Condo Media - August 2020 - 17

AS CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATIONS BEGIN TO SLOWLY EMERGE from their pandemic
lockdowns, boards and managers are trying to decide what to do about construction and
maintenance projects that were disrupted or delayed by the nearly two-month freeze on
non-essential work. Should they proceed as planned? Continue to hold off? Abandon the
plans entirely? The questions are difficult and the answers aren't always clear.

N

Now that local and state shelter-in-place
mandates are being eased, associations
can proceed with construction projects
without having to justify the work as
"essential," attorney Sandy Moskowitz,
a shareholder in Davis Malm, observes.
But they still have to consider the health
and safety of residents, the risk that
they might be infected by workers
allowed on site (and possibly sue the
association for negligence), and the
costs the association might incur if it
delays or cancels planned projects -
because the project might become more
expensive or because contractors might
demand compensation for changing
the contract terms.
"It's a balancing act," Moskowitz says,
and the balance will be different for
different communities. The question
all should consider: "Does the need for
the project justify the potential risks?"
His advice to clients: Undertake only
essential projects, delay any that can be
"reasonably postponed," and adopt safety
protocols that reduce exposure risks
for residents as much as possible. Most
boards seem to be following that advice.
Bob Keegan, CMCA, AMS, PCAM,
president of Dirigo Management in
Portland, Maine, says his association
clients are creating "wish lists" and
"need lists" - putting off smaller projects
that don't have to be completed this year,
and proceeding with those that can't be
delayed - essential roof replacements,
for example, or envelope repairs.
UNACCEPTABLE RISKS
Jill Wetmore-Piken, CMCA, AMS,
general manager for Barkan Management Company, AMO, says the
community she manages in Natick,
Mass., delayed two projects that were

supposed to begin in the spring because
the board didn't like the risk to owners
of having "extra bodies on site."
Most communities Douglas Thayer's
firm (Thayer and Associates, Inc., AMO)
manages are giving priority to projects
that were interrupted when lockdowns
took effect in mid-March and are essential prioritizing outside work where contact with residents will be minimized.
"And we're starting those slowly and
thoughtfully," he emphasizes. Boards
are delaying non-essential work until
the fall, he says, when they should have
a better read on the success of efforts to
control the spread of the virus.
Ronda Ziner's association clients,
similarly, are delaying discretionary
projects so they can gauge how their
budgets will be affected by pandemic
expenses and collection problems,
should any develop. "If they can put
major projects off for a year, many are
doing that," Ziner, CPM, a regional
property manager at E.P. Management
Corp., says.
SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
Associations that are resuming stalled
projects or undertaking new ones are
adopting a range of safety measures
designed to minimize contagion risks
for their residents. Most are requiring
workers to wear masks, many are restricting their access to common areas
and requiring crews to only use freight
elevators (if available). Some are limiting the number of workers allowed on
site or the hours during which they are
allowed to work.
To minimize contact between
owners and construction crews, some
of Keegan's association clients are
requiring contractors to start work

after 8 a.m. (when residents will have
left for work) and end before 5 p.m.
(when they will be returning home).
His clients are also:
Cordoning off work areas to keep
residents away from them.
Requiring workers to clean up the
site every day. "What they bring on
(excluding heavy equipment) they
have to take away," Keegan explains.
Requiring workers to wear masks
and practice social distancing onsite, and instructing owners to
keep their distance, as well.
"We're telling owners not to approach
workers and not to allow workers to approach them. We're instructing them to
contact the management office and let us
deal with the workers," Keegan says.
Many associations are requiring contractors to verify daily that their workers
don't have any virus symptoms, have
not been exposed to anyone who has the
virus, and have not tested positive for
it. Kegan says his clients are requiring
contractors to provide that documentation daily while work is in progress.
Ziner's clients are also requiring detailed
information from contractors about the
safety protocols they have in place for
their workers and are communicating
that information to owners. "Explaining what contractors and the board are
doing to reduce risks increases their
comfort level," she notes.
Contractors, for their part "are taking
[safety protocols] very seriously," Ziner
has found. "In some cases, they are going
beyond what state or local officials and
associations are requiring."
August 2020 CONDOMEDIA

17



Condo Media - August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - August 2020

Contents
Condo Media - August 2020 - Intro
Condo Media - August 2020 - Cover1
Condo Media - August 2020 - Cover2
Condo Media - August 2020 - Contents
Condo Media - August 2020 - 2
Condo Media - August 2020 - 3
Condo Media - August 2020 - 4
Condo Media - August 2020 - 5
Condo Media - August 2020 - 6
Condo Media - August 2020 - 7
Condo Media - August 2020 - 8
Condo Media - August 2020 - 9
Condo Media - August 2020 - 10
Condo Media - August 2020 - 11
Condo Media - August 2020 - 12
Condo Media - August 2020 - 13
Condo Media - August 2020 - 14
Condo Media - August 2020 - 15
Condo Media - August 2020 - 16
Condo Media - August 2020 - 17
Condo Media - August 2020 - 18
Condo Media - August 2020 - 19
Condo Media - August 2020 - 20
Condo Media - August 2020 - 21
Condo Media - August 2020 - 22
Condo Media - August 2020 - 23
Condo Media - August 2020 - 24
Condo Media - August 2020 - 25
Condo Media - August 2020 - 26
Condo Media - August 2020 - 27
Condo Media - August 2020 - 28
Condo Media - August 2020 - 29
Condo Media - August 2020 - 30
Condo Media - August 2020 - 31
Condo Media - August 2020 - 32
Condo Media - August 2020 - 33
Condo Media - August 2020 - 34
Condo Media - August 2020 - 35
Condo Media - August 2020 - 36
Condo Media - August 2020 - 37
Condo Media - August 2020 - 38
Condo Media - August 2020 - 39
Condo Media - August 2020 - 40
Condo Media - August 2020 - 41
Condo Media - August 2020 - 42
Condo Media - August 2020 - 43
Condo Media - August 2020 - 44
Condo Media - August 2020 - 45
Condo Media - August 2020 - 46
Condo Media - August 2020 - 47
Condo Media - August 2020 - 48
Condo Media - August 2020 - Cover4
Condo Media - August 2020 - Cover3
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