Meeting hosted by Jenn and Mick


Good turnout – 12 of 26 (46%) houses present, Quorum of 40% achieved.  Cluster President Wilson called the meeting to order at 6:40 PM.



·        2018 was a great year for the cluster in that we completed a large-scale infrastructure project. We repaved the entire cluster, added concrete fire-lane curbs, set no-parking-during-snow signs, replaced concrete paths and stained the entrance curbs no-parking yellow – all without creating a special assessment. We did use the bulk of the capital reserves fund using $48,293 but closed the year with $9,871 in capital reserves.

·        David from 1565 left the cluster and returned to Australia. He and Kora are missed.

·        We welcome Chris and Danielle to 1565 and wish them many years of happiness here.

·        We mentioned the entrance sign to the cluster… yes, it actually was mentioned. No budget or further detail was discussed.

·        Wilson noted that he, Rosa and Kason will be re-locating to Greenville, NC as Wilson got his dream job with his alma mater college.  He and Rosa are putting their house 1553 on the market this spring.  They will all be missed! We thank Wilson for his five excellent years as cluster president. It also leaves the presidential role open for a new candidate.

·        Ann noted that she wanted to step down as Finance Director and transition responsibilities to someone else. We all thank Ann for her excellent role as finance director since mid-2006, thirteen years of service. Thanks to Ann’s foresight and planning, the capital budget was funded well enough to completely pay for the entire infrastructure project of 2018.  Well done Ann, many thanks.

·        Allison and Scott are stepping down as landscape directors as Allison is due her first baby in March.  Thank you to Allison and Scott for their tenure as Landscape Directors.

·        Mulch will be ordered for delivery around April 13th. Bags will be hardwood mulch covering 3 cubic feet and will be placed mid-cluster for your retrieval. Please advise the board how many bags you want. Each bag is $4.70 and will be billed to you through the cluster.

·        Gutter cleaning will take place in late Spring (May) and mid-winter (late December/January). Costs remain at $125 per end unit, $99 per center section. Please advise the board if you want your home added to the list. Maple Leaf (or the new vendor) will invoice you directly.



Accomplishments for 2018:

·        We had two successful cluster cleanups, thanks to Scott and Allison for making these events happen.                                

·        Removed 2 dead trees and removed tree stumps & debris by volleyball court. $3100. Chalk it up to lessons learned.

Activities for 2019:

·        Meet with Andrew Carpenter with Brightview Tree company, who is well priced and reliable, to discuss tree work for the cluster in 2019:

o   Trimming/removing tree by Sherry’s home. 

o   Trimming/removing tree in front of Amanda’s home.

o   Trimming trees by steps going into the tunnel, need professional trimming

o   Fix/repair/replace the pine tree by the tunnel.

o   Walk through neighborhood and assess tree maintenance for the rest of the cluster.

·        Complete Landscape project to revise Garden by steps to match front garden. Use remaining “special project” budget $1,168 to be used for work with Cardinal Landscaping. The plan is to remove plants left of the railings and replace with plants similar to the front garden, assuming 3 seasons of color, drought tolerant and perennial are the base requirements.

·        On garden by tunnel, soil is washing down into the tunnel so ground cover will be needed to protect the soil around the forsythia bush.

·        Setup mulch order for Spring 2019 with Meadows Farms to arrive week before cluster cleanup on April 13th.

·        Setup gutter cleaning with Maple leaf for Spring – may look at alternative vendor ongoing

·        Track 3rd leaf blowing with Cardinal in 2019 as it is per calendar year vs. season.



Activities for 2018:

Hosted Holiday party at Jenn and Mick’s house.

Hosted a Farewell party for David and a “celebrate life” event after paving completed.

There was no Halloween party (first time in 18 years).

Activities for 2019:

Setup Calendar dates and events:

·        Spring cluster clean up 13th April,  rain date Sunday 14th

·        No Easter egg hunt due to insufficient children of the right age

·        Charles – 1551 – returns home from active duty. Amanda hosting homecoming gathering on May 4th.

·        May 11th yard sale

·        Adrienne graduates on June 5th which may combine with summer picnic party.

·        Summer picnic – June 8th meet in common area.  Make sure all residents, owners and renters, are invited as new outreach plan proposed,

·        Halloween party 26th October, location True household 1557

·        Fall Cluster cleanup 12th October

·        Dec 7th Holiday party, location TBD

Social Activities for 2019:

·        Dates selected for upcoming events through 2019 (shown above). 

·        Jenn and Mick stepping down from social role, thank you both for all you’ve done for the last four years.

·        The group discussed setting up a cluster facebook page to share information and stories. Not all cluster members are on facebook so it will be an add-on notice site after email contact.  We debated about making this a public site accessible to past tenants and other clusters, but decided to keep it private just for cluster members. New social team take responsibility to setup and maintain the site and tie it to email.

·        Instagram and twitter feeds were briefly discussed and discarded as an option for the cluster.

