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PRESIDENT'S CORNER 2012 ARCHIVE
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Ice Skating Pond
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Snowbrook in the Summer
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Pool building Deck
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Tennis courts have a backboard for practice

PRESIDENT'S CORNER ARCHIVE

October 17, 2013

Greetings to Fellow Owners,

We would like to provide a brief update for owners that missed a very productive Annual Meeting. We will try to stick to the highlights. It should be easy as all the news is Good News at Snowbrook.

We kicked off the afternoon with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Pool Grand Reopening.

We achieved a quorum for the meeting.

Snowbrook President's update.

Sugarloaf Presidents' Association Meeting
* Water Association and Sanitary District - no increase in fees.
* Police and Security - pursuing ways to reduce security costs.
* Town of CV - Pooper Scooper Ordinance in place. Click here
* John Diller presentation to owners - SMC had a very good year - see more on Sugarloaf website.
* Peer Review - We are focusing on Snowbrook Website and Project & Financial Management for 2014.
* Survey - Provides clear view of owners' evaluation and desired direction. We truly appreciate the 96 owners that participated in the Survey.
* Real Estate - Demand and activity are up.
* Pool Passes mailed by Thanksgiving.
* Past Practices updated. Sections updated are patios, signs, propane conversions, rain diverters on ski lockers, living room windows and bedroom windows. Click here.


Snowbrook VP Update
* All planned projects were completed on time except for major drainage for the area above the pond. We delayed drainage until 2014 as we wait for the Engineer's Report.
* Richard Devries provided an update on his efforts to further reduce energy costs for the pool complex.


Snowbrook Treasurer's Report
* 2013 was our second year of a flat budget and we finished the year under budget. Funds will be available for high priority projects in 2014 - for example the above drainage project.


Director's Update on Town Health and Safety Liaison
* Pooper Scooper Ordinance in place. For State and Town dog rules click here.
* Parking - Security will respond with a parking ticket to parking complaints particularly in area of Building 9.
* Currently parking permits will not be issued. We hope the new signs and parking tickets will reduce the impact of unauthorized cars parking to ride the Snubber Lift.

Voting

Votes were counted by two uninvolved owners. Results are:

* The Budget for 2013-14 is $769,852 down from previous year. Third year of flat budgets including operating funds (52%), pass thru items, utilities and sewer (30%) and capital improvements (18%).

* Election of Directors for two expiring terms

  • Steve Banahan elected
  • Ray Bolek elected
  • Four write-ins received a maximum of two votes.

* Two Owner Proposals - failed


We believe the Annual Meeting was a significant event and we thank the owners and Mountain Valley Property for your strong support in our efforts to maintain our Village, preserve & enhance your investment and ensure each visit is enjoyable. If you have any questions or suggestions - please contact your Board or Mountain Valley Property.

Excellence is Better than Last Year, but not as Good as Next Year.


Snowbrook owners have met this standard for the past several years. Let us continue as a Community of Excellence!

Sincerely,

Your fellow owners - Bob Lee - President, Steve Banahan - VP, Kay Storch - Secretary, Dan Hayes - Treasurer, Chris Brochu - Director, Ray Bolek - Director


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July 29, 2013

Greetings to all fellow Snowbrook Condominium Owners,

The Annual Meeting of Snowbrook Village Owners Association will be Saturday 12 October 2013. The meeting will provide informative updates, insights and important recommendations for owner approval including a proposed Budget for 2013 - 14 and Election of Directors.

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Budget --MVP and the Board are working towards a flat budget. This is a challenge when our costs continue to increase in many areas. We are encouraged with progress to contain inflation. The Board's Proposed Budget will be included in the Annual Meeting U.S.P.S. mailing to all owners prior to the Annual Meeting. We have an annual operating budget of just under $800k and we are targeting to be at or lower than 2013 level. This $800k is made up of items we the owners directly control and manage and items that are charged to us like utilities and mountain services. The composition of the $800k breaks roughly as follows:

Annual maintenance and management (w/o capital reserves) 53%
Utilities (sewer, water) 16.5%
Mountain services (road, security, alarm, transportation) 13.5%
Capital Funding (to maintain capital improvements) 17%

