August 15, 2011



Board Members Present:  Ellena, Guyer, Jane, Moles, Smith

Management Present:  Miller, Lyon


Members:  Sign-in sheet available


Meeting called to order at 6:47 p.m.




Guyer moved, Moles seconded to accept the Open Minutes of July 18, 2011 as written.  Approved 4-0 (Abstained-Jane)


Satellite Dish Policy


Guyer moved, Smith seconded to accept the Satellite Dish Policy presented with all grammatical errors corrected as discussed.  Approved 5-0


Membership Book


Due to the large number of policies that the Board has revised and the changes in the Occupancy Agreement in the near future, Management suggested that it might be time for Members to receive a new Membership Book.  The last book was distributed about 20 years ago.   


There was Board Consensus that a new Membership Book be developed, reviewed, and distributed to the Members in the near future.  A recycling process for materials from the old books will also be developed and encouraged at that time. 


Occupancy Agreement


Management presented the Board with a copy of the Occupancy Agreement for review.  A copy was also sent to the attorney for review. 


As a result, this agenda item is tabled.  Management is instructed to amend this agreement to include all recommended changes for the Board’s review.  A special meeting will be called to discuss this issue more fully. 





Siding Project


Employee Mark Robert presented information concerning this agenda item.  Mr. Robert explained that he has enlisted an outside contractor to re-evaluate the siding project.  This is being done to assure that the project is proceeding in the most efficient manner possible. 


The contractor reported that the Polar Tech Board which was being installed was not necessary.  DuPont’s Tyvek is more than adequate as an insulating and energy-efficiency improvement product.  Although the Polar Tech Board has been used on a couple of buildings at this time, and more has been ordered, the manufacturer is willing to take it back and refund the cost.  This will result in savings to the Cooperative of approximately $7,500.00. 


Mr. Robert was thanked by the Board for his initiative and the cost savings he provided for the Cooperative.


Smith moved, Ellena seconded to discontinue the use of Polar Tech Board on the remainder of the siding project currently under way.  Approved 5-0


Highlands Vehicle Identification


Mr. Robert informed the Board that the cost to have the Highlands Cooperative tree logo and the telephone number on all four of Highlands trucks (both doors) is $79.00 per vehicle.  Without logo the cost is $70.00.  Plus for an additional $30.00 the company will come to the property and do all four vehicles at the same time.


Guyer moved, Ellena seconded to have all four Cooperative vehicles identified with the Highlands Cooperative tree logo and the telephone number, plus the cost of having the company come to the property to complete the work.  The cost is approximately $350.00, with funds coming from the Vehicle Equipment account.  Approved 5-0


Lawn Mowing Equipment


Mr. Robert informed the Board that the transmission on one of our two Toro lawn movers is broken, and other repairs are needed.  Both mowers are approximately 20 years old and are used multiple times per week during the summer months.  Estimated cost to have the mower fixed would be $6,700.00.


Mr. Robert presented the Board with a cost comparison for two types of Toro mowers for the Cooperative.  Prices range from $33,198.00 to $37,629.00.  Mr. Robert is not prepared to recommend either mower at this time; he will be testing both mowers on the property prior to any recommendation.


Mr. Robert is requesting that a 53” snowthrower be purchased at a cost of $5,500.00, as this would allow for more efficient snow removal during the winter months. No decision on this purchase was made at this time.




Mr. Lyon informed the Board that the preliminary 2011-2012 budget should be ready for review by the September Board Meeting.  Mr. Lyon also noted that the Board of Water and Light has already increased their rates by 9% this year, and that another increase of 12% is expected by January 2012.  This could mean an impact of $35,000.00 to $40,000.00 on next year’s budget.




Video Website


Mr. Moles inquired as to the status of the video for the Highlands website that was to be completed. 


Management stated that the interior portion of the video been completed.  However, at the time, the exterior video was not completed due to rain.  This will be completed at 3:00 p.m. on August 16, 2011.


Mr. Moles was present for the first phase of this project, and again volunteered to be present to represent the Board in the completion of this task.


Website update


Management stated that the Highlands site has been published to the web.  It is now available to Members to access.  In the future, meeting minutes, the Occupancy Agreement and other information will be available on the site.


NMS Waste Solutions


Ms. Smith asked if any information was available regarding MNS Waste Solutions review of the Cooperative’s trash removal and recycling procedures. 


Management stated that NMS Waste Solutions is reviewing all of Unified’s properties.  The Board will be appraised as to their findings when available.     




Jane Drolett


Ms. Drolett was notified that she was a winner in the Highlands Flower Contest but wishes to respectfully decline the recognition.  Ms. Drolett feels that to help save money, the insulation in the attics of the townhomes should be inspected, and that the sprinkler system should not be used after rain storms in the area.  


Georgia Vroman, 6220 Balfour


Ms. Vroman asked if there had been any response from Members regarding a possible Detroit Tigers baseball game trip.


Management stated that there had not been adequate response from Members to justify a bus trip despite posting information at the Office, in the newsletter and by notices on the monthly calendar. 


Ms. Vroman also inquired about the lawn fertilization process stating that pellets are all over the place (flowerbeds, parking lots, etc.) much more than in previous years.


Mr. Robert will speak with the contractor and report information at the next Board meeting.


Helen Geiger


Ms. Geiger inquired as to the meaning of the term “plant management” and lawn care.   


Mr. Robert stated that the term is used to describe the difference between the types of service provided by lawn care professionals.  For example, normally a company hired to treat trees and bushes will spray everything on the property.  When a company specifically states “plant management” it will inspect and spray only the trees and bushes that need it.


Ms. Geiger asked why the Board had approved two rates for lawn care agreements in February and again in April of this year. 


Management explained that this was due to the additional cost of spraying the ash trees that are done every two years.


Ms. Geiger also asked if the Cooperative is in the process of replacing porch lights on the property and stated her disproval of the large industrial style lights that are on some of the units.


Management stated that the Cooperative is in the process of testing different styles of porch lights and the cost efficiency of each.  Only one building is involved in the testing at this time.  No recommendations or decisions on purchase have been made, as we are only in the testing phase.

Patricia Knight, 1815 Georgetown


Ms. Knight stated that in the future she would gladly volunteer for any new lighting projects or systems that need to be tested on the property.  Ms. Knight is very concerned about safety in the Cooperative.


Gloria Jane, 6328 Balfour


Ms. Jane stated that she tested unplugging appliances when they are not in use, and it does save money (thus resulting in a reduced electrical bill).


Meeting Adjourned at 7:55 p.m.





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



Respectfully submitted,




Jackie Guyer, Secretary, Board of Directors

Highlands Cooperative Association