Board Buzz

BOARD BUZZ - February 2024 by Jack Espinal, President
Posted on Feb 1st, 2024

2023 was a challenging year for both the New Town Residential Association (NTRA) and Chesapeake Bay Management (CBM), our management company.  As the Board of Directors indicated in our annual meeting, we have had many major successes including relocating the mailbox in Village Walk, improving our relationship with the New Town Commercial Association, holding several outstanding community activities, Village Walk roof repairs, sidewalk repairs by Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), receiving James City County matching grants and providing Internet capability and automation in our meeting room.  
However, we have problems in a number of areas that require attention and we are working hard to address them.  Some owners are not satisfied with the landscaping services that they are receiving, and the NTRA Board will revisit our expectations at a meeting with James River Grounds in February. Village Walk maintenance expenditures continue to rise and we are faced with numerous expensive rooftop deck and siding repairs. We have received data that points to construction defects. We will be meeting with legal counsel to address these defects with Eagle homes. Finally, we are concerned about the level of services being provided by our management company.
The NTRA Board of Directors met with CBM’s President and Vice President in early January 2024 to discuss our concerns about the services we are receiving and to map our way forward. Our discussion covered improving onsite supervision of our landscape and other contracts, ensuring timely follow-up on requests for manager actions, revising the processing of assessment payment checks, and documenting homeowner maintenance deficiencies and corrective actions in more detail.
We are working together with senior CBM management to address each of these concerns.  During our meeting, we developed several changes to our joint processes. Together, we have identified ways that services and communications to our community can be improved. Among other things, the NTRA has adjusted our budget processing calendar so that assessment information can be provided sooner - for CBM to print and timely mail the assessment coupon books and publish the information on our websites. The NTRA also will improve our assessment payment instructions for owners in order to reduce the chances for erroneous late fee charges.  
NTRA’s community manager will be spending more time on site in New Town supervising the work performed by our contractors including our landscaping contractor, James River Grounds. He will also be spending more time interfacing with the residents of our community. Weekly, scheduled office hours in the NTRA meeting room will be established for homeowners to meet with our manager. Violations, and all home maintenance inspections will be more fully documented with both descriptions and photographs. CBM has initiated a search for a new administrative assistant for New Town as well to help address our challenges.
Chesapeake Bay senior management understands our requirements and expectations. They will be working hard with the Board to improve the services that are provided to our Association.  
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