Letter: Clarification of Eagle-Vail POA and Metro District board responsibilities
Clarification of Eagle-Vail board responsibilities
Dear editor: In response to a recent letter to the editor about the Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association, we want to correct the record. The Property Owners Association today is better managed, more financially efficient and operating more in concert with its governing documents and Colorado laws. Statements to the contrary are incorrect.
Eagle-Vail has 1,447 residences evenly split between resident and nonresident homeowners. Governing documents and state laws provide direction and limitations on the activities of the Property Owners Association.
The Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association Board recently approved the 2018 budget, which reduced dues to $150 per year, per member and a one-time return of surplus of $100 per member. The net dues in 2018 will be $50. The adopted budget has an operating surplus and includes community investments paid for with non-operating reserves. The decrease in operating expenses was largely due to hiring a new community manager. The Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association will still retain $250,000 in reserves for contingencies. No community members voiced concerns to the adopted budget.
Property owners association and homeowners association dues vary widely. In many cases, a property owners association or homeowners association must maintain or improve physical assets and amenities and provide for ongoing operating costs like mowing or snow plowing. The Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association does not provide those services. At current levels, annual Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association dues are comparable to property owners associations with similar responsibilities.
Previous Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association Boards began increasing dues in 2010 from less than $100 per year to $335 per year by 2016. Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association members did not approve the increases. The increases in dues were assessed to pay for increased administration costs and to provide funds to the Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District.
The Metro District was established to be self-sufficient with user fees and the authority to levy taxes and provide recreational amenities in Eagle-Vail. Some Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association members were concerned with their dues being used to reduce Metro District shortfalls. Other members believed the use of Property Owners Association dues for the Metro District was appropriate.
Beginning in 2016, the Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association Board worked together to reduce expenses, support amenities and to curtail the practice of assessing dues to be used to fund Metro District shortfalls, resulting in the following changes:
• First, Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association bylaws were changed to require a vote of the membership to assess dues for “non-operating” costs such as funding Metro District projects. The 2017 proposed special assessment was rejected by the membership. None is proposed for 2018.
• Second, reserves of more than $500,000 were determined unnecessary. The board decided to return surplus to members through a dues credit in 2018 in accordance with the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CRS 38-33-3-314), which requires that surplus be returned to members.
• Third, new management was retained to improve effectiveness and reduce administrative costs. Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association members were saved nearly $100,000 per year.
• Neglected and unsafe tennis courts were replaced with post-tension concrete with the financial support and advocacy from the Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association Board.
• Covenant compliance was “right-sized” to adequate and typical levels for comparable communities.
• Last, the pre-existing, broadly criticized Joint Governance Agreement was replaced with a new Joint Cooperation Agreement, which continued collaboration between the boards while respecting the legal responsibilities of each board. Legal counsel for both boards suggested revisions.
Judd Watts, president
Stephen Daniels, treasurer
Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association