November Fee Instructions

Condo fee payments for November need to go through the new management company, J A Wood. Electronic payments can be set up through their online portal. Emails with a link to set up individual portal accounts went out on October 12th; if you didn’t receive that email, please check your spam folder, or reach out to Eileen, the new manager.

Checks can be submitted following the instructions in the J A Wood welcome letter. Mail a check made out to Canal Place Condominiums in the appropriate amount to: J A Wood Management, 594 Marrett Road, Suite 16, Lexington, MA 02421.

People who have autopay in place with BRIGS need to cancel their payments ASAP. The instructions for doing that can be found here, but at least one owner resorted to a phone call instead as described below:

I cancelled my HOA fees with Brigs by calling the 617-536-4900 number. I had to leave a vmail with my name, my complex name, my address and unit number, and a request to terminate my recurring Auto Pay.
I’m hoping it’s that easy – but I won’t really know until next month to see if something comes up on my bank account.

Halloween, Etc.

There will be Trick-or-Treating in the building this year on Monday, the 31st from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. The traditional little pumpkin flyers went under everyone’s doors on Saturday morning with instructions to put them on your door if you’ll be giving out goodies. Trick-or-Treat is one of the few community events we have and is always a lot of fun.

Also: The Association has very specific rules in the Condo docs about what can and cannot go in the common area outside a unit’s door. These rules often get bent a bit for brief, seasonal displays, and many of us take delight in seeing these creative decorations, but there are a few rules that must be followed at all times because of health & safety concerns. Real pumpkins can attract vermin and should not be placed outside your unit, and no decorations should ever be hung from the sprinkler system. Thank you for your cooperation.

Annual Meeting Tomorrow (Wednesday)

Just a reminder that the Annual Owners Meeting is tomorrow evening at 6:00 on the Leo Roy Garage roof deck. Please bring your own chair. The weather should be clear and in the mid 60s.

FYI, there is another event planned for the roof deck on Thursday evening that involves significant setup—any tents, chairs, etc. you may see are not for us. We’ll be gathering in whatever spot makes the most sense when we get there, usually near the elevator.

Plumber Recommendations

It’s been awhile since there was a post looking for plumber recommendations so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to throw this question out there and see if there were any new suggestions. I know that in the past one particular name has come up over and over.

Hi, just thought we’d reach out to see if anyone had recommendations for a plumber.

A couple years ago we had a handyman come through and note that there is some kind of over-pressure device on our toilets to deal with the fact that the pipes run horizontally out of the unit for a few feet before dropping. It’s like a plastic housing inside the tank. He said both devices appeared to be slowly failing.

I think we’re there now. Our downstairs toilet takes forever to refill and the flush is very slow. Upstairs is fine, but it looks like both units might just need some maintenance.

Anyone had a plumber they like working with here? There are so many in the area it’s kind of creating its own analysis paralysis.

Garage Situation

The Board has asked me to post the following:

Due to unprecedented supply chain issues facing the manufacturer, the parts for our garage door have been delayed until at least the end of the month. Our installer, who this building has used for years, has never seen this type of backlog happen before. We live in unusual and challenging times.

If the parts come in on the new date, we still hope to have the repairs done and everyone back in the basement garage by November 1.

In the meantime, important improvements have been completed. The basement ceiling has been repaired. The entry points from the garage to the residences feature long-overdue security via a new fob system. In addition, plans are in place for repainting the lines and numbers; management is working on getting the ramp potholes filled; and additional work on the ceiling along the north wall is being researched.

There have been people wondering why we couldn’t just leave the door open and continue using the basement garage during this time. Unfortunately, in light of an ongoing lawsuit at a Boston condominium, legal counsel advised that the Board must take measures to secure the basement to avoid significant risk to the Association.

The Board apologizes for the inconvenience and thanks everyone for their patience. 

Heat is on! (& Friday’s crib notes)

The AC has been turned off and the heat is working.

Also, knowing that Friday’s post was too long, here’s the short version:

  • The Bulletin Board has a search feature; it’s great for finding advice.
  • This site has a Useful Links page with lots of, well, useful links, including several about trash disposal.
  • If you need a proxy form for the Annual Meeting and have misplaced yours, see here.
  • Common area electricity is not for personal use, and please don’t do anything to interfere with doors latching properly (like running cords outside).