Directors -- Two Directors Terms expire in 2013.
Steve Banahan's term will expire in 2013. Steve has agreed to continue as a Director at the pleasure of the owners and the Board. Steve has been instrumental in significantly reducing the Backlog of Maintenance and Repair from roofing to numerous life safety issues. His insight and perseverance have been instrumental in preserving and enhancing our pool facility while reducing unauthorized pool usage and significantly reducing energy consumption. He also contributed to improved financial management and has provided keen insight for our very successful long range planning and Reserve Management. Steve is the hands on outspoken driving force for all the owners. Steve, along with the other Directors, was recognized as "Volunteer of the Year" by the Community Association Institute, New England Chapter. We, of course, are most pleased that Steve has agreed to stay on.

Ray Bolek's term will expire in 2013. He has agreed to continue as a Director at the pleasure of the owners and the Board. Ray has been a Director for only two years. In that short period he has taken the lead on improving Transparency - especially in Fiscal Management. His experience as a Forensic Auditor is an excellent background for his insightful reviews and suggestions. Ray has also contributed to improving procedures and brought the latest changes in Statutes, Ruling and Best Practices to the table. The second most important attribute of a Director is attendance! Ray leads by example - he and Dorothy travel over 700 miles to attend each of the in person Board Meetings, the June Owners meeting and the Annual Meeting. We are equally pleased Ray has agreed to stay on.

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Duties and Responsibility for All Directors -- All Directors will attend approximately five in person Board meetings per year - normally at the Pool House on Friday afternoons. Directors will also attend the Annual Meeting and the June Owners' Weekend meetings in the Sugarloaf area. He or she will also participate in six to eight telephone conference calls per year during regular working hours.

All Board Members are regularly assigned major contracts to review -- both on site and at the Management Firm's office -- for example roofing and siding projects. All Directors may be assigned to review a month's financial records at the Manager's office.

The formal Duties and Responsibilities of Officers are stated in the Bylaws. The additional tasks are considerable.
The national average for Condo Association Directors is 240 volunteer hours a year.

Qualifications and Experience Desired -- A Director should have well developed business acumen, financial or facility management experience, and a strong desire to contribute to the Association. Additionally, directors are expected to possess personal traits such as candor, integrity, congeniality and collegiality and must be able to commit significant time to the Association's oversight.

Logistics -- the requirement to review projects during the summer and fall construction season and to occasionally review monthly financial records throughout the year could be more easily accomplished if the Director was located within a reasonable distance of Carrabassett Valley. The association does not pay or reimburse Directors for any meeting, telephone, nor travel expenses.

Interested or curious - please feel free to talk to me or any Board Member. Please find contact information below.

If you are interested in becoming a Director we encourage you to email your one page biography - emphasizing the Qualifications and Logistics noted above - to the undersigned by 21 August 2013. If Resume is received after 21 August, 2013 or an owner is nominated from the floor at the Annual Meeting - the candidate's name will not have appeared on the mailed ballot, but will be added to the in person ballots at the Annual Meeting. The Board will review all candidates consistent with the above and the current needs, of the Association to provide a recommendation to the owners. Candidates may be called by any or all of the Board Members.

If you have any questions - call or email a Director. Their contact information can be found at the end of this letter.
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Agenda -- The Board will publish the Agenda for the Annual Meeting in the mailed Annual Meeting package. Only items on the agenda can be voted at the Annual Meeting. Consistent with the Statutes, the Declaration and Bylaws - an owner may suggest an agenda item in writing to the Secretary of the Association by 21 August 2013. The Board will review and respond to the originator.

Bylaws -- We have a great summer construction season underway. However, I am not writing about the exciting stuff like the pool refurbishment or removing the "Rock Garden" from our main road but to bring you up to date on other challenges.
The pursuit of the Restated Bylaws, unfortunately, has become a distraction and an unplanned and unwanted magnet for scarce resources. Currently, we have concluded these resources can be better used in pursuing the operation and maintenance of our 27 million dollar village. In particular, if we apply those resources to the continual repair and improvement of our infrastructure and to the management initiatives in our Three Year Plan, we will produce meaningful results in the near term.
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We, therefore, have moved presenting the Restated Bylaws to a later date.

