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Fuel Cell - Anonymous Apr 25, 2008


Hello - I've been doing some preliminary investigation recently into the practicality of power/heat/hot water cogeneration with a fuel cell and, after seeing the article here on microturbines, thought I'd post to see if anyone else has looked into this and has any experiences they can share?

Based on my research so far, I see that natural gas fuel cells exist and can generate power into the 200-400 kW range plus 900k BTU for hot water. Between any applicable city/state/federal subsidies/tax breaks and selling any surplus power back to the grid (if Con Ed allows that), I'm hoping this will prove to be a feasible idea.

Thanks,
Henry

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I would be interested in obtaining information on this if you can direct me.

Also, check out
http://REAPConsultingLLC.com
and click
The Future of Energy Management

~AR

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SCHE - RLM Apr 24, 2008


According to a Habitat article on tax abatements,

"New York State Senior Citizen Homeowner’s Exemption (SCHE).
If you are 65 or older, and your federal adjusted gross income minus unreimbursed medical expenses is less than $35,500, you may qualify for a five to 50 percent reduction in the assessed value of the home. When the assessed value is reduced, the total tax bill is automatically reduced as well."

I took this to mean that shareholders 65 or older can claim the SCHE... but I seem to recall that our Sponsor gets a sizable check from the co-op at least twice a year (most of his tenants are 65 or older).

Why would this abatement attach to a corporate entity? Is it because the principal is over 65 and he owns the apartments (shares) in which the older tenants reside?

I haven't wrapped my mind around the best answer... anyone know? Am I misremembering this and it's some other acronym?

Thanks, appreciate any ideas.

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Answers right here on Habitatmag. com - Web Editor Apr 23, 2008


We've run a few articles addressing this very problem. The most recent one is "Kitties 'n' Canines in Co-ops 'n' Condos," at this link:

http://www.habitatmag.com/publication_content/habitat_s_purchasing_primer_news_for_new_buyers/kitties_n_canines

but if you do a search for "Pets" in the search box above, you'll find a slew of pieces that will help. You'll find there are good and even revenue-enhancing ways of establishing good-pet policies. Good luck!

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House Rules Dogs - White Plains, NY Apr 22, 2008


We are a 6 story mid rise and have cameras in our elevators yet still dogs pee on the elevator carpeting and we can't prove who's dog(s)are doing it. We are considering a move to non-carpet- kind of rubber floor covering, which is too bad as it's not as nice. ...........So, I am wondering if anyone has ever heard of a co-op charging a nominal (like $20) annual fee for the privlidge of having a (board approved) dog in the building? If it's wacky idea I don't even want to bring it up to my fellow BODs. My thought is that that $400 a year might put new covering in the elevators...and they'd be paying for it vs. us non-dog owners. Thoughts anyone?

> Join the conversation Comments (2)


I don't think this will be possible if the dogs are board approved pets and in residence. You may be establishing one for new pets, but then you won't collect $400. YOu'll have to wait many years for those dogs that currently live in the building die and are substituted by new ones. In such cases, a "no dogs" rule may be the best way to stop incontinence.

AdC


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I agree with AdC. A no-dogs policy may be the only way to go. You said you have cameras in your elevators. Can you adjust them so the area closer to the floor where dogs are can be viewed? Or reposition them so you get an aerial view of the elevator that will include people and dogs. Also, what will you do if/when you find out whose dogs are peeing in the elevator? If you don't have a house rule with a fine in place for this, you should enact one.

Too bad you have to replace carpeting if that's what you prefer, but an elevator isn't the best place for it - too much foot traffic, the nap flattens and it wears quickly. Keep in mind that a rubber/vinyl floor covering won't be good if you have dogs peeing in the elevators. It's porous, dog urine will permeate it, and the odor will linger. Not very good, especially in a confined area like an elevator. If you replace the flooring, go with something that isn't porous, or you'll be replacing it often because of the odor (and staining too).

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assessment/tax rebate: by-law - queen latifa Apr 21, 2008


So this is in our bylaws and it looks like we cannot have an assessment when there is a tax rebate - without a vote. Anyone run into this? (our sponsor owns about 20%).

