Message from the Board
Fall time but the weather doesn’t feel like it. The year has flown by and the fall and winter Holidays are here. Your volunteer Board has been busy working on many things including working on the damages from Harvey. Working the past few years on compliance, finances and common property repairs has been a challenge. Forming committees with professionals pertinent to the need of said committee has been a huge positive to the community. The Contract and Compliance Review committee has introduced a Master Service agreement that ensures proper insurance for any company that wants to bid on our work. Found errors in our Declaration and bylaws along with policies that have not properly been recorded. The Projects and Construction Review committee finding repair work from past contractor’s substandard and having to repairing it right and not put a band aid as an investment for the future. ADA Compliance in working to bring our common properties to compliance with plans as funds become available. ACC committee with a newer system has stayed on top of the projects in the community. The newest committee, Ad Hoc committee comprised of Financial professionals and a business attorney, taking on the biggest challenge of all. Researching the inevitable, Maintenance Fees. Do or can we raise them? Do we cut back on services? Do we cut back on amenities? Do we repair the common area amenities and how are we going pay to repair them? The ACIA has 2480 homes and many amenities, some not available in common communities next to us that have rates of $800 or more per year. Come to the monthly meetings to find out first hand what’s going on in your community, don’t rely on 2nd hand information.
Maintenance Fee Issues
In 1974 the original maintenance fee for the ACIA budget was capped at $300.00 per lot. Over the years that maintenance fee cap was increased twice by $100 based on action voted on by qualified (maintenance fees up to date) homeowners to bring it to its current level of $500.00.
While these actions were necessary to continue basic services of the ACIA, they fall short of keeping up with the cost of maintaining our common facilities and paying for contracted services including garbage pickup, security services, management services, legal fees, landscaping common areas, water and electric services. Most of these budget items are subject to inflation. Furthermore, our common facilities, pools, tennis courts, the Marina and parks/playground areas, are aging and some in need of costly improvements.
The US Inflation Calculator measures the buying power of the US Dollar over time. According to the US Inflation Calculator it takes nearly $1500.00 to buy what $300.00 bought in 1974. This does not dictate that the ACIA needs $1500.00 per year per homeowner to operate now, but it does help explain why the current $500.00 per year is falling short of the needed funds to continue providing quality services to our community.
As an example, garbage pickup service alone makes up approximately 30% of our operating budget and these costs are continuing to increase. Also, our Reserve Funds are critically short in terms of our ability to adequately address the maintenance needs of the common areas. Without adequate maintenance of these areas there will be a negative effect on homeowner’s property values.
If we are to adequately address the maintenance and service needs of our community the structure for setting the maintenance fee cap must be addressed or the quality of our aging community will suffer. Because of these the ACIA Board is considering the available options to address these needs. A part of that process is to document the needed maintenance needs of our common assets (pools, marina, common areas, etc.) and the cost to address these needs. The Board is also considering options to contain the costs of services that are continuing to increase such as garbage pickup cost.
However, even with any adjustment in services provided, some adjustment in revenue to address these needs will be inevitable. Of course, any action to increase ACIA revenue whether by addressing the cap on maintenance fees or by way of special assessment will require an approval vote by homeowners. The Board will be providing documentation to homeowners regarding options to address funding needs in the near future.
The Board of Directors for the Atascocita Community Improvement Association will be having the regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Monday,October 23, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30:pm., at The Overlook 20114 Pinehurst Drive, Atascocita, TX 77346 due to Hurricane Harvey. We will convene again next month.
The subject of the meeting is general business of the Association, including but not limited to, discussion of items related to the Association budget and expenditures as well as discussion of repair and maintenance of the assets owned by the Association. An appeal from the denial of an architectural application may be considered during executive session.
Discussions involving personnel, pending or threatened litigation, contract negotiations, enforcement actions, and confidential communications with the Association attorney, matters involving invasion of privacy of owners, and other matters that are confidential by request of an affected party and agreement of the Board are discussed in executive session.
We hope you will join us to hear what is going on in your community!
Very Truly Yours,
Atascocita Community Improvement Association
Resident Note: Marina Keys - The new keys for the marina are in at Community Assessment Management (CAM). You can now go and receive a new key to the marina. The address is the following: 802 FM 1960 Rd W #210, Humble, TX 77338
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