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Please join us at the Annual Meeting and Grand Re-opening of your pool.

Sincerely,

Bob Lee, President
Snowbrook Village Board of Directors

Steve Banahan 207 668 9235 sbanahan@myfairpoint.net
Ray Bolek 860 927 3826 rbolek@snet.net
Chris Brochu 207 249 8624 chris@pleasantriverlumber.com
Dan Hayes 207 729 4897 dhayes@unum.com
Bob Lee 207 943 3267 bobandmarylou@gmail.com
Kay Storch 207 866 4290 kstorch@maine.edu

__________________________________________________________


July 1, 2013

Greetings to fellow owners,

We are writing to provide a brief update on summer projects both large and small, but all important to the owners.

Let's start with life safety -

  • Sprinkler system flushing of Building 18 - completed
  • We continue with our scheduled Smoke Detector inspections - Buildings 5,6,7 & 9 completed week of June 17
  • Annual Fireplace and chimney cleanings - started week of June 17th

We continue to make significant progress on the backlog of Maintenance and Repair.

  • Decks & Privacy Walls continue to be a challenge - Work is being completed on Buildings 1, 8 & 18. We plan to repair deck for 2602 and are evaluating decks at Buildings 3 & 6.
  • Replacement of wooden trim & aluminum cover on 14 gable ends to prevent water from continuing to enter the building envelope - scheduled for this summer.
  • Replacing and repairing cement crowns on 4 chimneys and replacing multiple layers of brick on 8 chimneys - work starting week of June 24th
  • New ski locker & unit signs project will be completed this summer on Buildings 1,2,3,4,5,15

Preventative scheduled maintenance saves dollars and maintains property values.

  • Staining Buildings 1, 5, 15 and partial stain of Building 11 - started June 20th
  • Staining of pond bridge - scheduled for this summer

Major projects funded from the Reserve Fund (The Long Range Plan)

  • We will complete roofing of 17 of our 19 buildings with roofing Building 16 - scheduled to begin July 8th
  • The rocky road or rock garden as some call the East Mountain entrance road will be excavated and 280 feet paved this summer - start date is weather dependent
  • The drainage system around the tennis courts and the pool building are no longer functional. The tennis courts are in poor shape, but before we invest in the courts we need to correct the drainage problems. Proposals are under review for completion this year. Below are photos of the current drainage system on the south side of tennis courts.
  • Last, but with high impact for many owners - pool reconditioning. The Board and MVP looked at the options to address the failed pool liner. We selected totally eliminating the vinyl liner and completely plastering and installing a decorative tile border around the perimeter. The pool will reopen in July. If you want to see the reconditioned pool - you should plan on attending the Pool Grand Reopening before the Annual Meeting on 12 October 2013. Of course, if you come to our Village before the Annual Meeting you can use the pool and get a sneak preview.

Pool plastering nearly done

pool plastering nearly complete

We thank you for your support in our efforts to maintain our village, preserve and enhance your investment and ensure each visit is enjoyable. If you have any questions or suggestions - please contact your Board or MVP.

Excellence is Better than Last Year, but not as Good as Next Year.

Snowbrook owners have met this standard for the past several years. Let us continue as a Community of Excellence!

Sincerely,

Your fellow owners -

Bob Lee - President, Steve Banahan - VP, Kay Storch - Secretary, Dan Hayes - Treasurer. Chris Brochu - Director, Ray Bolek - Director

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May 10, 2013
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Dear fellow owners,
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We have made great progress in the Operations & Maintenance; Major Repair and Capital Improvements; Fiscal Control; Pool O&M; Curb Appeal; and Association Management. Of course, if we are to continue to be A Village of Excellence, we cannot rest on our accomplishments, but must continue to improve year to year.

