and the Board’s calculus of an eventual full participation by virtue of home turnover?
Pool operational costs ha[ve] to be covered by the pool membership fees, which are dependent on variables, such as management fees and membership fees of neighboring pools. According to a Club Source Design study of Brandermill pools done in 2012, UPA would increase usage of the pools and require an investment of 1.4 to 1.7 million dollars in the infrastructure.
4) Regardless of the outcome of the vote, what are the plans for the pools for the 2017 season? We were told extensively about the need for resurfacing the pools at the community meetings and that the pools are not suitable until that works is complete. As we read the budget and accompanying financial plans for 2017, the work at St. Ledger’s was to be completed this year. To our knowledge, no such work has been undertaken as of April 1. What are your plans to ensure the work is completed in time for opening day, and when will you certify to the community that pools are again safe for our families? Which, if any, pools will be ready to open in May?
The Board of Directors met in executive session on Saturday, April 8 at the BCA office to discuss and solve the pool repair situation we are facing. Over the past few months the Board and staff have done their due diligence by looking at the multiple options and their consequences. The Board and staff have found a way to repair all three pools. Staff and contractors are working diligently to have all pools open by May 27.

It would be premature to speculate on the results of the questions posed on the annual election ballot. There are multiple areas to address and concerns to explore before determining a definitive course of action on both the "Pool Compromise" and/or Universal Pool Access (UPA). Both approaches pose varying degrees of potential issues. For instance, when the UPA issue was studied a few years ago, the swim management company at the time estimated that the contract amount would need to be increased 25% for the first year based upon anticipated increased usage. The current pool management contract is $179,000 for this year and will need to be rebid or possibly eliminated for 2018. Depending on the UPA question being answered may have a direct and large impact on the cost of operating the pools. There are many moving parts to this equation, again, just premature to opine on what may or may not happen.

I will certainly endeavor to keep the community and the NRC abreast of developments as they relate to the pools, as soon as Information is available that can to be shared with the membership. I have always valued the involvement of residents and the dedication of time from the volunteers. I certainly believe we can achieve more working closely together for the betterment of Brandermill. I will reach out to you soon, to establish protocols for up-coming town hall meetings. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and observations, I always appreciate hearing from members on matters that are important to them.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Wright
General Manager

CC: Charles Davis
Board of Directors

The NRC thanks the BCA for their prompt response and the encouraging news about the pools for the 2017 season.
 

Announcement regarding Brandermill Pools

Posted April 10, 2017 at 7:55 PM
Message courtesy of Brandermill Community Association

Dear Residents,

The Board of Directors met in executive session on Saturday, April 8 at the BCA office to discuss and solve the pool repair situation we are facing. Over the past few months the Board and Staff have done their due diligence to look at the multiple options and their consequences, such as the final year of a binding three-year pool management contract for staffing and managing three pools at $179,000 annually. They voted to move forward with necessary repairs of St. Ledger's and Harbour Pointe pools and patch North Beach pool that will allow all three pools to open for the 2017 season.

Since this type of work is specialized and in order to prevent another situation like we find ourselves in now, the Board has authorized Staff to enter into a consultant contract with a well-known expert in all matters relating to pools. This consultant has assisted staff with reviewing the bids for repair work on all three pools and greatly reducing costs. The consultant will also be present during the repairs to oversee the work and utilized as an expert witness representing BCA in potential legal actions.

Expected costs will keep the BCA Reserve Fund over the one-million-dollar amount set by the Finance Committee.

Please strongly consider purchasing a 2017 pool membership within Brandermill to support your community. [emphasis added]

Staff and contractors will be working diligently to have all pools open by May 27.

Sincerely,
BCA

NRC Commentary on April 3, 2017 BCA Board Meeting

Posted April 6, 2017 at 7:26 PM
Important Note: The below highlights are reported based on unofficial notes taken by NRC representatives who attended the above BCA meeting. Although we believe the below reporting is reliable and strive for accuracy, we cannot assure 100% accuracy. It is recommended to all readers that they read the approved BCA Board Meeting minutes when published.

Member Voice

NRC Chair Erin Collins submitted a letter to the BCA Board for consideration. The letter referenced "pool plans and maintenance 2017". She thanked the BCA for holding community meetings regarding the pools and felt the community had a good grasp on the components of the pool compromise and the non-binding UPA survey question.

Here is the full text of the letter:

April 3, 2017

Brandermill Community Association, Community Manager
Brandermill Community Association, Board of Directors
3001 East Boundary Terrace
Midlothian, VA 23112

Re: Pool plans and maintenance 2017

Dear Ms. Wright and members of the Board,

I’m writing to you today as Chairperson of the Neighborhood Residents’ Council for 2017.

As it is our duty to advocate for the neighborhoods to the BCA Board of Directors, to determine and convey matters of community importance to and from the board, and enhance involvement in government processes of the community, I will be providing a written letter to you on a regular basis asking for feedback or action on specific issues. We are also happy to provide an oral report to the Board when I or an officer are logistically able to attend in person.

