Woodard’s Crestlake Homeowners’ Association
May 7, 2007
As you may or may not know, as a resident and homeowner in Crestlake Subdivision, you are a member of the Woodard Crestlake Homeowners’ Association. The Homeowners’ Association has been in existence since the subdivision started and, at the beginning, it was an active Association. However, in recent years, the Association became largely dormant. David Fritz, President, and Cody Evans, Treasurer, were the only members of the Board of Directors and Officers soldering on.
In March, Steve and Rhonda Littlefield sent a mailing to everyone in Crestlake about a meeting to reorganize the Association. That meeting, attended by 50+ Crestlake residents, took place at the St. Joseph Municipal Building on April 19, 2007. At the meeting, several Crestlake residents volunteered to work to do the reorganization. Those volunteers are:
|Ernest Monk||Sandy Schopp||Herschel Reveal|
|Jim/Angela Page||Tom Boaz||Jamie Kofoot|
|Rhonda/Steve Littlefield||Phyllis Williams||Rick Edwards|
David Fritz, in his role as one of the last remaining officers, is also assisting in the reorganization effort. The following are some facts of which you should be aware. The Homeowners’ Association:
- owns the seven commons areas – six lakes and one commons area
- must provide for insurance on the commons areas as well as the rules for their use
- must maintain the commons areas – this includes mowing, landscaping, biological treatment of the ponds, fish stocking, signage, etc.
- has the authority to set an assessment of each property in Crestlake to maintain the common areas
- has a set of by-laws and restrictions and covenants upon which the Association must operate
- was initially incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation – but the corporation was involuntarily dissolved by the State for failure to pay the annual corporation fee and for failure to file an annual report during the dormant period
That last point is particularly important for all of us. Without the corporation as a shield against liability, EVERY RESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION COULD BE EQUALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY LEGAL JUDGEMENT!!!! Keep in mind, the Homeowners’ Association exists whether it is incorporated or not. For instance, if a child drowns in a lake and a $5 million judgement is found against the Association for negligence, every homeowner could share in the requirement to pay the judgement – $12,987 a piece! This alone is incentive for all of us to be concerned and involved in the Homeowners’ Association.
Those of us involved in the Association reorganizing have:
- met with an attorney to seek legal advice on how to legally reorganize the Association
- obtained copies of the deeds and property assessments of the common areas/retention ponds
- gathered old records that could be found into one place and started to establish a filing system
- updated the checking account signature cards so the bills can be paid
- discovered that the Association is woefully under-insured and started the process of gathering bids for new coverage
- started the process of obtaining a permanent bookkeeper
- re-established the post office box that had been previously canceled
Believe us that these things have been no small task. Our personal thanks goes to every one of the volunteers who are dedicating their own time and money to get the Association legal, pro-active an involved – which will benefit all of our property values.
Working with an attorney, a plan has been developed to legally get the Association back on it feet:
- Sending this letter to every resident and property owner notifying everybody of what is happening and the efforts made by the residents to legitimately reorganize the Association.
- Establish a date for an Association meeting –
- that date is May 31, 2007 at 7:00 PM at the St. Joseph Middle School
- encourage everyone to attend to get the strongest foundation for approval of the new efforts
- Provide for residents who cannot, or chose not to, attend, the opportunity to vote their opinion on the re-establishment of the Association –
- that opportunity is represented by the enclosed survey and self-addressed stamped envelope
- Association members can complete the survey and mail it back. Their voices will be added to those who attend the meeting to establish legal authority to reorganize the Association
- At the the meeting, the membership selects a 7 member Board of Directors to manage the affairs of the Association.
- Upon appointment, the Board:
- makes any by-law amendments that it thinks is warranted
- officially adopts by-laws
- select Officers to manage the day-to-day activities of the Association
- adopts any rules and policies that are necessary to operate
- authorizes the Secretary to file the Articles of Incorporation with the State
- authorizes the finalization of an assessment of required insurance coverages and obtaining the recommended insurance coverages as soon as possible
- select routine meeting dates/locations & conducts any other pressing business
We believe that if we can accomplish this plan, every member of the Association – all the residents and property owners – will be in much better shape with regard to property values., neighborhood environment, reduced liability and overall better quality of life for everyone. When you come to the meeting there are two issues that you need to be prepared to discuss:
Assessments – The annual assessments have been $120 for 9 years. There are 360 properties in Crestlake. If everyone pays their assessment, the Association collects $43,200 annually. Of course, insurance, mowing, signage, and other costs have risen but the assessment has not. Additionally, when the Association established the $120 assessment, here were only two lakes – now there are six along with one additional commons area. At an inflationary rate of 3%, the assessment would be $156.57 for 2007. We need to discuss the amount of assessment at the meeting. Additionally, evidently there are some residents who have not paid assessment in the past – collection of those back assessments will also be discussed. The 2007 assessment invoices have not been sent out yet.
Association Activities – What do you want the Association to do? What kind of activities should the Association undertake? Do you want a web page established as a common means of communication and notices? Email group? Newsletter? Neighborhood block parties and get-togethers? Any new common area activities or designs that you think you want to see? Think about the role you want the Association to play. Those who are eventually elected to the Board of Directors need your feedback.
Again, we need your support and participation to get the Homeowners’ Association back on its feet. Please either come to the meeting or send in your written comments. We are looking forward to seeing you there!!!