H.O.A. increase

Posted in: Mansion Farm
  • Stock
  • gmom60
  • Respected Neighbor
  • USA
  • 125 Posts

If the board receives their increase exactly how will that be used? 

 

 

I haven??™t posted the results of the ballots yet, but the proposed dues increase did not pass. Basically the extra dues would have allowed us to pay for all of the vendors who have steadily raised their prices over 22 years since this development began, and to not have to worry where the money would come from whenever something extra needed painting, something needed trimming, or the mowing season lasted longer than we had budgeted for, or a pond was not draining properly. Our treasurer has kept a tight reign on the budget and we have been very frugal to make ends meet but even he has said in private that this is not sustainable and at some point we will have to raise dues. There is also a provision in our legal documents that would allow the board to charge an extra assessment if we get into a bind to pay for something unexpected. I think it is preferable to be proactive and raise the dues before any big problem arises. And all of that said, it would be nice to be able to do some extra things to perk up our aging community, like more plantings throughout or more money put into enhancing the playgrounds. If we could get extra money I would propose that we get input from all homeowners for projects they are in favor of. But without extra money we will cut the grass, maintain the ponds, and continue to do just the basics.

The only reference I can find in our by law about a special assessment states:

 

'In addition, if approved or established by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Maintenance Corporation's members in good standing, voting in person or by proxy at the annual meeting or at any other membership meeting duly called for such purpose, the Directors may make special assessments, which shall be due within thirty (30) days of notice of such special assessment to the members, and thereupon be a lien on the lot or lots against which the special assessment is made."

 

I am missing something?

Nope. You are spot on what I found in the bylaws. I believe this would be another fee in addition to the annual assessment and probably put there to cover any unexpected expenses. Of course as you noticed, this too would require the same vote of 2/3 homeowners in good standing, which never seems to pass. The only difference is that this can be called for out of cycle...doesn??™t have to wait until the annual meeting. If there is such an emergency and the request for extra assessment did not pass I am not sure what the exact consequences would be...but my earlier comment was about trying to raise dues to cover for that rather than just worry about it. I honestly do not understand everything about our budget and certainly am no expert on the bylaws or any other documents rc Peoples left us with. So arguing about my interpretation of them is irrelevant. All I do know is basic math. In what other universe have you lived where the cost of basic services does not go up? The dues that were assigned each homeowner were $150 a year. That might have been more then adequate the twenty-two years ago when they were originally assessed. I personally never got involved with the board when we bought in this neighborhood so I remained blissfully ignorant of exactly what the board did with our money and would??™ve been happy to pay the $150/yr forever. But now that I am on the board I see just how expensive any one service has become. I was shocked to see that it costs nearly $1,000 every time we have three intersections mowed for snow removal or that I got an estimate of over $1000 to paint the bases of the townhouses mailboxes. I also have been here long enough to notice that not as much happens within this community. There used to be parties, get togethers, Easter egg hunts. The newsletter used to go out quarterly. Board positions were solicited after applicants bios were mailed out for homeowners to pick from. All of this seems to have disappeared. I can only assume that the expense of doing all of these extra things is now way beyond our current budget. And as the once new things start to show their age of twenty-two years (like our community signs), whatever remains in the budget after basic needs like mowing and maintaining the ponds, etc. needs to go for the larger and more expensive items that now need replacing. I hope this explanation satisfies you. It is only my interpretation of things. We are not trained to be board members. I do the best I can do to take notes at meetings and volunteer to help out wherebpver I see some needs that I can help with in between time I need for living my life. I was a graphic artist for most of my life for which I was paid, but I put together the last newsletter, which took many hours and did not charge for any of that time. I am involved with our new community sign and found out about a pocket of money through Nicole Poore??™s office that will save us $15,000 once they approve it and I will work with the company to design and build the sign. And speaking of the sign...I met with DelDot (another board member and a rep from Poore??™s office) recently to discuss the location for the new sign. We are having to relocate our sign since the current location on rc Peoples and Mansion Farm is no longer our property (Peoples is trying to sell that land). It was determined that the new site...just at the start of the townhouses at viscaya and Mansion Farm Drive, has a drop off of that will require several trucks of landfill soil and also a landscape service to clear out the overgrowth. That was a cost not budgeted for. Although Poore??™s office is willing to help us out with the big expense, the sign, they have turned us down on funds to prep the site. Any way. Hope this helps. If we could afford to send out flyers to 413 homes more often maybe it would be easier to keep everyone in the loop. The Annual meeting is another way, but with only twenty some people showing up representing 413 homes, it is hard to get consensus on anything. If you would like to know more about what is going on...be sure and come to a meeting. If you would like to see more happening here...we can always use extra help. Without extra money in the budget, volunteers are all we can hope for. Sorry this was so long. I am just trying to make things better. I hope that is all you expect of me...because that is all I can offer.
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