A Note from the Aquarius Board Treasurer
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Board Treasurer Comments on the Latest Propaganda by Opposition
Good Day Aquarians! It is another Beautiful Day!
Yesterday, the opposition sent out another missive accusing the current board of lying to you about the current need to complete the 40-year Re-Certification. It is the same false narrative and rhetoric that they have been spewing for weeks. These are the people who have gone a long way towards causing the unnecessary decay to our buildings by using band-aid approaches, failing to do the proper maintenance of the building, doing illegal work without the proper permits to assure that the work is being done according to South Florida Building Code Requirements, wasting the Trump money by using it to defray maintenance costs, failing to close out permits that were obtained in order to do work and the list goes on. These folks, some of which are running for the board, are telling you that there is nothing wrong with the building and that the balconies are fine. 25 out of 26 concrete core samples failed the compressive strength tests. The report from Batista that they allude to was based upon a cursory visual inspection by that engineer who only spent a few hours at Aquarius and he concluded, based upon what he could see that the balconies were in need of repair. He did not do the core samples so he had no way of knowing the enormity of the concrete failure rate, which was subsequently supported by the findings of an independent lab, RAS. Based upon such a high failure rate, it is actually cheaper to remove and replace the balconies than to patch them, as the labor rate would exponentially increase the price. Moreover, we would be doing it again in 10 years when the 50-year certification is due, and the un-repaired concrete would have continued to deteriorate and would have to be repaired again. IT IS THE OPPOSITION THAT IS LYING TO YOU.
The current Board did not hand-pick the engineering firm. As you may recall, we had several presentations to our membership of at least 6 highly competent engineering firms who specialize in concrete restoration work. There may be only 10 firms in the area that do that. 6 chose to participate. Based upon their presentations and based upon the bids, your board selected Hillman. The scope of work was not defined by Hillman. The scope of work is defined by the condition of the building that your previous boards allowed to deteriorate. Remember as a small example, our Aquarius Buildings have not been painted in at least 10 years? Is that responsible stewardship of such a precious jewel on the sea? I’m going to with NO on that!! ANOTHER LIE BY THE OPPOSITION.
This Board is NOT misleading the membership with regard to any aspect of the 40-year certification. The current board is the most transparent and informative board that this member has ever seen. We have advised the membership through monthly board meetings, weekly construction meetings, presentations by engineers and contractors and notices posted in conspicuous places as to everything this Board has done. None of the other candidates who are currently running against this Board, especially those who have served before have ever accomplished as much as this Board and performed with such utter transparency while keeping the membership fully informed of its activities and decisions. The basic reconstruction has to be done. There is no choice about that. If the membership wants the added enhancements, which will cost approximately 8-9% more, they will certainly have a right to vote on the enhancements, which will not be done unless two-thirds of the membership approves it. However, as illustrated by price comparisons of recent sales of beach condos who have added glass balconies and other improvements, the price per square foot of Aquarius should go up between 50-60%. This is your choice. THIS IS PROVEN BY RESEARCH OF RECENT CONDO SALES ON HOLLYWOOD BEACH. CHECK WITH BROWARD COUNTY PROPERTY APPRAISER’S OFFICE.
The opposition letter further goes on to mislead our membership by maligning the current board which has worked in good faith for the betterment of our community. The project will last 2 years, not 5 years. There are penalty clauses in the construction contract to prevent that. YET ANOTHER HUGE LIE BY THE OPPOSITION.
The project will not cost 30% more with overruns and changes. This is what previous boards did. The contracts have been designed and the engineers are in place to ensure that there are not changes which increase costs, in fact, the contract is designed in such way as to be over-inclusive. Consequently, our hope is that if any changes need to be made, these changes would scale down the work and result in cost decreases. THAT ONE WAS A WHOPPER, ONCE AGAIN UNSUPPORTED BY ANY FACTS.
Your units will be habitable. However, there will be some inconvenience. What the opposition appears to be proposing is, Let’s not do the 40-year Re-Certification which is required by law so that “I” will not be inconvenienced. This is a very self-centered and selfish point of view. A COMPLETE FABRICATION AND SCARE TACTIC.
The price of your unit will increase by 50-60% with the enhancements. The value of your unit will not decrease!! Talk about using scare tactics. At least try to come up with some support for the negative argument. Once again, this is a false narrative and nothing but propaganda that is unsupported by any fact.
The structural integrity of the building will not be diminished. The Structural engineers who have great insurance and are putting their licenses on the line have done this multiple times over the last 40 years and there has not been one report of finishing the structural integrity of a building. WHO IS LYING? THE OPPOSITION.
The majority of the necessary repairs are not elective. They are mandated by Florida law and the South Florida Building Code. Actually the Board owes a Fiduciary Responsibility to the membership to perform the repairs or replacements necessary to abide by the law. ONLY 8 to 9% of the costs, if approved by the membership, are for electives. At least 10 to 10.5 Million are required for the basic 40 year Certification. YET ANOTHER LIE BY THE OPPOSITION UNSUPPORTED BY ANY FACTS.
Victor E. Rocha, Treasurer of Board of Directors of Aquarius