November 21, 2019
Dear JL Homeowner:
JL POA is required to comply with strict regulations for Security Monitoring in Palm Beach County that requires this activity to be supervised by State of Florida licensed personnel. In the past, the POA has self-performed this monitoring at the North Gate Security Office. To comply with the license requirement, in 2010 the POA signed an employment agreement with a Licensed Electrical Contractor who was primarily engaged in the installation and operation of Security Monitoring Systems. A fee was paid by the JLPOA to cover his license costs only and did not involve a per door charge to the owners.
One of the issues with this sole relationship was the concern for an individual holding such a critical license. If this person moved, became incapacitated, or for some reason, lost their license, would we be able to provide this service to our residents without interruption? In addition, redundancy with this type of monitoring is a critical feature. Over the past few weeks, the phones at the North Gate have been interrupted by outages. The Board felt strongly that this is a concern, as there is no “backup system” in place to take an alarm call when this type of issues occurs. These calls would not register to the gate and, therefore, the officer would not be aware of a possible intrusion or a panic alarm made by an owner.
In reviewing this arrangement with staff, the Board believes that simply finding another contractor to “lend” JL his license to meet these requirements is unsatisfactory. We have searched and believe there is sound technology that can provide and enhance the abilities of our owners to work with their alarm system.
To avoid this liability and safety concern, it is necessary to hire a qualified Security Monitoring company that will independently monitor and initiate responses to these alarms. These types of companies must meet strict qualifications, beginning with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards and certifications that include redundant systems to ensure that no alarms are missed. With a dual system, the gate officer and the alarm company are notified at the same time of an owner’s alarm. They must then acknowledge the alarm and how it is handled.
We also believe there is new technology that can be used by many of our owners while away from their Florida home. In today’s market, you should be able to use technology to preview your alarm while away, either on your cell phone or another type of mobile device.
We are currently evaluating companies to perform this service, but it comes at an increase in cost of approximately $12 per household per month, or an increase of $36 per quarterly assessment, which will be included in the proposed budget for 2020.
While we are very concerned about containing costs, we are even more concerned about the health and welfare of our residents. On that basis, we believe this change is the responsible course to take in protecting our residents and their property values and will try to move forward with its implementation.
We will keep you updated on this issue and how we move ahead.
The JLPOA Board of Directors