·        Setup mobile contact chain for texting updates (like when the power went out notice and updates). Please see attached for current contact list. Please send any revisions back to  

·        Need to expand invitations on social events to include all residents of the cluster. Need to encourage more new folks to attend and participate in co-hosting events. 

·        Saima discussed a go-fund me page for Tom who used to live in the cluster, currently diagnosed with brain cancer:





Jan – Dec 2018




Jan – Dec 2018





 Variance Over Budget



 Budget adjustment



Bad Debt Expense











HOA Dues









 Dues Increase to $310/Qtr


Int Inc











Late Charges











Total Income









 Additional Income from Dues Increase

Gross Profit




























Common Grounds































Actual charges lower than budget


Insurance    Reserve –




















 8.5% increase for labor costs, mulching cost increases, weeding


Mosquito Spraying











Repairs & Maintenance









Unused, removed from budget


General Assembly









 Restore back to 2017 level


Reserve Capital









 Restore back to 2017 level


Snow Removal









 Restore back to 2017 level


Special Project










Concrete curb installaion 








Added concrete installation for homes 


pavement markings & wheel stations








Added Landscape costs for prep work


Paving Parking Lot








Added Guest spot extension, and snow removal sign reset in concrete










Added cleaning/painting curbside


Total Special Project









Extra costs $7,834 approved by board











Trash Removal









Contract renewed Apr 2018, lowered cost per house/month


Tree Service









 Restore back to 2017 level, $3k maint, $1k new trees











Total Expense



















Net Income










Actual for 2018
Original infrastructure estimate was $40,459 but with additional work approved by the board, the actual cost was $48,293 with an increase of $7,834.  All costs for this project were covered by the Capital Reserves that were $58,164, leaving $9,871 in the capital reserves at the end of 2018.

The extra work for $7,834 over budget included:

·        Replacing concrete path for 5 homes, costs split 50/50 with homeowners, and replacing concrete sections by first set of steps into the cluster. Note – vendor only replaced flat sections, no stoops, no steps were included.

·        Landscape costs to clear brush around pathways in preparation for concrete work

·        Expanded guest spot by 2′ and installed concrete base for both snow removal signs.

·        Sand-blasted the yellow curbs by entrance and stained yellow professionally.

Snow removal was slightly underbudget for the year, as was trash removal since the contract with AAA was renewed in April 2018 thus lowering costs again for 5 years.

Over budget was Tree removal and repair service due to removing the tree stumps and taking down a few dead trees in the cluster.

Ann noted the cluster used a new version of Quicken for 2018.

Budget for 2019:

·        As the 2018 budget was adjusted to accommodate the infrastructure project without raising dues, we restored the previous budget estimates for 2019:

o   Capital Reserves:              $4,250   to $4,500 

o   Tree Work:                        $2,757   to $4,000  ($3k  repair & maintain, $1k new tree work)

o   Snow removal:                 $2,235  to $2,740

o   General Assembly:           $150

·        Landscaping costs went up $850 (8.6%) due to labor cost increases, service cost increases and our increased number of tree areas to be mulched.   

·        Repair and Maintenance costs were removed from the 2019 budget as an unused line item (saving us $350).

·        Still in the budget are the legal fees for the Cluster by-laws and the last remaining special landscape project.

Dues Increase:  With the Capital Reserves low, and costs increasing for services to the cluster like snow removal and landscaping, the board recommended increasing the per-house dues $25 per quarter ($285 to $310), effective 1Q2019. This increase would add $2,600 more include to the cluster each year and should cover the budget increases for 2019 and 2020 (bar unforeseen events), as well as replenishing the capital reserves for further infrastructure projects like repairing the retaining walls and/or replacing the pathway down to the tunnel.

Wilson put the dues increase of $25 per house/quarter, total $310 per house/quarter, to the assembly and it was unanimously approved.

Board Member Vote:

·        President:  Wilson stepped down from five years as president.  Jenn was nominated, seconded and unanimously approved as the new cluster President.

·        Finance:  Ann stepped down from 13 years as Finance Director.  Scott was nominated, seconded and unanimously approved as the new cluster Finance Director.

·        Landscape:  Scott and Allison stepped down as landscape Directors. Sherry, Ann and Mark (in absentia) were voted in as new landscape Directors.

·        Social: Mick and Jenn stepped down as Social Directors from four years serving the cluster.  Amanda, Saima and Leann were nominated, seconded and unanimously voted in as the new social “team”.

·        Secretary:  Deirdre was nominated, seconded and unanimously approved to remain as secretary.

Open discussion:

Easy Pay options: Scott noted that he will be setting up easy on-line payment options for cluster dues and charges through paypal or zelle. More information to follow. 


Site updates: is the cluster site containing all the by-laws. Cluster standards, meeting minutes and updates, calendar information etc.  The host company,, removed the handy webcontent tool leaving only an HTML editor to make web-content changes. Unsure how much this tool will ruin the remainder of the site, no updates have been made yet so the content remains untouched for 2019.  Saima offered to help Deirdre update the site content, adding 2019 minutes and revising the calendar file links.

Meeting concluded at 8:45PM