Aquarius Condominium 2021 Survey Results 2/2

Aquarius Condominium 2021 Survey Results COMMENTS  2/2


There were 33 responses to the Survey. About 18 respondents had comments on the Survey. Here are the comments and two additional messagens received via email.  Thanks everybody for your participation. Every opinion is very important.

  1.  We’ve had 2 assessments since we bought our place and it seems like this will be the third one. We are getting tired of what seems like special assessments every few years. Not only does this cause our condo to lose value it puts financial strain on retirees and people with fixed incomes. Please only do what is absolutely necessary to fix the building and get multiple bids from contractors to insure a competitive bidding process.

2.  Re-roofing the building is an overdue necessity; a must have and not a nice to have such as the rest of the Architectural and aesthetic projects. Water ponding and leaks weakens the structure. Waterproofing and roofing are essential to the structural integrity of the building. Can’t postpone the roofing project another season; let’s get on with it.

3.  I need to educate myself about most of these projects.

4.  Not including the Roof in the 40 year inspection project is a major failure on the Board’s part.

5.  We need to focus on the items that are required to maintain the structural integrity of the building or to address residents/staff health and safety. These items must be completed first and as soon as possible. Other items are nice to have and can be addressed later.

6.  Beach Access Door and Ramp for $ 50,000 in my opinion does not make any sense. First of all who needs a rump for accessing the beach? People with serious disabilities? But in my 13 years living in Aquarius I’ve never seen any person with a walker or in wheelchair on sand. Do any neighboring beachfront condos have ramp? The second question (I give it name “second” with respect to people with disabilities) is a danger for structural integrity of Aquarius. The opening been made as a temporary measure on time of the project of the 40-year recertification. Now, when the project is completed, the opening in the wall, even with new door installed, is a disastrous possibility of see water penetration inside the building property on time of hurricanes or high tides. Very questionable reason as access to the beach for $50K is not good enough. Besides the point, new door cannot warranty waterproofing (unless door is designed for submarine). Structural integrity of Aquarius and safety of residents at the end of the road is the most important factor. Probably we should direct issue and ask for professional opinion of responsible officials from Broward County before making any decisions. Beach and Maintenance Stairs for $173,000? Cannot judge price of the object, but we do need access to the beach and if existing 40-somthing years construction doesn’t technically and aesthetically responds today’s design – so be it. On time of construction I would advise to build under the stairs closed storage compartment for beach equipment (umbrellas for example). Which expenses are emergency, firsthand needed or preferable should decide competent members of the Board with engineering support of specialist (probably with participating of Management, who taking complaints from residents). Technical questions about roof repair, door for mechanical room, west parking lot, domestic pump, etc. are out of my knowledge and are area of concern for specialists (qualified engineers and Board members). Using only life experience and logic impossible to judge about needs of roof repair. South Tower Chiller. If this is the one which suppose to cool 18 floors of corridors in South tower – we do need to do something because temperature in common areas (corridors) of South tower constantly well above 80 degrees.

7.  I strongly agree with the project‘s that are necessary for the saftey of Aquarius, before considering more Beautyfication.

8.  As noted in letter these were “estimated costs”. Who provided the estimate? These estimates are very excessive and do not reflect actual cost. For each item on the schedule at least three (3) estimates from reputable companies should be solicit and awarded. All estimates should be shared with the Aquarius tenants. Some of the items on to do list are not clear: 1. Domestic pump replacement: It was discussed in the meeting to install a 2nd/bypass pump. So what is it a replacement of existing pump or installation of additional pump. Is this for one building or for both ? From my experience with such work this estimate is grossly excessive. 2. South TWR chiller: Is this for corridors or something else? Is this to replace existing chiller or refurbish? 3.Storage cages: What work is intended to be done 4. West parking: What work is intended to be done 5. Professional fees: Why we need additional professional fees for structural / electrical engineering if we just completed the 40year certification. Engineering of what exactly? All these questions should be addressed and clarified.

9 and 9a.   We always will support any of necessary projects to make our Buildings better. But all proposals should be reasonable price. We would like to see several contractor offers and Board, not a Management must decide the Beads leader. Our opinion for a new projects -estimate or calculations was Triple OVERPRICED. For example, we sent to Buck and Manager pictures and Contractor names who have done nice work to the beach access at Sea Air Condo. Did anyone ask them to give an estimate? Secondly, we’re wondering why should we spend our money for same engineering company, who screw our previous concrete projects as: balconies, pillars, beams, deck. Look, there’s two years as concrete work done and we already complain about cracks and leaks. Do we need those Engineers and poor jobs Contractors – money suckers? We think Board got to concern about Contractors hiring, shares with residents, publish offers and be economical.

And an addition: what’s going on with new water tower, with new elevators ets? Keep this in your mind, thanks.

11.   I do not know what Beach Access Door and Ramp is? to close or remain? I do not know why a “door” costs so much. Mechanical Room Door Engineering Fees, we have been taken advantage of constantly. West Parking Lot, will it be repaved and Drains reworked? I thought the Roof was going to be short term repaired, for another year or 2 and then redone?

12.   I feel that we need to make sure that are building is safe. In the past we put bandaids on problems and we “fixed” them again and again costing more than if we fixed the problem in the first place, I want problems correctly taken care of. I have no idea the cost of an engineer, but we need to hire one that knows what they are doing and does not make mistakes that have to be fixed at a later date paid by the Condo. Please do not hire anyone because they are a nice person or because they are the son of someone, please check references and look at the work they have done in other building and check with the Better business bureau and the licensing board to see what complaints have been filed against them.

