Tag Archives: security

Security update – September 2010

Greetings to All Residents:

September was another quiet month in Sandyport. As the year comes to a close, the Security Department pledges to continue being vigilant and aggressive in our effort to keep our Homeowners safe.  As we are all know Halloween is celebrated at the end of October and as customary, it will be celebrated in a big way at Sandyport. I wish to assure you that Security will be highly visible during the Halloween festivities.  However, there are a few safety tips I would like for you to keep in mind during this celebration:

  1. Please have your invited guest use the main gate. For Security purposes, no trick or treaters will be allowed access through the Service entrance.
  2. Please ask your guest to state the name of the residents who invited them. Security will not be allowing any uninvited trick or treaters on to the property.
  3. Please advise your guest that everyone is expected to be off the property by 10p.m.

Updated Procedures:

We are progressively improving our procedures with regards to visitors and workers.  The present procedures are as follows:

  1. The resident should call and inform Security that they are expecting guest or workers, (e.g. contractors).
  2. On the arrival of the guest, the resident is called by Security to confirm that the person at the gate is indeed the person the residents are expecting.
  3. If the visitor is a contractor they are directed to the service entrance where their name, company’s name, car’s license plate number is recorded by the Diarist.

Automated entry system – poll

We are considering a new automated entry system that would open the barrier for an authorised vehicle automatically on arrival at the main entrance to Sandyport.

The cost of the system would be funded by the sale of bar codes that would be applied to resident’s vehicles. The purpose of this poll is to determine the number of residents that would be interested in purchasing a bar code label for their vehicle. The cost per bar code is expected to be approximately $100 per vehicle based on 150 vehicles and would be a one time charge.

[poll id=”2″]

Security update & hurricane tips

Warm Greetings to our Residents!

The month of August was a quiet one for Sandy Port Security. Thankfully, there are no incidents to report.

As we begin a new month, students are already back in the classrooms. As customary, Security will be at the Back Gate to assist with the Tambearly School. Please remember to inform Security when there are any extracurricular activities taking place at the school that would require Security leaving the school gate open.

We are becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of dog waste that can be seen on the grass and the streets. Please be considerate and take along a doggy bag and a scoop to clean up after your pets.

Residents who are leaving the island are asked to fill out the “Going Away” form on our website. In addition to filling out the form, residents should leave the name and number of caretakers who can be contacted in a case of an emergency. This is vital in situations where boats may be sinking, we will be able to contact you or the caretaker.

All new residents are required to register their boat with Security. Registration forms can be picked up from the Main Guard House.

It is well known that September and October is the peak of the Hurricane season. I have listed some tips, which can assist you in your preparation.

What to do now

• Prepare an Evacuation Plan.
• Be certain you have adequate insurance on your home and its contents. This should include Flood Insurance through your home insurance carrier and wind and hail coverage. Review your insurance coverage in detail with your agent.
• Ask your insurance agent or company what you can do to reduce your chance of loss, such as installing hurricane shutters.
• Photograph or videotape your home and contents for insurance purposes.
• Make copies of family and personal records.
• Do not assume that the government will be able to provide for your needs. You must take steps to be self-sufficient. Be prepared: Make sure you have food, clothing, medication, and other supplies available for a week or more. During an emergency or recovery operation, public agencies will be flooded with requests for assistance. Resources will be and should be directed to the most vulnerable and needy members of the greater community.

