The Board has implemented a budget for 2013 that will keep the maintenance fees the same. NO INCREASE. As you may know Utility rates in Hawaii continue to rise steadily. Holiday Parkway is no different, and is being affected by this. Since these rates have increased significantly during the past year (as much as 15%) the Board is planning a Conservation Program to try and manage the increases. The Conservation Program begins IMMEDIATELY.
The Conservation Program (RATES)
We are going to focus in on, not only conservation, but also allocation. Conservation means that we are going to plug up the “leaks” whether they are from leaky toilets (which account for 80% of the high water bills), or unnecessary electrical use. Allocation means that we are looking at sub metering our electric usage so that people only pay for what they use, and having people fix their leaky plumbing so that you don’t end up paying for your neighbors leaky toilet.
Our Repair Program is an integral part of conservation. We replaced our old pumps, boilers, which has saved thousands of dollars per month. We will also be looking at the lights, and other devices that use electricity or gas. The Repair Program also will extend to the individual apartments.
Our Water Conservation Program is a three step process. First, we will arrange for a plumbing inspection for each unit, which will be paid for by the Association. Second, we are requiring that each unit install low flush toilets (1.6 gallons or less per flush). Third, each home owner must use the results of the plumbing inspection to fix the leaks in their apartment.
The Board has begun soliciting proposals to install a Submetering System for our electric use for a 2013 completion. A Submetering System will monitor the electric usage of each apartment individually, and thus each apartment will only pay for the electricity that they use (plus their share of the electricity used by the common elements). Our plans have recently been approved by the Building Department.
The Board is, and will continue, to pass the savings, achieved from the Conservation Program, back to the owners by keeping the Maintenance Fees as low as possible. We CANNOT guarantee that the fees you pay will remain the same or be lower as we cannot control the prices of water, gas, and electricity.
The Board is very aware of the tough economic times we are in and is actively trying to balance the need of paying for the increase in utility costs with the cash strapped times we are all in. In order to do this we all need to do our part. It is all of our responsibility to maintain our units and thus not only keep the utility costs down, but also maintain/increase the value of our units.
What if I don’t want to participate?
Participation is required. Our infrastructure is very old and thus needs to be repaired. We are facing and increasing number of plumbing repairs (shower leaks, broken pipes, broken toilets,…) that are costing the Association thousands of dollars a month.
What if I can’t afford to fix the leaks in my apartment?
This is a tough one as you are required by Article V (Obligations of Apartment Owners) of our Governing Documents to maintain your apartment. In many of the recent cases of leaks we have had to get them repaired (as they affect the people below you) and had to bill the owners back. Fixing the problem, once it gets serious is hundreds of dollars more than fixing it while it is minor.
Will I see my Maintenance Fees drop?
We will do our best to control them but much of it is out of our hands as we cannot control the price of water, sewage, electricity and gas. However, if we CONSERVE we will pay much less than if we don’t conserve.
What if I refuse to have the repairs done?
We hope it does not get to this. The Board will work with you to get the fixes done. If, however, you refuse to work with the Board the Board will have no choice but to take legal action. The Hawaii Statute HRS-514B Section 137 & 138 allow the Association to have access to your unit should the repairs be deemed necessary to protect the common elements and/or other units.
Can I choose my own plumber or contractor to do the repair?
Yes you can as long as they are licensed contractors. If you do so the person/company doing the repair MUST provide a written report of the work done to the Board.
Can I do the work myself?
Yes if you are a licensed contractor. You may not work on any of the common, or limited common, area elements of the property if you are NOT a licensed contractor.