Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 10-11-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | OCTOBER 11-17, 2018 THE VALLEY 13 out." She said she hopes board mem- bers "accept the offers everyone's mak- ing" to contribute. Due to the size of this condo associa- tion, as well as the scope of the ameni- ties and the fact that the buildings are all different, it's becoming apparent that many more people should be helping run the facility than just the five-member board, said Bell. "They have a lot on their plate," she said. Bell and others are concerned about an additional estimate of $180 being added to the $370 they're currently paying in monthly homeowner asso- ciation fees to pay for the vinyl siding. Some homeowners at last Wednesday's meeting expressed fear that the higher HOA fees will make it harder for them to sell their units if circumstances keep deteriorating. Mayor Charles Lombardi, who lives at the condos, said the situation at the condos is "a mess," though he said he tries to stay away from getting involved in their operation. Resident A. Raphael Lombardi (no relation to the mayor) has gathered more than 170 signatures on a petition questioning a recent assessment resi- dents feel was unjustified. A third peti- tion is circulating in hopes of remov- ing two board members residents feel have made questionable moves. Raphael Lombardi brought with him as a handout letters he'd written to previous boards overseeing the condos in 1993, 2004 and 2013, detailing com- plaints about financial decisions and golf club operations. Vincent Martino, a resident of one of the condos, said residents have struggled to make changes due in part to a clause Hodgdon pushed to count a no-show by a unit owner as a default yes vote on the budget. "People are ready to revolt," he said. Martino cited a "string of bad finan- cial decisions" sending the association in a downward spiral. He cited sev- eral examples, including a unilateral board decision to spend more than $22,000 to explore the viability of the vinyl project with no approval of unit owners, and undocumented work per- formed on a unit that was modified by contractors with no liability insurance, leading to homeowners having to pay for the damage caused by a collapsing roof. Long-time resident Glenn Maurice agreed on Martino's opinion of the $22,000 in spending, saying he can't fathom how someone walking around with a video camera to assess the build- ings could add up to that total. He said he wants a com- plete accounting of all money taken in and how it's spent. Maurice recently lost his wife to can- cer, and told The Breeze he attended last Wednesday's meeting because she had wanted a better future at the Louisquisset Condos and he's commit- ted to seeing her dream through. Resident Paul D'Agostino, a resident for 25 years, called for a spirit of coop- eration between the board and unit owners, but he ripped the idea of the vinyl siding project as far too expen- sive. The money the condo association is taking in is "more than sufficient" for what residents are getting, he said. "We don't have an income problem, we have an outcome problem," said D'Agostino. Other residents said they were attracted to the Louisquisset Condos for the beauty and ease of living here, and were not bargaining for what they've encountered. For Bell, this uprising of sorts is about "trying to bring everybody under the same tent." It's human nature to want to cast blame on some- one else, she said, but "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." It's easy to become compla- cent and expect everything to be done perfectly for you by a volunteer board, but people are realizing now that they might have to play a bigger role them- selves. "Two messages echo consistently from my fellow unit owners: appre- ciation for Louisquisset's unique and beautiful environment and a desire to participate more fully in keeping it a premier place to live," said Bell. Just as there aren't "cookie cutter buildings" here, "it's not a cookie cut- ter population" either, she said. Vinyl siding might be one way of dealing with the exterior appearance, she said, or the best option might be painting or going with Rhino Shield. The point is that people with available time and expertise in different areas should know the pros and cons well enough to "make a little more sense" about what's being proposed, she said. One of the biggest factors in success going forward will be better commu- nication, said Bell. Residents last week spoke of creating an internal mes- saging system of sorts where condo owners can talk with each other about problems. CONDOS From Page 7 BELL Mount's open house Sunday offers a glimpse of the future WOONSOCKET – Mount St. Charles Academy invites prospective students and their families to a series of an open houses in the next several days for a close-up view of recent changes and a preview of what's coming in the future. The main open house is this Sunday, Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It will include a short address from Mount President Alan Tenreiro, a tour of the buildings and grounds, student activities fair, and meetings with teachers, staff and students. Guests are also invited to attend an opening Mass at 9 in Mount's historic Chapel Hall. There are also smaller scale open houses on Tuesday, Oct. 16 from 5-8 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon. From academics, to athletics, to extracurricular activities, programming and facilities Mount expanded in every direction in last year. Enrollment grew beyond projections for this school year, and Mount expects more growth as word spreads about the changes afoot. There are facilities improvements that are finished or in the works, such as the new outdoor amphitheater dining and events area and a library cafe. A new weight room and updated computer laboratories are planned for this year as well. Mount has revamped its middle and high school curriculums to include an expanded community service program for high school students and a modified middle school classes to give students access to elective classes. It added Advanced Placement courses in world history, human geography, statistics, and other areas. "Everything families might have heard about Mount – outstanding aca- demics, personal attention, Catholic values – are still very much a part of our education. But we're also growing and changing," Tenreiro said. "Students' needs are changing, and we're changing to keep pace. Contact Director of Admissions Susan Gasbarro at (401) 769-0310, ext. 177, or GasbarroS@mtstcharles.org. Register online at www.mountsaintcharles.org.

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