When a hurricane watch is issued

• Keep tuned to a local radio or television station for the latest National Weather Service advisories, as well as special instructions from local government.
• Check battery-powered equipment. Your battery-operated radio could be your only source of information, and flashlights will be needed if utility services are interrupted. Buy extra batteries.
• Keep your car fueled should evacuation become necessary. Also, service stations may be inoperable after the storm strikes.
• Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, and bottles as the water system may be contaminated or damaged by the storm.
• Obtain extra prescription medications and medical supplies.
• Many people board their windows or protect them with storm shutters. Windows are broken mainly from wind-driven debris. Wind pressure may break large windows, garage doors, and double-entry doors. The taping of windows does not keep the glass from breaking; it merely keeps broken glass in a more confined area. If desired, install hurricane shutters/window boards on all unprotected windows. This may prevent tree limbs or debris from breaking windows.
• Secure outdoor objects that might become debris. Garbage cans, garden tools, toys, signs, porch furniture, and a number of other harmless items become deadly missiles in hurricane winds.
• Fasten your boat securely well before the storm arrives, or move it early to a designated safe area. We suggest tying an anchor into the middle of the canal for the bow line and another for the port in order to prevent the boat hitting the bulk heads or ending up on the bank. Do not stay on the boat.
• Trim back dead wood from trees and remove branches and coconuts from coconut trees.
• Park extra vehicle(s) in the garage and remove any from carports.
• If you have a swimming pool, cover the pump filter.
• If told to do so, shut off water, electricity, and gas
• Turn off gas at any outdoor propane tanks.
• Take down flags that may be flying.
• Disconnect power and cable to your television sets, but keep one set on to receive last minute news and instructions.
• Do not leave any pet(s) outside or tied up during a hurricane.
• Make certain pets are wearing collars with current ID. Use adhesive tape and an indelible pen if ID is not current, and tape to pet’s collar.
• The floods and flash floods brought by the torrential rains of a hurricane are dangerous. Even though hurricanes weaken rapidly as they move inland, the remnants of the storm can bring 6 to 12 inches of rainfall to the area it crosses. Sandyport Drive is prone to flooding so please take the necessary precautions.

During the hurricane

• TAKE COVER – Remain indoors during the hurricane. Blowing debris can injure and kill. Travel is extremely dangerous. Be especially aware of the “eye” of the hurricane. If the storm center passes directly overhead, there will be a lull in the wind lasting for a few minutes to a half hour or more. At the other side of the eye, the winds will increase rapidly to hurricane force and will come from the opposite direction.
• STORM SURGE – Storm surge is a great dome of water often 50 miles wide, which sweeps across the coastline near where the eye of the hurricane makes landfall. The surge, aided by the hammering effect of breaking waves, is like a giant bulldozer sweeping everything in its path. The stronger the hurricane, the higher the storm surge. This is unquestionably the most dangerous part of the hurricane. Nine out of ten hurricane fatalities are caused by the storm surge.
• FLOODS – The floods and flash floods brought by the torrential rains of a hurricane are dangerous killers. Even though hurricanes weaken rapidly as they move inland, the remnants of the storm can bring 6 to 12 inches of rainfall to the area it crosses. The resulting floods have caused great damage and loss of life.
• WINDS – The winds of a hurricane (74 miles per hour or more) can be very dangerous. For some structures, wind force is sufficient to cause destruction. Wooden structures are particularly vulnerable to hurricane winds that can spawn tornadoes, which contribute to incredible destruction. The greatest threat from hurricane winds is their cargo of debris—a deadly barrage of flying missiles such as lawn furniture, signs, roofing, trees, siding, etc.

100 Day management summary

Ownership of the Association transferred to Property Owners (Owners) in January of 2010 and the new Board appointed a General Manager to replace Mr. Glinton in June 2010. This document provides an overview of some the changes that have taken place under new management during the first 100 days.

Download 2010 interim income statement and budget here

People

The Association employs approximately 70 personnel in the following divisions:

  • Security  –  Protects property and people
  • Gardening  –  Maintains common areas and private gardens
  • General Maintenance  –  Electrical, pool, painting, waste disposal, repairs
  • Water & Sewerage  –  Maintains the water supply and sewerage system
  • Administration  –  Day-to-day management and accounts

Management reorganized the personnel into clearly defined departments, each with their own Supervisors. A clear chain of command now ensures accountability within each department. During the reorganization process, certain staff have been repositioned to other departments or terminated for reasons of status, misconduct or redundancy.

