I am so sorry to bother you again with another letter about our road project, but I was asked to share some answers to some of the questions that have been raised.
1. How many phases will the project be broken into and how long will each phase last?
Answer: The project will be completed in five phases, effectively dividing the community up in a way that allows 24 hour Gate access. Each phase will last five days, Monday to Friday.
2. Where will neighbors park when their section is being worked on
Answer: The concrete section of the road will allow for neighbors to walk to their cars when their section is worked on. We will be arranging for places to park cars that will be convenient.
3. What about dust?
Answers: We asked that question of our consultant. Our consultant assured us that the dust will be limited and that it will be contained to the road area being worked on - the people who do this work on projects daily and have expertise in controlling particulates.
4. What if I want to stay somewhere else?
Answer: Our road committee has contacted several hotels what we will recommend, one of which takes dogs. We also will be working to ensure that health care workers know our time schedule so that they can have access to the people they are assisting.
5. Why now? Can’t we wait?
Answer: We would like to. We held off the bid we chose for as long as we can. At this time, if we fail to act, the bidding of work and financing would have to restart. This would of course mean work would not begin for another year, at least - it took us 18 months to get to this point as it is. It would also mean that we would need to patch our roads so they could last until we were ready to tear them out and replace. This means thousands of dollars would be spent and wasted on putting a bandaid on roads that need to be torn out.
6. Why do they need to be torn out?
Answer: The roads were not put in with an underlayment of any kind and this is why they are cracking. It also means that they can not be simply repaired in the normal manner. To meet code, we need to install a 4 inch underlayment and then 4 inches of asphalt on top of that.
7. But why can’t we just wait and not do anything?
Answer: The roads have reached the end of their life. They are becoming a known hazard and without even a temporary repair, pose a risk to pedestrians and bicycle riders at a minimum.
8. If we don’t pass the assessment, then what?
Answer: The roads must be replaced. If the assessment fails, we will still need to raise the money to replace them. The board, will need to raise the assessments to reach the needed short fall In our reserves to replace the roads. This means the assessment will increase quickly, over an 18 month period to around $210. The board can increase assessments yearly by 20% without a vote of the community. This is NOT an option the board wishes to employ.
9. Doesn’t the board have money in its reserves?
Answer: We do, but the reserves were funded to replace roads that had an underlayment. To our horror, we discovered the road were put in without this necessary feature. So yes, we will spend out most of our reserves. The assessment is to cover the costs of the underlayment.
10. I just feel the timing is wrong.
Answer: We feel the same way. However, after studying the issue and considering it, the timing won’t ever be right. If we wait, we most likely will incur heavy costs due to inflation and environmental increases to our materials. We will also be throwing good money after bad as we will still need to put a bandaid on the roads, quite possibly twice if it takes us 4 years to raise the necessary money.
The bottom line is that our board is not pleased with this no-win scenario. However, we believe that if we move forward now, we will save our community not only money, but create a safer place for our residents to live.
11. But what about the money? That’s a lot of money up front.
Answer: We are offering a three year option for homeowners where they can make monthly installments added to their regular assessment.
I hope this answers many of your questions. We discussed these points prior in previous communications and at our two public meetings. Not everyone was able to attend and we certainly are aware that this is a stressful time and our neighbors have many concerns. Hopefully, this information will assist you as you make your decision on how you wish to vote.
Thank you and let me know if you have any other questions.
Hello Belmonte Neighbors.
A few days ago, Belmonte Estates neighbors received a ballot to vote on the neighborhood road measure. Your HOA board realizes that these are difficult and challenging times for our residents. Due to unemployment concerns and Covid-19, we delayed our previous decision to hold a vote on this issue. However, given that our economy and society are beginning to open up, we needed to reconsider postponing the vote any longer. Our primary concern is the quickly deteriorating conditions of our roads.
We understand these are difficult times. It is our considered belief after listening to our experts in road repair, our neighbors, and the committee that studied this issue that postponing these desperately needed repairs to our roads will only make matters worse.
Cracks greater than 2 inches now pose a serious threat to the safety of walkers, bicyclists, and possibly cars. If the roads are not replaced at this time, it is estimated that the costs of a temporary fix while we wait to improve the reserve situation will result in additional costs to the community of $100,000 factoring in the increased costs of future road repairs.
Without this special assessment, the HOA board will have no choice but to increase the monthly assessment of our homeowners by a minimum of $80 a month over the course of three years. Worse, there will be no assurance that this increase will still cover the costs of the needed future road repair due to inflation and increasing costs related to environmental considerations.
Our HOA board encourages you to vote yes on the road assessment. Our current low HOA monthly assessments will remain in place and more importantly, neighbors will be able to enjoy beautiful and quiet roads today, rather than three years from now.
Thank you for your consideration.