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Excellence is being Better than Last Year, but not as good as Next Year
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As I mentioned in a previous note, while attending classes on Association Management at a CAI training session in Marlboro, MA - I talked with several major condo management company executives to obtain fresh ideas for evaluating and selecting management companies. Their first recommendation was to hire an experienced Independent agent (outsider) to review both our current management concept and our Management Company's performance with emphasis on how they and, of course, the Board could improve. We hired David Boston, VP of TPW Management and a noted Association Management Executive to perform the Peer Review.

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He conducted the Peer Review of both MVP and our management arrangement on 26 & 27 January - his complete review can be accessed here. I think you will find reading it worth your time. His brief resume can be found here.

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The Board and MVP will commence the process of addressing his recommendations at the 1 June Board Meeting. As always, all owners are invited to the Board Meeting to watch your Board in action.
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We, your Board, and Mountain Valley Property are enthusiastic about our next steps forward.

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Sincerely,
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Bob Lee, President Snowbrook Village Condo Association

Cindy Hammond, President Mountain Valley Property

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April 16, 2013
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Hello All,

The cover story of the February issue of Condo Media is a really interesting article about risk managment. A copy of the artticle entitled "Blanket Coverage" can be accessed here.

Thank you,

Bob Lee


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February 15, 2013

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Greetings all,

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At the recent evening Workshop, a group was empanelled to dig deeper into the issue of impact fees for the Pool and see if we can come up with practical ways of meeting the costs that will achieve greater acceptance. I think I can say that the group has the strong support of the Board for doing this.

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R. Devries and myself are involved and are gathering information which we will soon share.

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We would like to get a few more volunteers to help with some of the work, discuss ideas, and represent different viewpoints. This is complicated and there is much to do. New ideas will pop up -- of course not all will work or be acceptable but we should look at them and make thoughtful judgments.

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We'd like to have at least some progress to report at the next Workshop, which I gather could be in March. There is no specific deadline but surely we'd like to have results well in advance of the fall General meeting.

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Please let me know if interested to work on this project.

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We'll try to keep an occasional flow of interesting information coming to keep people informed and elicit comments as we go.

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Best,
Lloyd C. Irland
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February 8, 2013

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Greetings to all owners,

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We have managed to make major improvements in life & safety, facilities, financial stability and cost effectiveness. However, we have accomplished these gains in an unsustainable manner. We have taken great advantage of our Board Members' talent and willingness to contribute. While we have accomplished this, we still have much to do and are developing a three year plan for continued progress and additional focus on management and accountability. Of course, it is a work in progress. We welcome and encourage feedback and suggestions to continue to improve our association.

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Below - please find the Three Year Plan items we are adding to our vision.

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Bylaws - Thanks to MVP, several community minded owners and the Board - The Declaration was approved. I think we all agree we need Bylaws that are current and consistent with Maine Statutes. We are continuing the process of engaging members to review and improve the By Laws with the goal to ratify by the end of the year. We conducted our first Workshop on Friday 25 January and had active participation and interest from the community to take the lead in addressing critical issues. Board President Bob Lee moderated the workshop which began at 6:00PM and ended at 8:15PM. Other Board members attending were Steve Banahan, Ray Bolek, Dan Hayes and Kay Storch.

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Owners attending were: Mike Cannon, Richard Devries, Lloyd Irland, Marylou Lee, Barbara Raiche, Pat Robinson, Carol Schiller, Dick Storch and Gordon & Marilyn Watson.

Mountain Valley Property representatives attending were Cindy Hammond and Kathy Beauchamp.

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Bob Lee noted the feedback the Board has received from owners on the proposed Bylaws and called this meeting to discuss those specific areas of concern and to improve the Bylaws. The Association needs a competent set of Bylaws that will serve the Association for years to come. Bob Lee distributed index cards and asked owners to write the topics they wanted to discuss.

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Topics Discussed

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* Rules & Regulations. The Association has not published Rules and Regulations because the current Bylaws require 80% approval of the ownership. The proposed Bylaws give the Board authority to adopt rules which is standard in condo associations to allow for the orderly administration of the Association. Other associations have a summary document that is distributed to prospective owners that contain the Rules & Regulations, and the most important items in the Bylaws & Declaration. It is a useful document so prospective purchasers know the Association's rules beforehand (such as if children are allowed, dogs are allowed, all doors on master key system, owners responsible for association master insurance deductible, etc.)