All employees have received and signed the 28 page Employee Handbook which they are expected to abide by and new employees are hired under the following standards:

  1. Initial selection and first interview is conducted by the Supervisor
  2. If the candidate passes the first interview, their file is processed by our Security department who carries out thorough background checks and validates all the necessary supporting documents including:
    1. Passport / driver’s licence
    2. Police record (no more than 6 months old)
    3. Written references
  3. If the candidate is cleared by Security, they have a second interview with the General Manager in the presence the Supervisor
  4. If the candidate is successful, they are required to sign the following documents before commencing employment:
    1. Employee Handbook
    2. Job Description
    3. Employment Agreement

In order to ensure that personnel remain on property and available to perform their tasks, procedures have been implemented via the security department to control exit from the property via the main entrance. In addition radio handsets have been issued to Supervisors and a Progress Chaser patrols the grounds ensuring that outstanding tasks are followed through to completion and observing any inappropriate performance or behavior.

Technology

Tasks are self-created (internally by the Association) or generated by the Owners. A website was launched to help improve communication between the Association and it’s Owners. Apart from providing regular news and updates, the website is primarily used for the submission of any concerns that Owners may have. A task (hereinafter to referred to as “job”) is created by posting a concern at the website which opens a web based ‘job ticket’ and notifies the Administrator of it’s existence. The job ticket is distributed to the appropriate Supervisor and copied to the Progress Chaser. As a job progresses through each stage, updates are noted on the job ticket and the reporting party is notified of any changes to the job ticket status. The Progress Chaser follows up with the Supervisor on the job status and reports it back to the Administrator. The job ticket remains open until the job is confirmed as completed and is then closed.

The website is also used for the following purposes:

  • Trimming requests
  • Booking a pool for a function
  • Providing feedback via an ongoing survey
  • Permitting feedback on individual posts

Self-generated tasks are tracked using a different specialized project/task tracking system that does not require an exchange between the Association and it’s Owners. Examples may include projects such as the conversion of a lift station, which requires a number of steps involving different departments. The point of importance, however, is that however they are created the jobs and tasks are recognized, recorded, executed and concluded.

A biometric scanning system now ensures the accurate recording of property-based personnel’s time and attendance. Personnel are required to be at their place of work on time; therefore they must punch in earlier and punch out later. This has led to increased productivity by eliminating transit time on Association payroll. A small software upgrade will soon reduce the time taken to process payroll from hours to minutes.

The office has been equipped with a new server with integrated and remote (off site) backup. All administrative personnel can communicate via their own email address, which has helped the speed and efficiency by which matters can be dealt with. The main entrance is also equipped with a high-speed internet connection to further improve communications and productivity of that department as well as permit the transmission of time and attendance data to the main office.

Administration

We have amended some of the processes within the billing operation:

  • Water meters are read quarterly and interim bills are made monthly, saving time for the Association and meter reading charges for the Owners
  • The water charges are invoiced, instead of being added as a statement charge
  • The invoices continue to be sent 15 days before the due date, but the statements will now be sent at the start of the month to serve as a reminder for payment
  • The process to follow up with overdue payments has been redefined and we have observed immediate cashflow improvements
  • A third party collections company has been engaged to take over unresolved accounts, their charges are added to the due balance and collected by them

As a result of these measures, receivables are down to $267,784 in July 2010, compared to $404,040 as at December 31, 2009.

Tighter controls have been implemented on purchases:

  • All goods and services ordered require a signed Purchase Order
  • Incoming bills are first matched with a Purchase Order, signed by the General Manager before they are posted on to the ledger
  • The use of petty cash is discouraged
  • Routine payment runs have been established – bills approved Tuesday, posted Wednesday and due bills processed for payment Thursday

We have started the process of measuring all the homes in Sandyport to ascertain the accurate total square footage in order to determine the correct cost per square foot. The exercise should be complete by November 2010.

There are still a large number of share certificates either awaiting collection or awaiting preparation. We are engaged in an on-going process of contacting Owners to either arrange to collect their certificates or to deliver their details so that certificates may be prepared.

Sandyport branded uniforms have been ordered for all maintenance and gardening personnel.

