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CTC Board: July Update

Quarterly update from the Board of Directors, including community safety and security and other updates: spike in water usage, office re-opening plans, and CTC Team and Board adjustments.

Dear Neighbors,

Happy Summer!  It has been great to see the co-op awaken as the weather got warmer, folks got vaccinations and quarantine restrictions lifted. The grilling, kiddie pools and laundry hanging out on the lines means folks are out and about. Likewise, the Board of Directors has been deciding and deliberating. Here are the updates from April-June summarizing the Board of Directors discussions and decisions:

Building Safety

Resident Voices were expressed wanting clarification and having concern for packages and items in Hallways of 1 bedroom units. The Operations Committee reviewed the policy further and received details from the Fire Chief explaining and reminding us the pathway form any point in the building, to the exit, must be clear so that occupants can exit the building at any time without obstruction in the egress path. Apartment door mats are too small and too loose, therefore causing a tripping hazard. Shoes and other personal items are the same. Delivery packages if completely out of the minimum egress path exit, which would be the with of the stairwell, could be on the building entrance landing for temporary basis only and not to accumulate.

Community Safety and Security

So far, catalytic converter theft has been reported many times, and is up  by 77% in St. Paul alone. What we are seeing is a reflection of the circumstance across the whole metro area. We, the board of directors hear our fellow community members and the concern for safety of all individuals and possessions, but we also see we are not alone in this crime.

The Board looked into many security options. It was found that there is a security service that works with UMPD, that has better training than private security and are integrated with the U of M system. Security is not police, and in the event of an incident they would need to call UMPD. And since it would be impossible for them to cover all spots at all times, there is no guarantee they would catch a thief. Using the service of U of M security rates costs $32/hour at 40 hours/week estimated over $75,000 with the need for off road vehicle to cover the entire property. It is also estimated for 24 hour security is a $280,000-$310,000 Annual Cost. This results in roughly a 6.2% increase ($40-$45/month increase) in rent. We recognize the increase in rent needed for this security and also the coverage would be sparse and not guaranteed to be in the area in which a crime may occur. The Board decided that the cost is too high to justify that high of a rental increase, especially given the chance of whether the security will be at the right place at the right time. The financial investment is not guaranteed to pay off. The board decided to arrange community driven foot patrols, scheduled randomly, would be best to deter crime. Instances where community members have been out and noticed something suspicious and called the police have effectively deterred crime, and it is best  to continue that trend. Look for more information from the board soon!

CTC works well with U of M Police department and we received an update by Officer Swanson that UMPD was asked to do more sweeps through CTC in late evenings and early morning hours with 2-3 patrols at night. They cover Como and Pillsbury as well. Officer Swanson supported the idea of community driven foot patrols to deter crime. He also noted that  when people leave things out or entry ways open and visible, that gives temptation to thieves. If the community can get together to reduce these, the removal of temptation is huge. Thieves don’t forget places they have success.

Additionally, a camera is installed at Como and Gibbs, as that location was missed at the original install.

Community Updates

CTC has experienced an uncharacteristic spike in water usage compared with previous spring months. Please be mindful of the amount of water you're using and follow co-op guidance for the use of kiddie pools.

Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, CTC is following the U of M sunrise plan, and we are anticipating a gradual re-opening of the office and public access hours. See more details here.

Thank you to everyone for your attendance and engagement at our Annual Members Meeting, and a huge shout out to our talented musicians who performed during our first virtual concert. We also welcomed two new board members - Mounish Gorle and Kari Li.

Last but not least, we would like to wish Hadley Adkins, the General Manager of CTC, farewell and best wishes on her next adventure! She has done so much for our community, and we thank her for her 15 years of service. Shanea Schmelling, who has been with CTC for 13 years, will serve as Interim General Manager.

Current CTC Leadership:
Management Team Board of Directors
Shanea Schmelling, Operations Manager + Interim General Manager Tanner Deeds, Chair
Jeff Ciesynski, Facilities Manager Tammy Walsky, Vice Chair
Erica Torkelson Flaherty, Accountant Senanur Avci Tosun, Treasurer
Lindy Wirth, Marketing & Customer Support Coordinator Sofía Simeto, Secretary
Patrick Broderick, Housing Coordinator Amer Al Homoud, Board Member
Kashia Vang, Office Coordinator Laura Eckhardt, Board Member
Arthur Foix, Maintenance Technician Wei Li, Board Member
Paul Hetland, Maintenance Technician Kari Li, Board Member
Cezar Chavez, Maintenance Technician Open Seat

We wish you all a safe and fun summer! Enjoy the beautiful weather!

Tammy Walsky, Vice Chair

Laura Eckhardt, Board Member