For the April 2017 meeting of the Board, the NRC seeks an answer to the future of the pools. Specifically, the immediate plans for the 2017 season.

As I personally attended one of the community meetings on the pool compromise, and as many NRC reps have been involved in the discussions, we feel that we have a good grasp on the details of the pool compromise and the issues associated with the upcoming community vote on it. We also understand that the survey contained in the referendum on universal pool access is non-binding.

To help us answer the many questions coming to our NRC representatives, please answer the following:
1) If the pool compromise fails, what are the Board’s next immediate steps?
2) If the pool compromise is successful, but the majority of the neighborhood votes for UPA, what will the Board do/consider?
3) If the pool compromise is successful, and the majority of the neighborhood does not voice support for UPA, what will the Board do to ensure a path to sustained maintenance for each of the pools in Brandermill in the interim between 2017 and the Board’s calculus of an eventual full participation by virtue of home turnover?
4) Regardless of the outcome of the vote, what are the plans for the pools for the 2017 season? We were told extensively about the need for resurfacing the pools at the community meetings and that the pools are not suitable until that work is complete. As we read the budget and accompanying financial plans for 2017, the work at St. ledgers was to be completed this year. To our knowledge, no such work has been undertaken as of April 1. What are your plans to ensure the work is completed in time for opening day, and when will you certify to the community that pools are again safe for our families? Which, if any pools will be ready to open in May?

As always, I am happy to open a dialogue with the Board of Directors and the Community Manager as schedules allow to discuss any concerns about the pools and how the NRC can facilitate communication with the neighborhood.

So that we may best convey your response to NRC Reps, please provide a written response within sufficient time so that we may convey the message to the neighborhood as it may bear on their upcoming voting decision on April 17th.

Sincerely,
Erin Collins
cc: NRC officers
NRC representatives
Comments? >>

Please note that the following reports are a synopsis and are not inclusive of commentary and not meant to capture comments or discussions. For full understanding, please reference the audio recording of the meeting.

General Manager's Report

With regard to Director Hunt's specific question about the status of the dock work to be performed at Harbour Pointe, Manager Wright responded that Maintenance has begun to remove the dock, as it has been discovered that there is no undergirding support. Replacement of this dock is not budgeted for 2017, but research will be done to establish where it falls in the Reserve Study. Manager Wright noted that the future of the dock is a decision to be made by the Board of Directors. Aesthetically, the area will look nicer; and in response to resident calls, the yellow tape will be removed.

With regards to the pools, Manager Wright stated that Douglas Aquatics has been hired to review the pool repair bids. Patch replastering will begin at North Beach pool on April 8, and this pool is expected to open at the beginning of the season in May.

With regards to BCA hours, Manager Wright stated that the BCA office will be opened Monday through Friday with extended business hours for the membership. This should take effect in May. There will not be any additional costs for this change.

Counting of the ballots has begun, and there have always been three persons in the room during those times. Manager Wright encourages members to vote and indicated that quorum has been achieved. Election results will be reported at the Annual Meeting on April 17th at The Brandermill Church.

Comments? >>

Consideration of a Request for a Bulkhead at Walker's Ferry

Director Hillman requested consideration of building a bulkhead by Roby Monday in Walker's Ferry as presented on pages 33-39 of this Board packet. The purpose of this bulkhead is to deter further erosion along that particular stretch of the shoreline.

President Davis moved and Treasurer Gregory seconded a motion to approve construction of the bulkhead as presented. The motion was unanimously adopted. Correspondence to East West Partners relaying this vote will be sent.

Comments? >>

Presentation and Adoption of 2016 Audit

Treasurer Gregory commented that 2016 Audit Report has been finalized and was unanimously accepted by the Finance Committee at its March 17, 2017 meeting. The auditors concluded that "the financial statements were materially accurate with no qualifications on that opinion." Treasurer Gregory further summarized the findings of the 2016 Audit Report in his "Treasurer's Comments" document.

In its review of past-due accounts receivables last November, the Finance Committee concluded that the age of some of the accounts were sufficiently old as to deem them uncollectible. This caused the Finance Committee to recommend that the "bad debt" line item be increased to approximately $90,000. The BCA will, however, continue to seek remittance for past-due assessments as well as legal and court costs.

Excess revenue over expenses for BCA activities (excluding the above bad debt line item and pool operational costs) was approximately $61,000, while the budgeted amounts for these activities was $39,000. This yielded an approximate surplus of $22,000.

The pools in 2016 yielded a loss of approximately $83,000, which had an impact on the overall operational budget. The other item which greatly impacted our 2016 budget was the bad debt adjustment as described above.

Additional explanation of other budget variances are explained on page 2 of the Treasurer's Comments document.

Manager Wright indicated that approximately $18,000 has been recovered in legal fees due to the BCA winning its legal cases and legal/court costs being reimbursed.

Treasurer Gregory moved and Director Hillman seconded a motion to approve and adopt the 2016 Audit Report. This motion was unanimously approved.

Comments? >>

The regular meeting then ended when the Board adjourned into executive session.