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What is a reasonable trigger to allow a meeting to be called to challenge an action or rule of the Board? After considerable discussion, most owners in attendance felt 40% of the entire ownership was a reasonable level to call a meeting, and 2/3 of the entire ownership to overturn a Board action/rule.

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It was pointed out that it would be the responsibility of the owner who wants to call the meeting to get the petition signed by 40% of the ownership - not the Board's or Association's responsibility. Owners are allowed by law to access the names and mailing addresses of the ownership, but the Board has been counseled that emails are not automatically included in that right.

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An owner offered that the Rules & Regulations should be written directly into the Bylaws under Section 6.9. The Board does not support this approach because then to change a Rule or Regulation the Association would have to go through the process of changing the Bylaws again. The Bylaws should be a standalone document that will withstand the test of time and serve the Association for many years to come. The Rules and Regulations should be a separate stand alone document because as times change a Rule in a separate document will be easier for the owners and/or the Board to revoke or adopt. Barbara Raiche offered to work on Rules and Bylaws.

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It was suggested that each provision of the Bylaws be brought up for vote at the annual meeting. The Board felt this was impractical due to the size of the association, the time involved and low owner turnout.

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It was suggested that language be added to review the Bylaws every three years. The Board feels this should be a rule, not written into the Bylaws, again not wanting to constrict future Boards.

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* Meetings. Some owners are disgruntled as they were unable to have a vote at the annual meeting to add another director's position to the Board. The Board explained that standard meeting procedure is that nothing can be voted on at a meeting unless it is on the Agenda because those not attending have no notice of the proposed vote. The Board noted every request for adding an item to an agenda or for an owner presentation has been approved in at least the last 7 years. An owner suggested the Bylaws should have a mechanism by which an item can be added to a meeting Agenda. The Board agreed this would be a good addition to the Bylaws.

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* Quorums. A brief discussion on how reducing the quorum for an Annual Meeting increased owner's ability to participate in managing the Association.

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* Elections. A couple owners were very vocal that the recent Board elections were unfairly run, not transparent and not open. The fairness of the proxy was questioned. The Board rebutted: it was advertised that another owner was interested in running; a letter was mailed and emails were sent announcing the open positions and soliciting candidates; it is the job of the Board to solicit, interview, vet and recommend potential candidates. One owner suggested term limits. The Board cautioned that getting people to volunteer to serve on a Board is a chronic problem so why limit an interested person? The Board and attendees agreed that Carol Schiller could head up an Election/Voting owner work group to develop suggestions for nomination guidelines, vetting process, creating a slate of Directors, proxy ballot, etc. and submit them to the Board.

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* Fines and Penalties. One owner felt the 18% finance charge and fines and penalties were too harsh since this is a community and owner's special circumstances should be taken into account. Most other owners in attendance disagreed strongly. Everyone was reminded about the recent special assessment that everyone paid for the owner who defaulted. The fines and penalties encourage owners to pay their dues. The Board acknowledged they are kept abreast of hardship cases and special circumstances.

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* Right of Entry, Section 6.11. An owner was concerned Section 6.11 gave the Board unfettered right to enter and inspect condos for no apparent reason. The Board explained it is their duty to protect the common elements. This clause gives the Board or its authorized representative the right of entry in emergency situations or to make repairs that are under its duty. It does not give the Board the authority to enter to simply snoop and look around. This right of entry protects the Association. The owner was satisfied.

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* Pool Impact Fee. What will stop the Board from assessing more impact fees? My dues already cover the costs of the pool. Can the costs of the pool be distributed more fairly? Bob Lee went through the history of how the pool impact fee was developed. The pool expenses continue to escalate. Renters are a contributing factor. The pool impact fee has singularly been the most divisive issue. Lloyd Irland agreed to lead a Pool owner workgroup to study options on distributing the costs of the pool facility taking into consideration opposing views on this issue. Richard Devries also volunteered to serve on the workgroup.

