Do you have another budget to compare? As a protocol in companies we always ask for 3 and personally also at least 2. I hope you can make a second to be sure that it is indeed the most convenient not only in service and trust but also in the economic part as well. We are talking about a high amount. Now, at least with a second budget, I remain calm that Campos is indeed the most convenient Contractor.
Thank you for the question about the bid by Campos Construction for the electrical panel replacement. These bids are not sourced by the HOA as this is a homeowner matter. If you would like to source another bid we would be happy to pass it along to the other owners impacted by your electrical panel. The only thing that the HOA did is to set the standards and how the work is to be done and this was to regularize all of the electrical installations. We originally got three quotes for the test building, Campos Construction, Ysidro of Hernandez Construction, and a Tijuana electrical installer. Campos was the most reasonable and so we recommended that people use him. He is also in the community regularly for any issues and is well known to the community. There is no benefit to the HOA office for using Campos. Another owner recently obtained her own quote from her electrician and the difference from the Campos quote was about US$200. If you would like to get your own quote please ask Alejandra for the specifications sheet that must be used for the quote.
The HOA’s offer to collect over time is the correct policy, and had it been adopted in the beginning, spread over 24 months, even the total amount would have been close to insignificant for most and gone unexamined. We have adequate reserves to easily accomplish this with little controversy so that by now the project would have been completed throughout La Paloma.
Unfortunately the HOA does not have the funds to spread these payments over 24 months. We are not a financing institute with access to unlimited funds and so to do so would result in a reduction in staff and services to our homeowners. As it is our 6 month payment policy was considered generous by the committee and thus that is all we can offer. We have to pay the provider the full amount upon completion of the install and the providers are not willing to finance these over 24 months.
My personal recommendation is that individual homeowners consider paying for the per unit wiring portions once the above points are clarified to their satisfaction, and that would be my intention. That price may increase when some items are necessarily split 10 ways, but in general the principal stands.
It is really impossible for this to be done on a one by one condo basis because that might involve 9 different installers digging up things 9 times, making 9 different installations. This was a committee decision and upon advice of the attorneys that this be done for each electrical panel as a single installation. This also allows for as little disruption to the community as is possible.
. I also note that in one area it refers to ‘project start and completion dates’, but they are blank. From the point of agreement, can we get a clarification of when would our home interiors be disrupted and for how long; and will we experience any electrical disruptions, if so when and for how long? Will there be disruption of habitation?
The outside work is done first, the trenching etc. Then when it comes tiome to install the wires to your fuse box the installer asks for dates from you for this install. Some units are easier and faster than others because of the location of the unit (upstairs vs downstairs) and where the fuse box is located in the condo. After forty years many fuse boxes are not in the original positions due to extensive remodeling. So my condo had no electricity for about two hours and they had to drill the hole in the wall and run lines through the attic prior to the switch over. It was pretty efficient and the disruption was kept to a minimum, but I have an upstairs condo. John Fallenstein’s downstairs condo took a number of days on inside work to get a place to run the lines, but the connection time was the same. I hope this helps.
. It is unclear to me if this bid includes replacing the wiring from the panel inside our units to our individual plugs and electrical connections. Please advise. If the wiring is defective from the meter to the panel, it follows that it also defective and a fire hazard from the panel to the plug
On a personal response, when my unit was done and I was not in a position really to pay the $1400, but had to scrape up the money, my wife and I decided to bite the bullet and fund the entire replacement of our internal condo wiring and plugs and fuse box. We enlarged the fuse box, had new wires including ground wires run to all outlets and increased the number of fuses that controlled out small condo electrics. This was an additional charge to us as the rewiring is from meter to fuse box only.
. In discussions with other homeowners, I’ve understand that all homeowners must participate in a project, and all must pay, (the same as having a building tented for termites which is important too!). Some units are arrears in their HOA dues, and I’m informed have no intention of paying and are pursuing legal action against the HOA. What is the HOA’s intention in this regard. Is the HOA paying for those homeowners who do not participate? Please advise.
The issue of homeowners in arrears and the electrical panels has not come up yet and is something we have to deal with when it comes along. There are a variety of possibilities for this including not connecting them up to the mains until they pay for the installation or come current, but this is just an example and will have to be discussed with the committee and the attorney.
Upon receipt of the CFE demands, I presume the equipment repair and new structure project was put out to bid, and Campos provided the best competitive value bid for the benefit of Association membership. The policy has been to choose the best of three bids. Most homeowners understand this is the practice, and perhaps a comment about the other two bids should be provided.
