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East County Wednesday, Sep. 8, 2010 4 years ago

Heritage Harbour adopts budget

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by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

HERITAGE HARBOUR — Supervisors of the Heritage Harbour South Community Development District soon will assume some responsibilities previously handled by the community’s homeowner’s association.

Starting Jan. 1, the CDD will take over ongoing maintenance services for its re-use water line distribution system and its water management system, including conservation areas, from the Master Association, which is still developer-controlled.

CDD supervisors on Sept. 1 approved the budget for the 2011 fiscal year, which includes that change. The $141,000 line item is expected to be a rough dollar-for-dollar change in the CDD assessments versus homeowner association dues, although the HOA budget has not yet been adopted.

District Manager Jim Ward said the change will go into effect Jan. 1 to correspond with the ending of HOA contracts so there is no duplication of costs for homeowners.

“I strongly support this budget and the CDD taking back responsibility for these assets,” resident Barbara Aulenbach said, noting unpaid taxes are still collected, but the burden for unpaid HOA fees often are passed to other homeowners. “The more assets brought back under CDD control, the better.”

Supervisors voted 3-1 to approve the budget without a $175,000 line item for assuming the billing for re-use irrigation services from Aquaterra Utilities, a responsibility currently held by the master association. They also voted to include a $25,000 contingency fund, reducing the budget by a net of $150,000.

Supervisor Joseph Jaudon dissented because he wanted to take $25,000 from the existing budget rather than add it back into next year’s numbers.

The change will result in roughly a $100-$200 decrease in resident’s assessments from what is shown in their TRIM notices, Ward said.

Supervisor Lee Bettes, who proposed removing the $175,000, said he could not include the item in the budget because negotiations with Aquaterra are still ongoing.

“We shouldn’t be paying $15,000 a month to some enterprise we don’t have a contract with,” he said. “We’ve been at (finalizing a contract with Aquaterra) for six months. It moves at its own (pace).”
The item likely will be included in the 2012 fiscal year budget, he said.

This year’s budget also includes a new, roughly $143,000 infrastructure renovation program. Improvements installing locks on irrigation controls and electrical boxes, irrigation valve cleaning, re-painting and re-tabbing, as well as repairing damaged control structures in lakes and wetlands, removing overgrown vegetation and siltation around discharge locations in the wetlands, trash removal from the inlets and repairing and stabilizing lake bank washout, among other items.

Board members also adopted appropriations for debt service, which are $793,651 in total.

For a complete budget breakdown, click here.

For a look at infrastructure costs, click here.

Contact Pam Eubanks at peubanks@yourobserver.com.


 

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