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* Communications. All were in agreement that technology could be employed to increase owner participation in meetings. A communication group could be set up to identify ways to increase Association participation and possibly save money. Carol Schiller suggested Scott Irving as a lead for an owner's workgroup for communications.

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Bob Lee was planning another follow-up workshop for Friday, April 12 which is Reggae Weekend. Owners didn't feel this was a good day and asked for it to be in March, during the ski season to promote turnout. Steve Banahan agreed to moderate a workshop in Bob's absence. The date and time are to be determined.

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All changes incorporated into the Bylaws will be subject to legal review.

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The Board appreciates every owner's participation whether in person or by direct contact with your Board.

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Contract oversight - Our audit review by Austin Associates in 2008 - suggested that we move away from the Board Members inspecting major repair and replace projects with an outside Engineer or Construction Inspector. We continued to cover the projects with Board Members to reduce costs. Steve Banahan (with a little help from Bob) has agreed to continue to watch projects for 2013. We hope to find an Engineer or Construction Inspector for 2014 and beyond.

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Financial Security - We continue to make progress. The CAI training in Mass that Mary Lou and I attended (no cost to the Association) emphasized the many potential financial challenges, reserve adequacy, financial controls and transparency. Dan Hayes, Treasurer, and Ray Bolek, Transparency, are leading the initiative. They have formulated suggested changes and are working with the property management company to implement.

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Management - I talked with the major condo management company executives at the CAI course in Marlboro, MA in understanding how to evaluate and decide on management companies. A recommended action was to hire an experienced Independent agent (outsider) to review both our current management concept and our Management Company's performance with emphasis on how they and of course, the Board could improve. We hired a noted Association Management Executive to conduct the Peer Review. David Boston, V.P. of TPW Management, conducted the Peer Review of both MVP and our management arrangement on 26 & 27 January. Both the Manager and the Board have immediately benefited from his visit. I think we were all rather excited with his management system suggestions that would, at the same time, decrease work and improved transparency. His initial suggestions appear to fit very well with the Financial Security review discussed above. We await his written report.

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Audit - We plan to budget for and conduct an audit or audit review once we have the initiatives from above in place.

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Risk Management - Take a fresh look at Insurance, Flood Insurance and Life Safety and Fire issues. In February, we will have full coverage flood insurance in place for our one building that is in the risk zone. The review will continue through the year.

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Rules and Regulations - The Association has not published Rules and Regulations but have both written and unwritten practices in place that can easily become the foundation for the required Rules and Regulations, take for example the Associations current guidance on use of grills. All owners and particularly prospective owners deserve a complete set of Rules and Regulations. We see this as an extension of the By Laws and being delivered in parallel or slightly behind the By Laws. Essential Rules & Regulations provide protection for every owner and generally reduce conflicts. It is a useful document so prospective purchasers know the Association's rules beforehand (such as if children are allowed, dogs are allowed, all doors on master key system, owners responsible for association master insurance deductible, etc.)

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Below is a big picture table. Regardless of schedule - there is plenty to do.

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Action------------------------------------------- Suggested Year--------------------- Leads----------------

Modify and Pass Bylaws-------------------------2013----------------------------------Kathy, Kay & Bob
Management review by outside agent-------2013----------------------------------Bob & Dan
Risk Management----------------------------------2013----------------------------------Ray & Chris
Rules and Regulations----------------------------2014---------------------------------Kay & Steve
Financial Security-----------------------------------2014 ---------------------------------Dan & Ray
Reserve Study or update------------------------2014---------------------------------Chris & Steve
Contract Oversight---------------------------------2014---------------------------------Steve & Chris
Audit or audit review-------------------------------2015 or every two years-------Dan & Ray

Many owners have made positive comments on our progress in attaining our published Vision for Snowbrook Village. The Three Year Plan adds a new and vital layer to our goals for our special village.

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We appreciate the help now and in the future from our owners and MVP. We hope this is informative. Please feel free to submit thoughts and suggestions to me or any Board member.