"So long as the Sponsor or the Holders of Unsold
Shares continue to own any percent of the then
Outstanding shares of the Apartment Corporation, the
Apartment Corporation will not impose upon the
shareholders any assessment whatsoever except by
affirmative vote of one-hundred (100%) of the issued
and outstanding shares, unless the Reserve Fund has
first been reduced to a sum of $15,000, or such sum
has been irrevocably committed for other improvements. "



> Join the conversation Comments (2)


Do you automatically place exce4ss funds in the capital reserve funds?

Do you not separate ordinary income from capital improvements for “tax purposes” for the owners? Your CPA should be advising on this.

Do the bylaws elsewhere stipulate that there are to be several reserve funds?

If yes, then capital reserves and ordinary working capital reserves need not be commingled and should not be commingled. Again your CPA firm should be offering counsel. Thus, if there is a need for capital improvements, one can ensure that there is less than $15,000 in the “capital” reserve fund after the board commits to spend it, regardless if a contract has been signed for the capital work.

Again pass this through the corporate counsel and CPA firm.

And, maybe plan on changing the bylaws to more clearly state the restrictions and to reduce 100% to something tolerable.

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anyone: bulk cable? need to talk - st Apr 20, 2008


input and advice needed regarding this for UWS coop. thanks. bulk arrangements with RCN, satallite, , etc. thanks!

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Management / PEO - Mike W. Apr 16, 2008


Anyone with experience using a PEO or Professional Employer Organization? I cannot find anything in Habitat's archives. Our Managing Agent is understandably hesitant, but prospective PEO is offering substantial cost saving for health benefits policy for staff of 2 (non-union) as well as payroll service. We retain final authority to supervise and hire/fire. Any downside to outsourcing ?

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Nominations at Annual Meeting - Jojo Apr 12, 2008


Our board will send out notices for our annual meeting and anyone interested in running for the board must give notice to management a month before the meeting is held. They then state there will be no nominations from the floor.
Is this legal?

> Join the conversation Comments (4)


Check the By-Laws of your co-op to find out what is the process of nomination and if there is such deetail contained in the by-laws. If not, you may find out what part of the by-laws may be changed by the board by way of resolution. For example, many co-op may have resolutions to cover staggered boards. If per chance, the mannerin which candidates submit their nominations is an area that a board may change by way resolution, then you want to see a copy of the resolution, when it was adopted and the manner in which it was distributed to shareholders to provide notification. Remember, any changes to by-laws and PL must be COMMUNICATED to shareholders to be valid.

AdC

Again, boards are obligated to distribute resolutions adopted by the board that may impact or modify the by-laws or the Proprietary Lease.

AdC

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Check the By-Laws of your co-op to find out what is the process of nomination and if there is such detail contained in the by-laws. If not, you may find out if any article of the by-laws may be changed by the board by way of resolution. For example, many co-op may have resolutions to cover staggered boards. If per chance, the manner in which candidates submit their nominations is an area that a board may change by way resolution, then you want to see a copy of the resolution, when it was adopted and the manner in which it was distributed to shareholders to provide notification. Remember, any changes to by-laws and PL must be COMMUNICATED to shareholders to be valid.

AdC

Again, boards are obligated to distribute resolutions adopted by the board that may impact or modify the by-laws or the Proprietary Lease.

AdC

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Check the By-Laws of your co-op to find out what is the process of nomination and if there is such detail contained in the by-laws. If not, you may find out if any article of the by-laws may be changed by the board by way of resolution. For example, many co-op may have resolutions to cover staggered boards. If per chance, the manner in which candidates submit their nominations is an area that a board may change by way resolution, then you want to see a copy of the resolution, when it was adopted and the manner in which it was distributed to shareholders to provide notification. Remember, any changes to by-laws and PL must be COMMUNICATED to shareholders to be valid.

AdC


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As if oft the refrain herein, it depends on your co-op’s corporate bylaws.

