July 18, 2011



Board Members Present:  Ellena, Guyer, Moles, Smith

Board Members Not Present:  Jane

Management Present:  Miller, Lyon


Members:  Sign-in sheet available


Meeting called to order at 6:50 p.m.




Ellena moved, Guyer seconded to accept the Open Minutes of June 20, 2011 as written.  Approved 4-0


Real Estate Taxes/Escrow Account


Mr. Lyon explained that during the last budget process an error was made in the Escrow Account when calculating number of months related to the Cooperative’s Real Estate Taxes.  As a result, a deficit of $21,703.00 was recently discovered. 


Management is asking permission to transfer $21,000 from the Surcharge account to cover this deficit.


Guyer moved, Smith seconded to transfer $21,000 from the Surcharge Account to the

Escrow Account to cover the deficit discovered when calculation of the correct number of months for the Cooperative’s Real Estate Taxes was done.  Approved 4-0


Property Tax Appeal


Mr. Moles asked for an update regarding Highlands Cooperative Association’s property tax appeal.


Unified Properties is currently taking advantage of a free service offered by the reputable National Tax Appeal Company, who is reviewing the property taxes for all their properties.  The Highlands tax appeal information is included in this group.  Management will update the Board as soon as any outcome has been determined.


Income Review


The Board reviewed a draft of the proposed Income Review procedures for Applicants/ Members annual household income in determining eligibility/surcharge assessment on monthly carrying charges. 

Smith moved, Ellena seconded that the annual gross income of individual/household Members be used as criteria to determine the use of Surcharge, and to accept the proposed Income Review Procedures with revisions and/or corrections.  Approved 4-0


Management also recommended that the income guidelines used by HUD to determine income criteria continue to be used by Highlands.  This will assure the cooperative remains a moderate/low income property.


Guyer moved, Moles seconded that the use of HUD’s income guidelines be continued when determining the income criteria to assure Highlands remains a moderate/low income property.  Approved 4-0


Fireplace Policy


Smith moved, Guyer seconded to accept the Fireplace Policy with revisions and/or corrections.  Approved 4-0


Air Conditioning-Central Air Policy


Smith moved, Guyer seconded to accept the Air Conditioning-Central Air Policy with revisions and/or corrections.  Approved 4-0


Deck Policy


Management is recommending that a variance be incorporated into the current deck policy that allows privacy fences to be incorporated on either/both ends of the deck.  This will  allow for some seclusion between Member units without the additional cost of a privacy fence to the Cooperative.


Ellena moved, Guyer seconded to approve the Deck Policy with revisions and/or corrections.  Approved 4-0


Patio Policy


Smith moved, Moles seconded to approve the Patio Policy with revisions and/or corrections.  Approved 4-0


Privacy Fence


Guyer moved, Smith seconded to approve the Privacy Fence Policy with revisions and/or corrections.  Approved 4-0

Ramp Policy


Moles moved, Guyer seconded to approve the Ramp Policy with revisions and/or corrections.  Approved 4-0


Satellite Dish - This policy will be brought back to the Board for approval at a later date.


Rental Housing Ordinances


The Board received Rental Housing Ordinances for the City of Lansing for review and consideration of the 1616 Miller Rd. property. 


Internet Video


A final review of the proposed script for the internet video scheduled for July 27, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.  Management and Mr. Moles will be overseeing this project. 


Approved by Board Consensus


Rubbish/Trash/Recycling Removal


Management informed the Board that Unified has contracted with NMS Waste Solutions to review Highlands trash removal contract.  They will attempt to find a less expensive vendor and make a recommendation.  If their recommendation is accepted, NMS will conduct a monthly review of our trash services.  Suggestions provided by NMS may not be best for Highlands, but initial review of our costs is a free, no obligation service. 


The Board will be apprised as to NMS findings when available.




Member Jane Drolett addressed Board Member Moles, stating that the Cooperative Healthy Savings pharmacy card offered to Members by the National Association of Housing Cooperatives (NAHC) did not work at her pharmacy. 


Smith repeated points made in previous Board meetings and on informational documents regarding the pharmacy card: the Cooperative Healthy Savings pharmacy card is not directly offered by neither Highlands nor the Board, but by NAHC.  Any questions or concerns need to be submitted directly to NAHC. 


Ms. Drolett then began stating personal concerns such as difficulties with Proof of Insurance requirements within Highlands policies, contracted maintenance companies hired by Highlands should be required to give the specific time when they will arrive to the job site, and that the inside cover of her attic/crawl space in her upstairs bedroom needs insulation to help control the temperature of the room (specifically how hot it gets).


Smith and Guyer questioned the validity of these concerns being brought up as New Board Business, noting they would be more appropriate to address during Member Comments.  However, Ms. Drolett did not agree.  




Georgia Vroman


Ms. Vroman asked for an update on a possible excursion to a Detroit Tigers ballgame by the Cooperative for Members. 


Management overlooked this agenda item from last month but will have the information available at the August meeting.




Jane Drolett


Ms. Drolett restated her comments made during agenda item New Business (see above) earlier in the meeting.    


Georgia Vroman


Ms. Vroman stated that when walking the property she has noticed a lot of Members are storing items in the back of their units, and was wondering if this issue is being addressed.


Ms. Miller acknowledged that the Cooperative is aware of this issue, and that Members are being asked to remove their belongings or create a maintenance strip.  A maintenance strip is a storage area that does not require mowing by grounds staff.  Thus, Member’s items do not have to be moved, and are less likely to become damaged.


Mary Heist


Ms. Heist thanked the office staff (Dorothy) for helping with her liability insurance needs as a Highlands policy required.  Ms. Heist also praised the grounds and maintenance staff for the hard work and service they provide to Members.

Meeting Adjourned at 8:05 p.m.


I certify that this is a true and accurate statement of the Board Meeting of July 18, 2011.



Respectfully submitted,




Jackie Guyer, Secretary, Board of Directors

Highlands Cooperative Association