February 2014 Report

This report, delayed several days as we awaited advice from our consultants and counsel, is an up-to-date picture of the current state of affairs at 90 George.

Operations Report

Gym/Meeting Room/Party Room Availability and Rules
We are pleased to announce that the physical modifications are complete and these areas are ready for resident use.
We invite you to become familiar with the following usage rules which apply to the Meeting/Party Room:
a) No rental fee will be required to use the meeting/party room;
b) Please reserve the room at least 48 hours in advance by contacting the Front Desk;
c) The room may only be booked by a unit owner or a tenant duly registered with the Condominium Corporation;
d) This registered owner/tenant must be in attendance at the event at all times, and the room may not be booked on behalf of somebody else;
e) The room may be booked for a maximum three days in a row and for a maximum of three times a year by the same owner or tenant;
f) Normal noise restrictions apply;
g) Maximum Capacity is 12 people;
h) Alcohol is not to be sold or taken outside of the room;
        i) The kitchen will be open at all times;
        j) The registered user will continue to be held responsible for any damage or cleaning that is required;
       k) Condo business may supersede resident reservations on rare occasions, if necessary.
Water Escape
During the Christmas period we had two separate water escape events.  We believe that both were the result of human error. Repairs to the affected units are progressing.
The heating in our building continues to be a major concern to the Residents, Board and Property Manager. 
To date, we have cleaned the water in the lines that causes blockages in the radiators, we have experimented with switching from one circulating pump to another and then both at the same time.  The heating contractor also bled and drained the system regularly to reduce the amount of contaminants in the system.  Although we did see some improvements after these measures were taken, problems in heat distribution still exist.  We also confirmed that the Commercial heating loop, when fully running, dramatically affects the flow of hot water in the Residential heating loop.
A qualified mechanical engineer was hired to work with the HVAC contractor to review our system and recommend further measures to remedy our heating problems. 
In a written report, these experts determined that the circulating pumps servicing the residential heating loop were undersized – notably smaller than the pumps servicing the commercial heating loop.  It was recommended that our two smaller pumps be replaced by larger ones to increase the hot water flow to the residential units.  We will replace one circulating pump at a time because to replace both at the same time, we would need to shut down our heating system for almost one week.  By replacing one pump now and the second in the warmer weather, we will limit any discomfort to owners.  The first pump has been ordered and we expect installation in about two weeks, hopefully, sooner.
We have also asked our HVAC experts to examine our entire HVAC system to recommend improvements to air quality, insulation, controls and energy conservation. We expect a report in the early summer of 2014.
We have signed a new security contract with Securitas which goes into effect April 1st 2014.  We will now run on 3 shifts per day 7 days a week.  We are confident that this new contract will improve service to residents and reduce our security costs. In conjunction with our security experts, your Board and Property Manager have developed and approved the following security improvements to the building:

  1. We will be building a secure barrier on the 4th floor stairwells so that intruders cannot bypass the security gate.  We have seen this area breached on multiple occasions.
  2. Rekeying of unit doors will take place with a secure key system.  Two keys will be issued per unit at no cost. Any extras will have to be purchased by the unit owner who will formally authorize the purchase of extra keys for his/her unit.
  3. Valet carte blanche access to Residential spaces has been removed.  Instead, If you require the Valets to allow guests into the building you must sign out a fob at the Front Desk to give to the valet, for the required time period and then return it when done.
  4. The Front desk will now accept keys from the valet only for residents’ guests if the guest expects to return to retrieve their car after Valet Parking hours.   No money will be collected by the Front Desk staff and only the keys of identified guests will be accepted.

The only caveat to all of the foregoing benefits is Residents must disallow piggybacking (people following them into the building). If any resident fails to do this, there is no amount of security that will help.

The lobby floor repairs are underway and expected to be finished in a matter of days. We look forward to finishing the elevator repairs as soon as the reconstruction from the water escape is completed.

Approximately one month ago we met with a utility auditing firm who offered to help find us savings and rebates in our utility bills.  We are pleased to report that they found a substantial hydro rebate for us.  The net amount of the rebate was over $20,000.00.  Not only is this good news but, they have also secured a 10% ongoing discount off of our hydro bill.  We hope they find similar savings with our other utilities.