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Snowbrook Village Board of Directors

Bob Lee, bobandmarylou@gmail.com
Steve Banahan, sbanahan@myfairpoint.net
Kay Storch, kstorch@maine.edu
Dan Hayes, dhayes@unum.com
Ray Bolek, rbolek@snet.net
Chris Brochu, chris@pleasantriverlumber.com

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CLARIFICATION OF THE HIERARCHY OF CONDOMINIUM DOCUMENTS
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December 11, 2012
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Dear Snowbrook owners,
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A couple of owners have asked - How will the Association proceed with a 2012 Declaration and 1985 Bylaws? With some difficulty -- so let's look at the whole picture first.

In the event of any conflict or discrepancy between the 2012 Declaration, the Plat and Plans, the Bylaws and the Rules and Regulations, the foregoing documents shall control in accordance with the order of priority in which they are listed. If any provision of the Declaration, the Plat and Plans, the Bylaws or the Rules and Regulations conflicts with any applicable laws, including, but not limited to, the Maine Condominium Act, then the Maine Condominium Act shall be deemed controlling.
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The hierarchy is:

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------= Maine Statutes
------= 1984 Sugarloaf General Declaration Covenants and Restrictions
------= 2012 Snowbrook Declaration
------= Plat and Plans
------= 1985 Snowbrook Bylaws
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= Rules and Regulations

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If a conflict exists the documents higher on the list govern. For example, if the 1984 Sugarloaf Covenants conflict with the Maine Condominium Act - the Condominium Act controls.

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Obviously, having a contemporary Declaration and out-of-date Bylaws is not the best situation. We need to have a complete, coordinated and integrated set of documents to provide for owner and buyer confidence and effective and efficient operation of the Association.

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The 1985 Bylaws provide for very little owner involvement in the operation of the Association. The Board would like to make owner participation in major decisions easier.

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For example:

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------= The Annual Budget
------= Election of Directors
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= Rule Making

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We are planning a workshop on improving the Restated Bylaws for Friday 25 January, 2013. More details to follow. However, I would like to ask now - Would you consider participating in the workshop? If so - please respond directly to me by phone or email. 207-943-3267 bobandmarylou@gmail.com

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We wish all wonderful holidays and a great ski season.

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Bob Lee, President
Snowbrook Village Condo Association

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November 9, 2012

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Greetings to all owners,

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We have successfully completed a supercharged year at Snowbrook with the Annual Meeting. Your Association is in good health. We completed major projects within budget to include reroofing, siding, decks, privacy walls and life safety items. Project photos are posted on www.Snowbrook.org. We ended the year under budget by $15,000. The 2013 Budget approved at the Annual Meeting is flat. In fact, if we were not concerned with an increase in insurance premium, we would have had a small decrease in the monthly dues. Dan Hayes, our Treasurer, provided a detailed analysis of cost growth and comparison of our dues with other associations at Sugarloaf. The report is posted below.

We started on the project to update our Declaration and Bylaws in 2010 with restated versions prepared by noted condo Attorney Larry Clough. The Board appreciates the contributions of numerous owners to the process. The voting is complete. The Secretary reported the results at the reconvened Annual Meeting on November 3, 2012.

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The Results:

Document Votes Required Votes For Votes Against Results
Restated Declaration 145 153 52 Passed
Restated Bylaws 162 150 55 Failed


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Snowbrook owners participated at a level rarely seen. All but eleven owners participated in one form or another. That is better than 95%. We now have a professionally prepared Declaration designed to facilitate effective management and avoid or reduce future expenses -- especially unexpected legal costs.

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We still have our old Bylaws written in the dark ages of condo development in Maine and designed for the developer's control of the association. We have received from owners a couple of very constructive suggestions to the Restated Bylaws concerning Rule Making to further improve owners' ease of participation in their association. I think, if we all work together, we can incorporate these changes and pass the improved Restated Bylaws at the October 2013 Annual Meeting. The Bylaws will be on the Agenda for the Board's November 30th scheduled meeting at 3PM at the Pool House. Watch www.snowbrook.org for additional information or changes. Please join us at this or any Board Meeting.

