Lake holds second town hall on dues increase

Pool passes offered

By Heather Michon 

The Lake Monticello Board of Directors will likely approve a proposal to the membership for a $150 increase to annual dues.

Directors made their case at a town hall-style meeting on Wednesday night (Feb.28) at the Fairway clubhouse, the second in a month.

While officials stressed that the association is not at risk of immediate financial difficulties, the long-term outlook shows reserve funds falling to critical levels by 2032.

As reserves fall, the association could find itself in a situation where it would be forced to cut services and amenities and delay repairs to crucial infrastructure.

After cutting operations costs, negotiating a new management deal for the golf course, and developing a strategy to shift restaurant services to private management, there’s little else the association can do other than ask homeowners to increase dues.    

The $150 figure “is not an arbitrary number that this board has pulled from the air,” said Director Gary Sellick. “It is based on the reserve study that was conducted by an outside company.”

“This board is not oblivious that there are people in every demographic in this community that will feel this increase more significantly than others. Every member of this board will also have to bear the burden of this increase,” he added.

LMOA dues for 2024 are $984 for all improved lots. The additional $150 will raise this base rate to $1,134 in 2025, and the entire amount will be subject to the three percent annual increase.

The $150 will be a permanent part of the base dues and will go entirely to build up the reserves. The remainder of the annual dues will be split between day-to-day operations costs and reserves.

Part of the proposal is to give each household a 25-visit pass to the community pool each year from 2025 to 2029. Directors “believe this incentive will encourage greater utilization of the wonderful Lake Monticello pool complex and, over the years, increase family memberships.”

At both town halls and on an online survey taken in February, respondents have been overwhelmingly in favor of the dues increase.

Where the majority of Lake voters will fall is unclear. Members overwhelmingly rejected a plan to sell the campground last year, and a short-term $60 dues increase was voted down in 2019.  

Directors will finalize their proposal at the April monthly meeting and include it when ballots are mailed to the membership ahead of the annual meeting in late June.

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