The founder of of Sagona Landscaping recommended a new fencing contractor. He also proposed replacing the fences that were on level ground with trees and hedges, leaving it only along the steep slope where it provides a handrail for pedestrians, and using pavers instead of a wall to re-grade the slope for proper drainage.
“Tom Sagona was excellent,” Civille says. “We have not had a flood, not had any drainage problems. The only rainwater in the dirt is what’s coming from the sky. It’s exquisite.”
St. George, Staten Island
Estimated Market Value: $2,594,000
2011/12 Taxable Value: $886,602
Maria Civille, who became president four years ago after previously serving as vice president, says an influx of working professionals — herself among them — is infusing her co-op with youth and diversity. “It’s a seven-minute walk to the ferry,” she says. “Fifty percent of people in this building don’t have cars... At some point, hopefully, St. George is going to be like Hoboken. We have to keep up with the times.”
The board has traced the same arc, with an entrenched board passing the torch to a younger generation. Civille’s hands-on style reflects this renewed vigor. “I don’t know how anybody else runs their joint, but I put a face on this corporation,” she says. “I get involved with every contractor. Nobody comes in here without talking to me and making sure we’re on the same page.”
With some staff changes and a small “capital improvement assessment” collected 10 months out of the year, the board has built a healthy reserve and paid for improvements — including new windows, new sidewalks, repainted fire escapes, and an upcoming lobby renovation — out of its operating budget without raising maintenance. Says Civille: “The only thing I’m using reserves for is our Local Law 11 work [this year]. We already have an engineer on board. We have a plan now.”
Begun in July 2011 and completed in September.
Co-op and condo board business broken down into bite-sized bits - 2 stories each week. Read now on all digital devices.
A free digital resource for co-op/condo board directors. Published twice a month. Read now on all digital devices.