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We arranged a meeting with the Town Manager, the Animal Control Officer, Sugarloaf CEO and one Selectman at the Town Office concerning dog owners, and in particular dog waste. This is a serious problem that impacts health, enjoyment and the guests' experience at our mountain. A couple of courses of action were discussed. The Town agreed to take the lead. I have to add my recent observations during Homecoming Weekend. Every dog walker had a leash and a plastic bag in hand. That is a good start, but the best was - one dog walker, after cleaning up after his dog, proceeded to clean up after someone else's dog. Now that is great. If we all could follow this example - the dog waste problem would disappear. Let us try.

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I have had the pleasure of commanding both small and large Army Installations. Those experiences led me to develop a simple standard of Excellence.

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Excellence is Better than Last Year, but not as Good as Next Year.

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Snowbrook and all the owners have met this standard for the past several years. Let us continue as a Community of Excellence!

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Sincerely,

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Bob Lee, President
Steve Banahan, VP - Kay Storch, Sec. - Dan Hayes, Treas. - Chris Brochu, Director - Ray Bolek, Director

October 19, 2012

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Dear Snowbrook Owners,

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I am a new Board member that joined last year. My primary area of interest and focus was managing and controlling expenses. Since joining I have learned a great deal regarding the condition of the physical plant (18 buildings) and the need for upgrading to not only retain value but to remain safe and compliant with code. I have come to learn the Board and association have done an admirable job in managing and balancing expenditures balanced with the necessary maintenance and capital improvements. For those of you that did not have a chance to attend the annual meeting I am sharing some key documents and critical highlights. I would also encourage anyone to participate and engage with the Board on suggestions and thoughts on further ways to manage cost and expenses.

As a volunteer Board, we appreciate when owners voice their thoughts about our efforts.

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Treasurer Dan Hayes' Update

2011-2012 Budget and Forecast

= We expect actual expenses for 2011/12 of $753k to be favorable from budget of $769K, a 2%(+) favorable variance.

= While snow removal and fuel were favorable we incurred more legal fees and unplanned general expenses.

= At this point we are targeting the favorable funds to be placed in reserve for contingency for repairs or capital reserves.

2012-13 Proposed Budget

= The proposed 2012/13 budget is $771K which is flat from the 2011/12 budget of $769K.

= In this scenario rates remain flat.

Historical Expense (see charts here)

= The chart found here provides annual year over year actual expenses (2006/07 thru 2010/11) with projected (2011/12) and proposed (2012/13).

= This reflects less than a 2% average annual increase per year.

= There are three major components of the total budget:

(a) Operating expenses (70% of budget) with proposed 2012/13 budget will result in an average annual increase of 1.7% over the six years.

(b) Capital improvement assessments (17%) remain essentially flat over this time, around $132k.

(c) Other pass through expenses (13% includes cable, centrex, firewood) are the largest growing line item with an average annual increase of 5% over the six years.

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Capital Assessments

= The Association went years without assessing and reserving for future needed improvements (e.g. roofing, siding, fire and security) to maintain low cost.

= The physical plant is aging and building codes have evolved requiring improvements to meet code and maintain safety as well as to retain property value.

= The Association has begun to assess for capital improvements managing to roughly 15% to 20% of the operating budget.

= The national standard for condo reserve funding recommends a range of 18% to 40% of operating budget.

= The Board has prudently managed expenses and capital improvements balancing both to manage costs while at the same time improving physical plant.

Other Sugarloaf Condo Fees Comparison (see chart here)


= We also provided a comparison of Snowbrook monthly fees (without and with pool fees) compared to 11 other Sugarloaf condo associations.

= The range of monthly fees ranged from a low of $249.52 to a high of $460.61 with Snowbrook at $285.79 including pool fees.

= There were 4 monthly association fees lower than Snowbrook, including pool fees, and 6 associations with higher fees.

= Further illustration of balanced expense management relative to age, condition and state of physical plants.

Thank you again for your time and please feel free to contact me or any other member of the Board.

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Dan Hayes, Treasurer

Snowbrook Village Condo Association

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