November 2012 Archives

Board Update - November 2012

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Hurricane Sandy Update: The board, our building staff and management company, along with help from residents who used our list-serve to point out potential problem areas, have worked with our exterior repair contractor to make prudent preparations before Sandy arrived. Some tarps ripped and some equipment on the roof was shifted during the storm, but remained secured. Inspections for any damage have already commenced and the building is in overall solid shape considering the high winds. Thank you to everyone who remained calm and checked in on our more vulnerable neighbors during the 2-hour blackout we experienced on Tuesday. 
Exterior Work Update: Work continues in our very large exterior repair project. The parapet wall (above the roof line) continues to be reconstructed. The board was able to control some of the costs of this project by deciding to re-build a lower brick wall and replace parts of it with an attractive railing. Brick is far more expensive and not necessary in those locations. The project is now moving into a new phase during which the balconies will receive a great deal of attention. In each case, each balcony will have some of its bricks removed to expose the metal beams. If the metal beams can be used or repaired, the bricks will simply be replaced. In cases where the beam must be replaced due to rust beyond repair, the entire balcony wall will be removed to facilitate that replacement. The board has decided to replace all brick balcony walls with new matching brick balcony. Though this can be more expensive than railings, because not all of our balconies will require this full replacement, railings would not match those balconies that do not need full reconstruction. Therefore, keeping the brick balcony walls is in fact the least expensive option to maintain uniformity in the aesthetic of the building fa├žade. As the work continues to progress, notices will continue to be posted in the building. The garden and side-door access will remain limited as needed by the work to keep everyone safe. Weather will be the biggest factor determining the length of the remaining project as we enter the fall and winter seasons. While the board is hopeful to have the project completed before the snowy months, it is certainly within the realm of possibility that this work will continue through to the Spring of 2013. Stay tuned for additional updates.
Balcony Dividers will be Replaced: The 6 balcony dividers separating the E-line and F-line halves of the center-balconies will be replaced during our exterior repair project. The faded yellow and warped dividers are past their prime, and will be replaced with modern attractive dividers that should improve the look of our building from the street and be a welcome upgrade to those E-line and F-line balconies. This upgrade is long overdue.
Garden Bench Fixed: The broken sections of the benches in our garden have been repaired by our staff. Thank you to our shareholders who brought this issue to our attention. The board continues to plan upgrades to our open spaces within the garden and the new community planting areas planned for the roof of the garage this upcoming spring season.
Lobby Wall Painted. Historic Framed Local Photographs Planned: The lobby has been given a mild upgrade with a new color palette of paint applied to the walls. The old large-scale painting has been removed, and the board and lobby committee are planning a series of framed photographs depicting the history of our neighborhood and borough to be hung on the wall that used to host the large painting.
Side Door Automation Planned: The board has been working for much of a year on the task of getting our side/freight entrance door automated. We have wheelchair-based and elderly residents who find using that door difficult and dangerous. The door was never designed to be automated, so it has taken a great deal of time to find a viable solution. The board continues to work to bring this to fruition in as safe and affordable a manner as possible.
Fencing for Garbage Staging Area: The board continues to look into options for attractive fencing to separate our recycling staging area along the garden entrance walkway.
Board E-mail Address is Not for Time-Sensitive Requests: The board would like to reiterate that our e-mail address is best used for general communications with the board that are not time-sensitive. Questions about refinancing, sales, subleasing applications, and other time-sensitive or financial matters should be directed to the appropriate person at our management company. Leon, Sandra, Nancy, and Judith at Maxx Management are your best bet in those situations. The board e-mail address is monitored periodically by our board members and we look forward to hearing from you when you want to reach out to us privately. The google-group we maintain is also a great way to share and receive non-private information in a rather quick manner. Using the appropriate option for the type of communication you have to make will have the best results for your needs.

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors only. They do not necessarily reflect the positions or opinions of the 616 East 18 St. Owners Corporation, any of its staff members or residents, or Maxx Management.

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