This was initially put out to bid and was bid on by Luis Campos, Isidro and an external provider using the exact same materials to allow us to compare apples to apples. Campos was the most complete bid and the best value however we have now explained to homeowners that they are welcome to (as a group) get their own bids from other providers but must have the work quoted with and done using the same materials and in the same manner to establish a consistency across our community. The quote also has to be for the entire set of condos serviced by each electrical panel. For instance there are no joins in the electrical wires between the meter and the fuse panel and there was a ground wire added. All wiring had to be inside accessible conduits to allow for future repairs and upgrades if necessary. All wiring and fuses etc., were a specific standard to make sure there was consistency for future repairs. A lot of thought went into this and a lot of backwards and forwards debate occurred before a test building was even done
Why are we paying an outside contractor for work La Paloma staff can perform, and does perform on a regular basis?
We have 45 workers in La Paloma responsible for a variety of maintenance tasks and if we were to require them to complete this task we would be doing the work for individual homeowners as determined by condominium law of Baja. We also would then have to ignore all other maintenance in the community which in itself would create a crisis that would impact our investment.
As a former Administrator of La Paloma, it is my considered opinion that It is not, therefore, individual homeowner/member’s responsibility to maintain or construct these structures, undivided common areas as defined in our by-laws. The same as patio water heater enclosures, pool heater structures, pilas, in-ground wiring structures, water distribution structures, and other structures, are not the responsibility of individual homeowners.
I have answered this above to the best of my ability. I will answer this as an individual though. There are 300 plus units in La Paloma. If the association was to take responsibility for replacing these lines and meter boxes the cost would be around $420000 which is half of our yearly budget and would require an approximate 50% increase in dues based on simple calculations.
I point out ARTICLE 6 of our By-Laws: “Common areas are those which provide a service for the community and which satisfy a specific and collective need, thus being, among others, the following: “The land, the foundation, the structure, paths and sidewalks, ramparts, facades, pumps and their motors, water pipe lines, electricity, telephone, sewage tubing with the exception of installations found inside each private unit, the club house, gardens, recreation area, and in general all sections of the real estate meant for collective usage or that by law or application they must be so considered.”
The attorneys investigated this and the determination within the Condominium Law of Baja California was that since we have individual meters the lines be they gas, water or electricity from the condo side of the meter to the condo are the responsibility of the individual owner. If La Paloma had one water meter, one electric meter and one gas meter for the entire community then those lines would be the association's responsibility.
Was it part of the CFE demands to reconstruct the housing structure that houses the meters? This structure has always, historically been part of HOA maintenance, as with numerous structures in La Paloma.
We have one enclosure that has to be completely torn down and replaced as a result of faulty construction. However the decision was hotly debated in many committee meetings as to what to do with the enclosures. This resulted in the attorneys getting involved and being asked to rule on these structures and the ruling determined that the electrical panels and the structure were solely for the use of those individual condos and thus were the responsibility of the individual condo owners. I disagreed but was outvoted on the committee as they approved moving forward with this project. La Paloma is a unique development in that each condo has individual water, gas and electric meters. In talking to my neighbors and in doing investigations with other developments many simply have one meter and the bill is equally divided amongst each condo owner. This though presents us with the reality that the lines, be they gas, water or electricity from the condo side of the meter to the condo are the responsibility of the individual owner.
I presume CFE requires this work to be performed. We should see a copy and explanation of their demands so owners can read and understand why an apparent dangerous situation was allowed to continue for so long.
CFE has nothing to do with this as they do not control the wiring from the meters to the individual condos. They however are required to inspect and certify each new installation and give a certificate that it is to code.
Was it sub-standard construction or defect; were inferior materials used or used to replace the original installation? Is it due to improper maintenance or damaged by subsequent work? I have looked at our current installation and see no signs of decay, but acknowledge I might not be the best judge. But if we are being asked to pay for it, I’d like to know what happened because I’ve owned properties that never required rewiring at the age of our units. What other buildings in La Paloma have been required to rewire? The office, clubhouse, Mama Mia’s, other offices?
The cause of this issue is simply aging like our bodies. We live in a ocean climate that fosters corrosion of everything from aluminum to iron work and any sort of metal in between. Wiring over the years deteriorated and the original installation held up remarkably well for forty years, but is now in need of updating. Mexican wiring codes have changed over the years and the possibility of fires caused by faulty wiring and the refusal of insurance policies to pay out as a result of that faulty wiring prompted John Fallenstein to start this process. He decided that we could no longer bury our heads in the sand and hope for the best, but that we needed to be proactive.
Contrary to representations, I have no record of receiving any previous communication on this matter and I wonder if other owners have, or know the exact reasons. There are new owners within the project confines who would not have been owners when explanatory communications were sent, as have been mentioned to me.
This issue has been the topic of numerous emails sent over a period of three years, individual communications, administrator letters etc.
The issue with the electrical panels and wiring from the panels to the individual fuse boxes in each condo is a long standing issue and became an urgent issue midway through Ruth’s term as Administrator. We started to see an increase in electrical failure in condo buildings that were related to the aging wiring installed in some cases over 40 years ago and deteriorating as a result of exposure to the sea air of Baja.
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