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Laguna Woods Village board hears solar panel credit proposal, update on COVID-19 cases

A few more COVID-19 cases trickled into Laguna Woods — up to 44 from 41 last week, Village Management Services CEO Jeff Parker announced in his report during a regular meeting of the United Mutual board on Tuesday, Aug. 11.

But Parker braced residents for a spike in numbers to come, following a state-level data-collection failure, which allowed 300,000 tests to temporarily remain unprocessed and resulted in the resignation of California’s top public health official.

An example: Orange County’s positive case count from Sunday, set at around 500, rose to the current count of 1,051, according to Orange County Health Care Agency, he noted.

Of the 734 COVID-19-related deaths in Orange County, five were in Laguna Woods.

President Sue Margolis noted that VMS will continue to re-open recreational programs, activities and facilities at a safe pace, relative to trends.

“(Residents are) doing a great job wearing masks and social distancing out there, at our low number of 44,” Parker said, noting that no new deaths have been reported since the most recent update. “It is important to note that 85% of the people who have passed away because of COVID-19 are in that 55 and over range.”

Southern California Edison electric net credits policy

Director Manuel Armendariz proposed a policy that would record all Southern California Edison Electric net credits generated by the solar panel system as additions to United Mutual’s contingency fund, retroactive to Feb. 1, 2017.

His proposal was only up for discussion during the open session.

“Way back when I was exposed to the solar panel project, there was language that this money should be paid back,” Armendariz said. “To me, that makes all the sense in the world.”

Margolis said his proposed policy would change the budget considerably, adding that it should become active beginning January 2021.

United moved the item to a closed session for further discussion.

Financial Review Checklist

United is required by state law to review various financial documents and statements on a monthly basis.

The review is conducted by a subcommittee consisting of the board treasurer and one other officer, as stated in a Village Management Services staff report.

According to a Financial Review Confirmation Checklist, Treasurer Elsie Addington and Director Brian Gilmore reviewed five items:

A current reconciliation of United’s operating and reserve accountsThe current year’s actual operating revenues and expenses, compared to the current year’s budgetThe latest account statements prepared by the financial institutions where United has its operating and reserve accountsThe income and expense statement for United’s operating and reserve accountsThe check register, monthly general ledger and delinquent assessment receivable reports

Armendariz opposed the statutory obligation, saying that the board is in need of creating a separate bank account, while Director Andre Torng voted in opposition because there are outstanding items to discuss.

The board approved the statutory obligation 5-4-1 on first reading.

Resale report

The average resale price for a co-op in United Mutual in July was $266,816, up from $248,373 in July 2019, according to a VMS staff report. Resales year-to-date numbered 172, down from 197 the same time last year. Sales volume in July was $5 million compared with $9.2 million in July 2019.

Source: Orange County Register

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