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Should the Shores' Community Pool be open to all homeowners?

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9:24 AM, Posted by Editorial Staff, No Comment

Contributing Writer

A group of homeowners began the wheel turning when they questioned the fact that although our maintenance fees were covering a large portion of the operating costs of pool, they were denied the use of the pool without paying additional monies. The delayed response to this issue by The Service Corp. Board prompted further investigation into the use of homeowner fees and who was receiving the benefit of the fees. The findings indicate that the homeowner fees were being used to subsidize both the pool and The Riverview Club and that the beneficiary of this funding is The Recreation and Social Association, as well as homeowners who paid for a pool membership.

The Riverview Club, the pool, the pier (built later) and the 14 acres that they sit on were acquired by the Service Corp. in 1989. There is a document that states that these facilities’ operational expenses would be covered by the Rec. and Social Assoc. and that the homeowners would incur no cost for the operation of the pool or the Riverview Club. It would make sense that if the costs were borne by the Rec. and Social Assoc., they should receive the benefit of these amenities. Conversely, it would make sense that if the homeowners cover the majority cost then they should receive the benefit.

It was discovered that the homeowners have been paying in excess of $100,000 per year for at least the past three years, perhaps longer, without receiving any use rights to the pool or the Club.

The costs for the operation of these facilities continues to increase on a yearly basis and there will need to be major upgrades to the Ladies’ pool bathroom (approximately $30,000) and to the Men’s bathroom at a similar cost. The bid process has not begun for the Men’s Room.

The Air Conditioning units in the main building need to be replaced at an estimated cost of $100,000 and general maintenance costs will include ceiling tiles and other major expenses. The maintenance fees collected from the homeowners will be used to fund these expenses and, again, you receive no benefit.

It appears that unless we say "NO", we will continue to be charged for amenities we are not entitled to share. The recent pool survey is an example of a poor and deceptive attempt to address some of these issues and is fraught with inaccurate information. It is time to address these issues in an open forum and to disclose to the homeowners why their fees are being used to subsidize private clubs that do not contribute to the community, but rather use community contributions for their personal benefit.

It was further revealed that there may be some irregularities in the increase in monthly fees beyond what is called for in The Deed Restrictions for each unit. This also needs to be addressed and it is suggested that the filing with The County in 2000 regarding the $30.00 maintenance fee cap may not have been based on a proper vote.

There are ways to correct these inequities but it will be necessary for The Service Corp. Board to take steps to acknowledge the misdeeds of the past, be willing to begin looking to the future and remember they are serving the entire community, not just the few who have enjoyed the use of your money.

The Petition, with a link below, is one way to voice your opinion as to what you think would be a fair and equitable method of using the amenities we all pay for.

Please print and sign the Petition and return it to the Civic Advocate c/o SASCA at POB 861042, St. Augustine, Fl 32086.

The above opinion is that of Kevin A. Dunne and is not endorsed by any public or private organization.
St. Augustine Shores Homeowner Association
St. Augustine Shores, Shores Service Corporation
St. Augustine Shores Condominium
Conquistador Condominium, Greens Condominium
Greens II Condominium, Fairview Condominium
Casa Bella Condominium, St. Augustine Shores News