13.    Engineer not doing his job and has to be replaced . This is my own opinion since meeting him .

John Youssef  1106 N

14.   Beach and Maintenance Stairs $173,000 and Beach Access Door and Ramp $ 50,000 are paid before Roof $1,200,000 to expansive The budget should include money to protect the building from vibration and noise on the roof.

15. In what time frame would these items be completed?

 16.  As usual, I support all the work that needs to be done in order to repair and enhance our property. I would like to thank the current administration for their determination to complete this goal. Not a single board in the history of the Aquarius Condominium Association has had the courage to pass the assessments of such magnitude! My major concern however pertains to the budgetary estimates of the projects listed in the enclosed list of the tasks to be completed. They seem to be on the high side. And I have similar concerns related to the projects already completed to date. How did we manage to get the overran in excess of  5 million dollars on the 15 million dollar assessment? Didn’t we pay our engineering company about 1.5 million dollars to make sure that the projects are completed within the budget and the time frame specified in the contracts? Did the Association sign the open ended contracts? How about the quality of work? Why did we encounter so many problems? What is going on with apparently endless elevators endeavor?

We, the unit owners have very limited access to the information. First time in the history of the Association we do not have the Finance Committee. The construction Committee was discontinued. The meetings of this committee were the most informative forums, where concerned unit owners had first hand access to the pertinent information. Somebody apparently said that the construction is over. OK, create a technical committee. It appears that nobody in the current administration is uniquely qualified to address all technical problems we experience.

Our concerns submitted to the board often remain unanswered. According to the Florida Statute 718.111, “ The owners of units shall be shareholders or members of the association. The officers and directors of the association have a fiduciary relationship to the unit owners.” We elect the board, and we expect them to make sure that we all have equal access to the information, and that all our concerns are properly addressed, especially when these concerns are related to our quality of life and living conditions. Our maintenance group has very limited man-power. They hardly manage to attend to day-to-day emergencies. We need to hire another technician, well qualified, and create already a preventive maintenance schedule. Every once in a while, I have to lubricate our trash chute door, otherwise it gets stuck.

Many of us would like to help. However, “cancel culture” was apparently born in the condominium environment long before the social media became widespread. This community is the home for all of us, not just select “cheerleaders”.

Arkady Chase, Apt. PH5 N

17.    It seems odd that after more than 6 months that these improvements have been under consideration no firm prices collection took place.

18.    The prices do not seem right.

Notes sent extra SURVEY:

19     You are a nice gentleman, Cecilio.  But, your survey questions are inadequate.  I do not even understand the reason why you have circulated this survey.  If Surfside teaches anything, it instructs that repairs and improvements must be made to our condo.  Why don’t you tell your followers how everything is improving here, after years of neglect by previous BODs.

 This BOD is doing a great job.  Finally, we have a manager who can manage and manage well.

So I, for one, expect you to publish another Blog now and you may quote me if you please.  It’s time for all the condo owners to come together in harmony and get the job done.

Joel Cohen,       1408 S

Hi Cecilio,

Attached is my response to the survey.  Any questions? Let me know.

Good idea about the survey. Unfortunately, my liking or disliking of project has nothing to do with the need to complete it.  Any opinion on the subject so important to Aquarius operations should be informed one.  For the components of building systems planned to be replaced, would be helpful to know costs of associated repairs and maintenance versus the replacement cost, For the project titled ‘Beach and Maintenance Stairs” would be helpful to know what is included, since the original costs of new beach stairs was estimated well below $173,000.  I have no understanding on why “mechanical room door” and “beach access door” (that has to be hurricane safe) are of the same price.  I can only assume that the “lobby floor” with cost of $30,000 is for floors cleaning and polishing. If this assumption is correct, this cost should be part of operating costs and not included in the capital expenditures.  I definitely do not like beach access door from south tower storage room. This door was never there for more than 40 years. It was installed to provide temporary access to the beach during the 40-year certification.  There is a reason why seawall is 20″ thick. The principal function of seawall is preventing or alleviating overtopping and flooding of the land and the structures behind due to storm surges and waves. It is doubtful that any door will successfully perform this function.  The storage room has standing water on floor all the time, therefore the presence of a mold in this area is very likely, and the mold will continue to spread throughout  the lower level of the south tower hallways creating health concerns for all residents.  And so, to answer survey question, I would like to know more and only then I may be able to provide the inform opinion (that may not matter at all).  Simply speaking… here is an example:  On Monday my water heater started to leak. is leaking. The technician concluded that repairs are not possible, it has to be replaced. Do I like it? Absolutely not. Does it have to replaced? Absolutely yes.  I genuinely hope that during the Board of Directors meeting we will have information enabling us to understand the need for all planned projects and the cost estimate associated with each one.

Have a great day,

Best Regards,                      Zina Bluband,    902N

If you would like to identify your comment, please, send me your Name and Apartment Number with the comment number so I can attach it to your comment.  The Survey software makes it very hard to identify the authors of the comments .

Of course if you have something else to say it will published if so you wish.


About Cecilio Augusto Berndsen

Information Technology, Management, Project Management and Public Administration are areas I am familiar with. I am also interested in photography, wine, sailing, politics, economics, and economic development.
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