There are some notices yet to be posted on the website:

  • Speeding
  • Procedure for entering security in the evening (and the number for the service entrance)
  • Warning about pets and the rodent bait stations
  • Hurricane preparedness guide

Reports

The 2009 accounts have been reviewed and published on the website.

The 2010 interim accounts and budget are available here.

The following reporting mechanisms have been implemented:

  • Sewerage system daily inspections
  • Gardening inspections
  • Electrical requirements checklists

A fixed asset and parts register has been prepared, detailing the many pieces of equipment and materials previously unrecorded.

The boat register has been fully updated.

Security has a detailed list of contractors and their workers presently constructing in Sandyport.

Gardening

The maintenance, treatment and fertilization of the main entrance landscaping has been outsourced to Gardens Nursery.

The gardening operation is now under a management contract with a landscaping company. The Association provides the tools and manpower, the management contract is structured to improve the overall appearance of the properties and common areas whilst keeping the costs controlled.

We have invested over $20,000 in a landscaping truck, trailer and commercial grade equipment to enable the gardening crew to work more efficiently. In addition we are now providing them with on location water and ice.

Much of the clearing of the lots in Phase V has been carried out. The remaining lots within the property are soon to be cleared and all debris removed.

We have taken the decision and notified Owners that we do not service vegetation above 6’ for reasons of safety.

Many of the blind spots caused by vegetation have been cleared.

General Maintenance

The expansion of the rodent pest control solution was overdue. We have appointed an alternative pest control company and increased the coverage by 300%. Dog traps have been set and a notice advising Owners posted to the website.

The bridges and garbage areas were recently painted. The security booth by the canal has been renovated and is due to have a replacement air conditioning unit installed. The security booth at the main entrance now has a functioning backup generator and is now fully air-conditioned.

Some of the tennis court fences were in need of repair and sections have been replaced. The resurfacing of the tennis courts is pending available budget.

Replacement street signs have been ordered and are expected imminently.

A new staff and storage facility is being constructed by the ‘satellite side’ of the property for the safekeeping of gardening tools and convenience facility for the gardening crew.

The slips at Sand Dollar Island are now numbered. The dock area will be renovated when the budget permits. Quotes are presently being obtained for wood, concrete and pea gravel solutions.

The pool maintenance has been outsourced to a third party contractor. Our maintenance crew performs daily checks and clears any debris. The contractor maintains the pools twice a week.

The painting schedule (for homes) has been accelerated and we have lowered the costs by purchasing Devoe Paints.

Other minor improvements:

  • The reconstruction of the curb at the main entrance
  • Installation of gate closers by the pools
  • Installation of new pool signs
  • Remedy drain problem at Governors Cay – this involved trenching from the main road to the canal, installing the drain and landscaping the damaged area
  • We have taken over the responsibility (from a group of dedicated Owners) of the maintenance and cleaning for the playground located by the sewer plant – there have been many small improvements recommended by the group that we have implemented for the sake of safety and appearance. The key lock is due to be replaced with a key code lock for easier control of access
  • Pyramids have been placed along the empty lot between Sandyport Drive and Happy Lane to deter motorists from using it as a short cut

Other improvements pending budget approval:

  • Replacement of the canal barrier
  • Replacement of the security office by Tamberley School
  • Resurfacing of the swimming pools

There are some vines wrapped around BEC power lines. BEC have confirmed those lines are dormant and due for dismantling.

Security

Our Head of Security was on the evening shift for over a decade, she is now on the daytime shift where she has proven to be more productive.

We explored the possibility of outsourcing our security requirements to a third party. We decided against this and instead are planning to improve the training of our officers.

We are reviewing upgrading the transportation for security with new golf carts and possibly a patrol car.

There are certain upgrades for the CCTV system required pending budget availability.

We are in the process of costing out and assessing the viability of implementing a barcode scanning system for the automated entry of registered vehicles via the middle gate at the front entrance. The service would require Owners to pay separately for the service, so a vote will be carried out when the costs are known.

