Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Westmoreland condo fee increase revised to 7.5%

At Tuesday night's Westmoreland Terrace Condo Board meeting, the Board stated that it has revised its proposed 2012 budget year condo fee increase to 7.5%.  At last month's Board meeting, the Board tentatively anticipated an increase of 3-5%. 

The proposed 7.5% condo fee increase is nearly identical to the 7.6% equivalent annual increase in Washington region housing ownership prices, as measured by a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics price index for housing ownership.  From Westmoreland budget year 1995 to budget year 2011, Westmoreland condo fees have risen an equivalent annual rate of 3.5%.  That's more than the 2.7% equivalent annual increase in U.S. urban housing ownership prices.  However, Washington-area housing prices have risen faster than housing prices in U.S. urban areas as a whole.  Since budget year 1998 (the earliest year for which the Washington-area housing ownership price index is available), Westmoreland condo fees have risen an annual equivalent of 5.1%, compared to an annual equivalent rise in Washington-area housing ownership prices of 3.7%. 

The condo fee and price index data are available for you to examine and do your own analysis.  Note that the highly variable character of Westmoreland condo increases complicates multi-year comparisons, because the condo fee increase variability makes the exact years chosen significantly affect the equivalent annual increase.

Other items from the Condo Board meeting:
  • Large items, such as replaced ovens, cabinets, and mattresses, cannot be placed in the dumpsters.  Condo residents need to make their own arrangements for disposing of such items.  Also, do not place paper with food items, e.g. pizza boxes containing discarded pizza, in a recycling bin.
  • The cost of removing the large, cracked tree branch on one of Westmoreland's magnificent oak trees was just under $6,000.  The damage could have been worse.  Fred, our onsite maintenance person, deserves credit for spotting the cracked branch.
  • Bids were received for the 1336 roof replacement.  Pioneer Roofing made a bid of $77,600.  Culbertsons, which is doing our facade work, made a much higher bid of about $140,000. The Board will scrutinize these bids further.  The cost of the 1311 roof repair in late 2008 was about $68,000.
  • A form for the re-issue of parking permits, as well as for printed mailbox tags, will be mailed with the material for the upcoming annual meeting.  
  •  Residents should keep their pets leashed when taking pets outside of residents' own apartments.  Also, please collect and direct, as appropriate, pet wastes.   
  • Potomac Disposal will soon be installing new recycling bins and dumpsters at Westmoreland.
  • You can recycle hazardous household materials and other items at an Arlington E-Care event on Saturday, Apr. 9, 8:30am to 3pm at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School.
The Westmoreland Terrace Condominiums Annual Meeting will be on Monday, Apr. 25.  Show that you care about the place where you live by attending this meeting.  In addition, by coordinating with other owners you may be able to secure discounts on items and services.  At least one owner plans to propose to other owners at the Annual Meeting a bulk purchase of windows.

The Condo Board position currently held by Condo Board chairperson Jose Calvo will be open for election at the Annual Meeting.  Jose has indicated his interest in serving another term. 

This month's Condo Board meeting did not have a quorum of Condo Board members, so no official action was taken.  Attending the meeting were Condo Board members Jose Calvo and Jennifer Feinleib; residents Douglas, Gretchen, John, and Mark; and Zalco Property Manager Dennis Freeman.   The next regularly scheduled Condo Board meeting is the Annual Meeting on Apr. 25.

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