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Lake to vote on $100 per household for new pool

Lake Monticello residents will be asked to approve a funding plan for the replacement of the community pool that will split the cost between property owners and the Lake Monticello Owners Association (LMOA) Emergency Reserve Account (ERA).

The Board of Directors approved the plan in a special session on Thursday night (April 6).

If approved by the membership at the annual meeting on June 24, the plan will create a fund of $899,600 for the construction of a new pool. Each of the community’s 4,636 lots will pay a one-time assessment of $100 and a maximum of $436,000 may be withdrawn from the ERA. 

The 50-50 funding plan was the clear winner in the March pool funding survey taken by 1,374 residents, or about 30 percent of all Lake households. A total of 510 participants chose the split funding. Another 442 wanted a one-time assessment of $195, while 422 wanted all $900,000 to be withdrawn from the ERA.

The ERA was established with the profits from the $7 million sale of the Lake Monticello Service Company to AquaSource in 1998. The Board used $5.8 million from the ERA to fund clubhouse renovations, with $2 million to be repaid over the next 15 years. 

If the measure fails on the June ballot, the Board warned in a statement that the pool may have to be closed “until a successful ‘yes’ vote is obtained in a future year.” They don’t believe the current pool can be sustained beyond 2018. 

Director Stephanie Davis raised concerns about asking the membership to vote before seeing potential designs for a new pool facility or bringing in engineers to see if they could build on the available sites. 

President Rich Barringer responded that the April 6 deadline to get the measure on the June ballot left no time to do an engineering survey. “And if we get a ‘no’ vote, we’ve wasted that money,” he said.

Treasurer Marlene Weaver said the membership’s role is only to vote on the funding. “The community does not usually get involved” with the design of new facilities and those decisions will ultimately be made by the Board, she said. “Certain members will like it and some won’t.”

Vice President Tom Braithwaite said the community will have input. Assuming the proposal passes, he said, “we’ll have surveys and town halls, probably starting in July.”

The Board voted 5-0 to include the funding proposal on the June ballot. The Board’s statement in support of the proposal passed 4-1, with Davis dissenting.