Welcome Mountain Cove Homeowner

The Mountain Cove Homeowners Board has created this blog to have another avenue of communication with the residents of Mountain Cove subdivison. We are going to make some major decisions that will affect our community in the near future and we want to make sure we reach all of you so you can give us your input on those decisions. Please subscribe to this blog so you don't miss important information regarding those issues and a chance to affect the outcome.
Enid Grigg
President - MCHOA

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dear Resident of Mountain Cove,
This year we opened the pool at the usual time although we were concerned as usual about the slow payment of dues from the members. After taking a poll of the members that had paid their dues it was apparent that the majority of those members wanted the pool open. We hoped more residents would pay their dues seeing the pool open but the dues are still trickling in. Some of you had lost your jobs and it was understandable that you had difficulty paying but that was only a few so it shouldn't have impacted our budget. We did have a couple of additional expense brought on by Gwinnett County by a new ordinance that required us to install a new main drain in the pool and the cost of refilling the pool. The good thing is that allowed us to do some cosmetic work on the pool and it now looks better than it has in years. So here we are in July and it looks like we are going to be short paying our bills at the end of the year unless we either get at least 25 more members or close the pool. Last year this was the reason we opened it late - so many of you waited till late to pay dues we didn't have enough money and the board thought it was prudent to wait till we made sure we had the funds to pay the bills at the end of the year.
At the board meeting last week we explored the problems with the pool and the lack of interest in paying the dues. This Board has tried everything to get the residents of this subdivision to realize how important it is for all of us to help with the expenses. Not just the pool, but all of the expenses. The pool is part of the subdivision and it should be maintained or filled in. It's your choice. The bottom line is we need all of you paying $16.67 a month or $200.00 to make our budget. The reason we came down on the dues to $200 from $350 was we thought it would encourage more residents to pay, but that has not happened with the enthusiasm we had hoped for. It's always the same people paying for the rest and in the Board's opinion, we don't think that will change anytime soon enough for us to solve our problem with paying our bills for the rest of the year.

That leaves us with the only choice, closing the pool early and taking a vote to decide whether to keep it closed for good. If we decide to close it, we will need to eventually drain it and have it filled in. We can't keep water in it as it will breed mosquitoes and if it's not swimmable then why pay for chemicals. If we are going to continue to maintain it we will need to increase the dues to $300.00 in order to make our budget, even though that will not keep it open this year.

I want to outline all of the ways this Board (and I'm sure Boards in the past) have attempted to encourage residents to pay their dues.

• Threatening letters - didn't work
• Nice letters - didn't work
• Calling on phone - didn't work
• Going door to door - didn't work (most people didn't answer door)
• Begging at front entrance - (why should we have to do this)
• Having a membership drive - (few residents came unless we stood out front and stopped them)
• Invoicing (residents paid but - not before March 1, when it was needed to know our budget for the year) this is costly as it takes at least $135.00 to mail to entire subdivision.

What this Board has done for the community to encourage residents to pay dues and take responsibility

• Set up an email newsletter program so that homeowners could be kept up-to-date on all of the issues.
• Tried to encourage the attitude of "All of one, One for All" so that we all assume responsibility for our share in the expenses and keeping our subdivision safe.
• Listened to the complaints of the residents and tried to solve them in a timely manner if we could.
• Tried to implement a Neighborhood Watch Program but not enough residents would sign up (what does that tell you).
• Set up a security team and a security blog and let the local police precinct know about it so we can take an active role in maintaining our security here in Mountain Cove. (thank you guys)
• Set up a communication blog where anyone in the subdivision can post comments and hear the latest news.
• Developed and maintain a website to direct and inform residents where to find information and have the ability to pay dues on-line with a credit card or in split payments.
• Been generally upbeat and positive about our community and hopeful about future cooperation.
• Completed front entrance landscaping and hired a landscaper to mow common areas.

This is not meant to be threatening we just want you to know all the facts. Our main problem here is apathy; we don't have enough residents that care about keeping the facilities maintained. An example would be, someone asked me when they were paying their dues if they had to pay for the front entrance landscaping and another asked if they had to pay for the pool since they didn't use it. There were a lot of complaints about the front entrance but now the front entrance is done and those who complained are still not paying dues. Some of the longtime residents aren't paying because we opened the pool and they think we shouldn't spend money on that. Others threatened not to pay unless we opened the pool. Well, how can the board be expected to please everyone here when our goals are so different. We are a community by the very fact that we are in the same community so why can't we pull together an act like one. A community cares about not only its individuals but takes responsibility for maintaining it's assets. It still amazes me that $16.67 a month is too much money to ask for to solve this dilemma.

We have scheduled 2 meetings- one on July 23 at 7:30pm and the other on Saturday July 25th at 10:30 so we hope to get one member from every household at least at one meeting. If you can't be there you can do an absentee vote if you contact me via email personally.

The vote will be taken on:
1.Increase the dues to $300 payable before the end of 2009 or $350 payable by March 1 2010. (If we don't have the funds next year by March 1 we will not re-open the pool.)

Even if we agree to increase the dues for next year, if we don't get 25 new members by the end of the month, we will still have to close the pool this year so we will have enough money for our 2009 year end expenses.


2.Close the pool for good starting July 31 of this year.

These meetings are meant to allow the residents to have a voice in this decision and also have the ability to give your opinion on how to solve our issues. Please don't come to the meeting with suggestions on how to solve the issues unless you plan to personally act on them...we are all in this together.