In our building the bylaws specify that thirty days before the annual meeting all shareholders must be notified in writing of the meeting and the closing date for nominations. While we sometimes put co-op notices under a resident’s door, in this case we mail a letter to all shareholders notifying the shareholder of the date of the annual meeting and the closing date for all nominations. The closing date is two weeks before the annual meeting.

This year the closing date is 4 PM, May 15th, two weeks before the annual meeting. Within minutes, we post the names of all nominees on the bulletin board.

Nominations are never permitted from the floor per our by-laws, without exception.

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President of Board Vote - Lillian Iannucci Apr 12, 2008


Do boards follow Robert's Rules on a president's vote or is there a different rule for condo's and co-op's. Is the president allowed to vote on all issues or is it just when there is a tie vote?

> Join the conversation Comments (1)


In our building, the president votes on all matters before the board and not as a tie breaker.

As for Roberts Rules of Order, this NYTimes article, Q and A, By SHAWN G. KENNEDY Published: February 23, 1992:
Absence of a Quorum Question: I live in a Mitchell-Lama co-op. At a recent shareholders meeting there was a discussion about what action is taken in the absence of a quorum. An attorney for the housing company said that Roberts Rules of Order are not recognized as an authority on parliamentary procedure. Was he correct? . . . Theodore Smith, the Bronx Answer: Yes. Roberts Rules of Order are not legal guidelines, although they are time-honored procedures for conducting orderly meetings. Any official meeting of a co-op in New York State during which business is conducted would have to conform to the state's Business Corporation Law.

See:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE7DB1331F930A15751C0A964958260


= = = = = = =
The Cooperator had an article that opined:
Liberty Court Condominium Residential Unit Owners Coalition v. The Board of Managers of Liberty Court Condominium Lesson: Calling for nominations of candidates for board membership from the floor at the time of a board election is a "fair and effective method" for nominating board members.

The bylaws of many cooperatives and condominiums do not specify how to nominate candidates for election to the board. It seems that Liberty Court Condominium's bylaws did not specifically address how candidates must be nominated, but provided that unit owner meetings are to be governed by the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order or other rules acceptable to the majority of unit owners present at the meeting. A coalition of Liberty Court owners wanted precise rules covering the nomination method and sued for a bylaw amendment. The coalition lost and the Appellate Division, First Department, gave some guidance on this issue.

The court explained that the statutory requirement that bylaws provide for the nomination of a board is satisfied by Liberty's bylaw provision referring to Robert's Rules of Order. Like many co-ops and condos, Liberty's board accepted candidate nominations from the floor of the meeting. The court recognized that accepting nominations from the meeting floor is a "fair and effective method" for the nomination of board members. Notably, the court was impressed by the fact that the condominium also customarily delivered a pre-meeting notice of nominations and decided that such notice comports with Robert's Rules of Order and gives "fair and effective notice."

See:
http://www.cooperator.com/articles/1028/1/From-the-Court-to-the-Board/Page1.html





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NYSERDA Energy Audits - Jonathan Apr 10, 2008


Has anyone gone through getting the NYSERDA Energy Audits? I talked to them and they dont do the audits but give you a list of partners to contact. This is the list they referred me to

http://www.getenergysmart.org/Resources/FindPartnerDetails.aspx?co=36

Seems to be a lot of construction companies so I don't know how impartial they would be, and Habitat for Humanity on the list I don't understand.

If you have been through the process who did you use and would you recommend them?

TIA

> Join the conversation Comments (2)


The “What to Expect” document will help you hire a Multifamily Performance Partner (or just “Partner”), which is the first step to getting an energy audit for your building. The “Step by Step” document will give you a better understanding of the process you will go through in the program and lists the incentives available on Page 2.

The Partner Network: http://www.getenergysmart.org/Resources/FindPartner.aspx - list of approved Partners by county. Feel free to peruse their websites and contact them immediately to discuss your project. They can answer your questions about the Program, what incentives are available and what the next step is for you.

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Try this organization - they are based in Manhattan and have done several large coops:

http://www.aeanyc.org/site/c.dhJJJTOzFoH/b.2392579/k.8E53/Energy_Audits.htm

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Please would you list some buildings this organisation has been working for?
Thank you
Miriam

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call them for references.

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