Water & Sewerage

The main sewerage plant is fed the sewerage through a network of drains and lift stations. The lift stations each contain 2 pumps that alternate to ensure that sewerage pumps to the plant. Of the 6 lift stations that the Association is responsible for, 5 use one system and 1 uses a different system. The latter has recently failed and we are using the opportunity to convert it (at a cost of about $20,000) so that all lift stations operate using similar pumping equipment. We presently own 2 failed pumps that may be refurbished and used as backup pumps for future failures whilst we await delivery of replacements.

Management is concerned about the overall condition of the sewerage system. We are therefore in the process of putting in place a management contract to oversee the maintenance of the lift stations and the sewer plant. Part of this process involves ensuring that all equipment is brought up to the necessary standard before the management contract can take effect. The details have yet to be confirmed by the proposed management company.

There is a grey water system that can distribute the treated water throughout the development. The cost to repair this may be extensive therefore the decision has been to defer the project for the time being.

To reduce the noise level at the sewer plant, a sound booth is being built around the blowers.

Since water is a net loss to the Association, it would be advantageous to both the Owners and the Association if Water & Sewage Corp. were to take over the water billing within Sandyport. We have tried but they are reluctant. At present we purchase at the higher commercial rate and do not recover the costs charged albeit that the rate is higher than the standard rate published by Water & Sewerage. The water provided in common areas for pools can explain some losses but others may be due to leaks in the system. In order to determine this we have embarked upon an exercise of isolating and pressure testing different parts of the development. We have not yet identified any leaks but the work is ongoing.

A final note

This document is not intended to be exhaustive, it is to provide the Association’s Owners some insight as to what we have been doing or planning. The Association is owned by the Owners, for the benefit of the Owners. This Management has been put in place by the Board of Directors to carry out the wishes of the Owners as a group. With the continued input of the Owners, we will be able to improve Sandyport.

Security update – July 2010

Warm Greetings to our new and existing Residents!

We are pleased that July was once again an uneventful month from the perspective of Security. There were no major incidents to report, however there are steps both the Security department and Residents can take to maintain a safe environment.

To all Residents:

  1. Always remember to close your garage door at night.
  2. Lock all doors at night.
  3. It is important that you do a background check on all workers who are going to be rendering their services to you.
  4. When we stop taxis at the gate and ask to see the resident in the back seat or we ask you to roll down your car window we are just trying to be extra cautious, especially at night.
  5. Report incidents and suspicious activities immediately.
  6. When you are going off the island, remember to fill out the ‘Going away’ form on www.sandyportmanagement.com so we can be aware of this during your absence.
  7. If you have workers such as contractors and persons working on any of your property who are supposed to be working within a specific period, please inform security if this is likely to be exceeded to prevent delays in granting them access.
  8. If you are doing any kind of renovations around your home, please remember to secure your ladders at night. If you need assistance to help you secure the ladders contact security and we will place them in a secure location.

To our new Residents:

  1. The telephone contacts for Security are: 327-6943 (Main Guardhouse) and 327-1967 (Service Gate), please do not hesitate to call whenever the need arises.
  2. If you have not given your phone contacts to Security, remember to do so as soon as possible.
  3. The Canal Gate opens at 7am daily and closes an hour after sunset every evening. If you experience difficulty with your boat when out to sea please call and inform security so we can open the gate upon your arrival.
  4. There is no fishing allowed in Sandyport Canals.
  5. We would appreciate a phone call when you are expecting guests, this will ensure that they not kept waiting at the gate.
  6. We are constantly improving our Security Department , if at any time you feel an officer is being negligent in their duties, do not hesitate to contact the Head of Security or the Supervisor on duty.

Stray pets

We have set up various traps to help humanely capture stray pets (specifically dogs). We would like residents to take care and ensure that their pets are not able to roam freely as they may be caught in one of the traps and ultimately end up in the care of the Humane Society.

Resident pet owners may consider including an emergency telephone number on their pet tags, allowing security to quickly reunite a captured pet with its owner.