Searches, Plumbing, Trash & More

This is a long post, but if you’ve bothered to subscribe to the Bulletin Board and like what it offers, it’s probably worth your while to at least skim through to the end.

Periodically, someone asks for suggestions regarding plumbing issues, and there are simple ways to find those previous discussions as noted below. But first, in case people have some new input, here’s the latest request:

We’ve been living with a slow drain situation in our shower for a long, long time. We’ve tried plunging, baking soda and vinegar, denture cleaning tablets, boiling water, and every conceivable combination of each, but nothing has worked for us. Trying to use a snake ourselves, we can’t seem to get very far before we can’t turn a corner somewhere in the plumbing behind the wall.

Has anyone hired a plumber to deal with anything like this and found success? We’re afraid/suspicious there’s a clog narrowing the pipe beyond our reach, and we’re curious if a plumber with one of those camera snake doohickies might find success getting to it. Or, we welcome any and all recommendations!!!

I’ll save my own latest input regarding de-cloggers and knowledgable plumbers for the comments so I can move on to other info here.

This website, or at least part of it, has a search feature that is wonderful for finding useful information. The Bulletin Board and the Neighbor-to-Neighbor sections are both searchable; just click on the white magnifying glass in the green box. This allows typing in a key word—”plumbing” or “meeting” or “drain” or “trash” or “remodeling” or whatever—to find all the comments and suggestions and advice that residents have offered via this site over the past 8 years. Take said advice with a grain of salt since it’s not official or coming from professionals, and some of it may be out of date, but it’s there and easy to find.

The rest of the website, however, uses different software and does not have a search function. But the Useful Links page available via the navigation bar (on a smart phone click on the menu icon to find it) is loaded with goodies. I’ve had a couple of people ask lately for info about approved disposal companies for large items; the link is on that page (although I probably should have put it under “Links for Residents” instead of “Government & Services”) There are various other links there about disposing of unwanted items, including one for the city recycling site. The city recycling site has its own set of links; I recommend folks check out the Waste Disposal Guide available there. Granted, as a large building, the curbside pickup info doesn’t apply to us, but there’s lots of other info.

Also available on this site is the Condo Living page, a reasonably complete, informal overview of Canal Place policies, although the page is currently in need of an update or two. One rule that isn’t mentioned there is that our common area electrical outlets are not for private use. This means a unit’s residents or contractors are expected to use only that unit’s electricity and not any common area outlets. This also means that running cords from the lobby outlets outside for any reason is unacceptable, especially since it prevents the doors from latching and allows just anyone to walk in, thus making it impossible to keep the building secure.

And, finally, if you’ve made it this far, for anyone who wants to have a voice at this year’s annual meeting but can’t attend and has misplaced their proxy, a downloadable version can be found here. Please note, the time shown on the proxy is wrong; the meeting will begin at 6:00.

Reminders and Questions

A reminder that the official switchover between management companies takes place on November first. October condo fees should still go to BRIGS. Payment transition information is not available yet but is expected in the coming weeks.

I got the query below (in italics) from a resident. Does anyone have any experience with this? Years ago one could send a paint chip to a state lab to have it tested for free but now the state recommends hiring a lead inspector. My own response would be not to mess with that paint or those pipes other than carefully throwing on another coat of paint, but I’m no expert. Please give any input in the comments.

I have a question about the sprinkler system pipes. Do they contain lead? 

“There are many layers of paint on the pipe in my bathroom and I want to scrape and paint, to put a rust inhibitor layer before I repaint. But I don’t want to be exposing my family to lead.

Who would know?”

Also, FYI, subscribing to this bulletin board means receiving notices of posts; the system does not, however, send out notices for each new comment. People particularly interested in a recent topic will frequently check back for comments and respond, but comments on old posts, or in the Neighbor-to-Neighbor section, are very unlikely to be noticed by anyone beyond the admin (who does get notified automatically). Therefore, specific questions for one’s neighbors are best sent to the web admin to be put up on the site as a post rather than added somewhere as a comment.