Bright idea. My most gratifying project was getting a NYSERDA report back in 2011 and then putting into action a plan to get some energy savings. I personally liked our lighting replacements, going from the old T48s to more efficient AccuSmart LEDs, which dim down to 20% if no one walks by in 15 minutes. My calculation was that we spent $115,000 and got paid back in about five years.
Some of the other work we’ve done that’s been pretty satisfying was fixing a lot of the drainage issues we had. We switched our grounds company, because the last one was letting things go to pot, and we really beautified the property. We also spent money on beautifying the inside, changing the rugs and the paint color because it had been the same for over 15 years. We changed all the entrance doors. That kind of stuff is very satisfying — saving energy, keeping the place beautiful and having some really good overall increases in our sales prices.
Water works. The cost of fixing the drainage was eye-popping. It wasn’t a surprise because we had planned to do it, but the overall cost was big. The way we planned for it was when our $8 million mortgage came due we refinanced for $10 million, and then took that $2 million and used it for capital projects. There was that much flooding around. We just recently refinanced again, and we’re using it for more drainage work and to start replacing some of the roofs.
Upcoming challenges. Our biggest challenge is getting everybody’s windows replaced. When we priced it out a number of years ago to do it as a one-shot deal, it was about a million dollars. We didn’t have the money, and we didn’t want to spend half of what we just took out for the mortgage on one project. So we’ve been doing it incrementally, and that’s actually where a lot of the latest maintenance increase came from, because we still want to do some more roofs, and we still need some reserves. We’re not even close to being done with the windows. That’s our biggest challenge — that and if we continue with our roofs.
Board president (6 years)
91 Tulip Ave., Floral Park, Queens
Years of board service: 8
Year built: 1950
Operating budget: $2.3 million
Current assessment: No
Maintenance increase: 6% in 2022
Property management: Alexander Wolf & Co.
Accountant: Michael Lauri & Co.
Attorney: Richard Handler