Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Council balks at paying Monarch condo fees

The Monarch houses the Plainfield Senior and Veterans' Centers
and 62 condo apartments.

Plainfield City Council balked once again last night at paying a $33,000 condo fee demanded by developer Glen Fishman of Dornoch.

Not because it disputes a fee is due and owed, but because Councilors claim the developer has not shown an audited financial statement detailing the costs on which the assessment is supposed to be based.

Expressing frustration with Administration and Finance Director Al Restaino, Councilor Cory Storch reiterated that the Council had asked for an audited financial statement but that the Administration had, once again, merely passed along details on a spreadsheet supplied by Dornoch. As Storch pointed out previously, this simply will not do. Citing the fact that the condo project had been occupied for several years now, Storch insisted that there must be better figures.

The City's condo fees are based on its percentage of ownership of the complex (at 13+ percent), but fees are supposed to be based on audited financial statements. Storch said he would be happy it the Administration brought Fishman to a Council meeting to discuss the matter.

Councilor Brown also reminded the others that there were promised items -- rooftop solar panels and a balcony garden -- that were still in dispute.

Restaino noted that a 5-seat board is still controlled by the developer (3 seats) as most units are not yet sold, but rented (though rentals are not supposed to be allowed).

Though the City, as a 13% owner, should have a seat on the board, it seems that the Robinson-Briggs administration has never previously taken any interest in its condo ownership nor attempted to play a role in the condo association. Though Restaino says the City will take part in meetings, it is not clear whether the condo board will be re-organized to reflect the city's role.

Councilors agreed the City owed a fee and expressed its willingness to sign off on payment, providing that the necessary conditions on how the expenses were arrived at were met.

The ball is still in the developer's court.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

The ball is also still in the city administration's court since the council has been asking for essential financial information and hasn't been getting it. I guess that's the way the present administration "works."

Bob said...

As usual, this administration doesn't like solid facts and figures and continues to refuse to give an accounting for their spending of that of others we may pay money to. I still wonder if the rent we paid before is more of less than the monthly condo fees. I know this adventure is a real rip-off of the taxpayers, but how much is the question. I'm glad the city council as some morals when it comes to this question.

Anonymous said...

The administration also did not see fit to utilize Plainfield's seat on the on the Muhlenberg Board and we all payed the price for that.

Rob said...

so..... The developers entered into an agreement and haven't fulfilled it.... Mmmmmmmmmm... wow.. mmmmmm I really cannot figure out how you make someone fulfill a legally binding agreement.
I mean... how do you do that???
If only we had something called.. uhh.. I don't know..someone help me out here.. Uhhh... fines, or penalties... or what the hell..I'm going to go out on a limb here...Some sort of "JUDICIAL SYSTEM" ( if you will, I mean we could call it whatever we like ) that could enforce legally binding agreements. Damn..if only our founding fathers had thought of such a thing. I mean, something like this could really help us as opposed to the bag of magic pills the REST OF THE WORLD MUST HAVE WHEN DEALING WITH THIS STUFF.
Hands Up.. the official icon of the City of Plainfield.