Monthly Archives: August 2012

After the Storm

Tuesday, August 28th

One resident's views of Tropical Storm Isaac.

TS Isaac was nowhere near Hutchinson Island but those "outer bands" of wind and rainstorms certainly made me sit up and take notice. We had closed our hurricane shutters Saturday night, expecting the worst but though Sunday, the 26th, was rainy and windy it didn't seem all that bad a storm. The initial gusts had tossed around the chairs and chaise loungers, with a few of them winding up in the pool. The hot tub cover was blown off and wrapped around the gazebo structure, and the fence at The Sands to the south of us was broken and planks strewn around their driveway.   Continue reading

Track Hurricane Isaac

We've added a link to a new page "Weather" as a selection below the "Home" menu. It pulls in a feed from and shows the extent of the weather coming off Hurrican Isaac. The map refreshes every few seconds and you can zoom in or out and even change the focus. Clicking on "" underneath the map will take you to a new window with the full site.

It's an easy way to keep track of the storm's progression, though in calm weather I may take it off-line if it doesn't show us anything.

First “Meet the President” meeting scheduled

The first "Meet the President" meeting of the 2012-2013 season is scheduled for Wednesday, September 5th, at 9 - 10 AM in the South Tower Clubroom. These once-a-month meetings are informal, optional, and a good way to communicate with the management team.

Ron ("Hutch") Hutchinson, President of the Tiara Towers HOA Board, and Rick Kimes, Elliott Merrill Manager for Tiara, will be on hand to hear how the summer has gone, what's worked, and what hasn't.

This is a great opportunity to bring any issues, new ideas, and, of course, your praises to the attention of the Board of Directors for Tiara's HomeOwners' Association.

Tiara Telephone Bill Reduced 36%

The Tiara Towers Telecom Committee has saved the Association approximately $3,000 per year by switching its telephone carrier service to an alternate provider. Many thanks go to the members of the Telecom Committee and especially to Ed Galvin, 1405 N, who spearheaded this project.

For more years than anyone can remember, AT&T has been Tiara's telephone provider.  Up until May of this year, Tiara was procuring 9 telephones lines from AT&T at an annual cost of just over $7,800 per year.  In May, 2012, the Association switched providers to a competitor: Windstream Communications.  During the investigation into using an alternate carrier, the Committee discovered that Tiara could also shed one line that it really did not need.  The new Windstream cost is running $4970 per year.  That's an annual savings of $2830 per year - a 36% reduction.

The switch to the new provider also eliminated Tiara's "$250/yr. doorbell issue".  What is a $250.yr. doorbell, you ask?  Well,   .  .  .  let me tell you.  In this electronic age, many owners here at Tiara now rely exclusively on mobile (cellular) telephone service.  They no longer need, or want, to pay for a fixed land line to their condo here at Tiara.  However, Tiara's controllers for the Main Gate plus both Front Lobby Doors, are configured to telephone the owner's telephone number whenever a visitor or delivery person presses the code number as he arrives at the Main Gate, and again at the Front Door.

For fear of excessive long distance toll fees, it had been Tiara's policy to only program local (Area Code 772) telephone numbers into the Tiara controllers.  The Telecom Committee conducted a Survey at the beginning of 2012, which suggested that as many as 15% of the Tiara owners would be willing to jettison their land lines at Tiara - if they could open the Gate and Lobby Doors using their cell phone.  The Windstream representative convinced the Telecom Committee that the long distance charges on the three phone lines used by the Gate and Door controllers, would be nominal - less than $250/yr. total.  At an average land line cost of $20/yr. ($250/yr.), this could save Tiara owners collectively over $5,000/yr. if 15% of Tiara owners took advantage to cancel their land line service.

If you would like to have your cell phone programmed to be called when your visitor buzzes from the Main Gate and Front Lobby Door, please inform Bill at the Tiara Maintenance Office.

The eight service lines involved in this transfer are:

  • Fire Alarm - Primary line (quantity 2 - one per building)
  • Fire Alarm - Backup + Front Door  line (quantity 2 - one per building)
  • Elevators + Pool Phone line (quantity 2 - one per building)
  • Main Gate line
  • Maintenance Office line