Legal Claims Account
Reporting period:  
Nov 1st 2013 - Dec 31st 2013
Expected special assessment cash received     $27,984    
Special assessments cash received (1)       $26,183    
Paid on Account during period         $30,000    
(1) Some owners have paid the entire assessment amount upfront      
Operations Accounting Reporting period:  
Nov 1st 2013 - Dec 31st 2013
              2013-2014 Y.T.D. Y.T.D.
              Budget Budgeted Actual
Total Contract Expenses         $342,450 $171,675 $149,172
Total Repair and Maintenance Expenses       $88,700 $45,951 $44,740
Total Administration Expenses         $85,750 $42,875 $10,824
Total Shared Costs           $496,250 $248,125 $194,607
Total             $1,013,150 $508,626 $399,343

Reserve fund account   Reporting period:  
  Nov 1st 2013- Dec 31st 2013
Balance as of October 31st 2013   $172,893.00    
 Cash Deposits from Operating Accounts (2)   $34,000.00    
Expected cash from Special assessment   $31,330.00    
Cash deposited from Special Assessment (1)   $30,298.00    
Interest on Account       $104.00    
Capital Expenses incurred     $34,323.00    
  List of Expenditures $15,612 HVAC repairs    
      $12,599 Elevator Repairs (3)    
      $1,253 Electrical Repairs    
      $4,859 Building Envelope Repairs    
Balance in Reserve fund account at end of period (1)   $202,972.00    
1) Some owners paid assessment all up front as well as adjustments    
2) This line is the amount deposited into our Reserve bank    
account from the Operating account as per the Reserve Fund Study    
July 2013 and forward, will see this line item be monthly $17,000.00    
3) This was completed last year but billed and paid in this period    

Legal Update

1st year Budget Shortfall-  In our last quarterly report, we explained the award by the Honourable James B. Chadwick of the first year budget shortfall plus interest, costs and disbursements totalling just over $250,000. At this time, 90 George Street Ltd is seeking leave to appeal that award. Our counsel advises that the matter should be decided by the court in the second calendar quarter of 2014. Interest continues to accumulate until then.  Since our last report, a motion by our counsel resulted in a court order securing our interest in this award against the commercial assets at 90 George Street Ltd.  
Reserve Fund Claim-  Our counsel advises that the principal of 90 George Street Ltd was cross-examined during the week of January 13, 2014 based on Affidavits filed in this matter during the week of October 28, 2013, in accordance with the Court ordered timetable. A follow-up case conference is scheduled for Monday, February 24, 2014 and the final hearing of the application is currently scheduled for the week of April 28, 2014. Counsel advises that the value of this claim is approximately $3,000,000 exclusive of any award of costs.
Shared Facilities Agreement & Property Tax Claim - The arrangements set out in our fall 2013 quarterly report have been modified by mutual agreement to enable the arbitrator to rely on a qualified engineer and professional accountant for salient facts. Reporting to the arbitrator, the engineer will opine on what are the shared facilities within the scope of the agreement while the accountant will opine on the sharing of shared facilities costs since September 2009. These independent third party opinions are intended to forestall any fruitless debate that has characterized the process until now. To allow the time needed by these third parties to complete their work and report, the arbitrator has set the commencement of the arbitration for May 2014. The shared facilities management abomination needs resolution, evidenced by the heating system problems this winter and the failure of our emergency generator to start up on January 11, 2014. Power to enable the operation of our elevators, provide lighting in hallways, stairwells and the garage, and enable operation of the garage door was not available because of negligence. During that outage of more than three hours, our residents were at risk.
Our counsel advises that the value of this claim is now about $300,000. This amount is exclusive of any award of costs and the implicit values for owners’ money arising from successful defense of 90 George Street Ltd.’s claim to recover past property taxes and much improved shared services and shared facilities management.
We remind owners that our actions against 90 George Street Ltd. continue to rely on facts validated by expert opinions. This was true of our successful claim for the first year budget shortfall, as it is for the shared facilities agreement claim and the reserve fund claim. While not without risk, we believe that the proceeds from the special assessment that began in May 2013 remain viable as we forecast our legal fees and disbursements going forward. The forecast risk is due to the added pressure arising from 90 George Street Ltd.’s claim for property taxes and our clear perception that 90 George Street ltd. does not share our sense of urgency to resolve the issues. Owners are also reminded that 90 George Street Ltd. commenced a civil action against each of the members of the former board of directors of OCSCC 815 and against OCSCC 815 itself.