Monday, August 17, 2009

Cost Savings

Property managers Matt Lubas and Sal Pirrera are reporting very good news regarding cost savings for the community on the Princeton Landing website and in the September newsletter. Great news like this bears repeating, so here are some of the accomplishments of the Board of Directors and Signature Property Group that have saved the community more than $100,000 this year.

In previous years the Association employed an insurance consultant at a cost of $18,000 a year. This year the Board eliminated the insurance consultant and hired a new broker, Felsen Insurance Services, which provides consulting services at no extra charge. The former insurance consultants were terminated in April, saving $12,000 for 2009. In addition, Felsen has been able to negotiate some lower rates on premiums, resulting in an additional few thousand dollars in cost savings. Total insurance-related cost savings so far in 2009: Over $15,000.

In the area of pest control, management negotiated an annual contract with JRG Termite & Pest Control instead of a charge per service call as was done previously. (JRG also agreed to offer discounted rates to homeowners for treatment within their homes.) In 2008 the total to JRG was over $25,000. The annual contact for 2009 is $9,600. Total pest control-related cost savings: Over $15,000.

In the past a tennis company has been contracted to install and remove the nets and windscreens at the tennis courts in spring and fall. This year management installed the nets and windscreens themselves. Installing the nets and windscreens in spring and removing them in late fall incurred a cost of $1,200 per visit. Total cost savings by Signature: $2,400.

Princeton Landing has 31 water meters that monitor the water usage for the irrigation system, The Smith House, the pools and the homes in Parcel 1. Management has been devoting a significant amount of time scrutinizing every one of the water bills and further investigating any spikes in usage, estimated versus actual readings, necessary repairs that are the responsibility of the water company and negotiating credits for over billing. So far in 2009 the total charges that have been reversed are around $7,000.

Also, because we have had so much rain this year, the irrigation system has run much less often. This will result in a large savings on the water bill. Management will report back on the actual dollar amount, which is still being calculated.

Mulch is an extra charge in the landscape maintenance contract with Brickman. Only two parcels, which had not been mulched last year due to projects in process, received mulch this year. In 2008 the community spent $64,521 on mulch. In 2009 only $6,700 was spent. Cost savings: $57,821.

You may have noticed fill dirt in the parking lot at the tennis courts. Management was able to secure approximately 120 cubic yards of fill dirt at no cost to the community from L.N. Rothberg & Son, the contractor who recently completed the paving in Parcel 1. This enabled the association to complete grading, seeding and drainage projects throughout the community. If we had to pay for this fill dirt and for trucking fees, the cost would have exceeded $3,000.

The Board of Directors and Signature Property Group continue to look for ways to save and contain costs. As they report these outstanding accomplishments, we will pass the news on to you.