EAST COUNTY — Thanks to a bit of luck, the Stoneybrook Golf Club and residents of Stoneybrook at Heritage Harbour will see their costs go down.
The Heritage Harbour South Community Development District board learned, during a July 18 meeting, refinancing its 2002 bonds will bring a 12.06% annual reduction in costs — a $40 to $125 reduction in a homeowner’s annual debt-service assessment, depending on the size of his lot and home type.
The Stoneybrook Golf Club will see annual savings of $6,317.
The figure is more than the minimum 10% in savings for which supervisors hoped when they voted last month to move forward with bond refinancing.
At that time, Brett Sealy, of MBS Capital Markets, warned the board to lower its expectations for savings because of unpredictable future interest rates.
Homeowners will see the reductions starting in November.
“We are very lucky and fortunate to get what we got now,” Sealy said. “The market is moving against us rapidly.”
Supervisors showed a restrained reaction to the news.
Some wondered if the district could have saved more if the board had signed off on the bond refinancing earlier.
Supervisor Lee Bettes said the board acted too cautiously while it worked to settle lawsuits filed in 2011 and 2012 by Stoneybrook Investors, owner of the Stoneybrook Golf Club, and the Lighthouse Cove Homeowners Association.
Andy Cohen, the board’s legal counsel, said supervisors did not have to wait until after they settled the lawsuits to refinance the bonds. He also said the board achieved savings in a chaotic bond market, either way.
“You should be happy and move on,” Cohen said.
Contact Josh Siegel at [email protected].
+ Turnover talks continue
Heritage Harbour South Community Development District Manager Greg Cox is unsure how assessments would be impacted if the CDD were to take over the management of some of its assets now managed by the Stoneybrook Homeowners Association.
In his initial findings related to a board-directed study meant to determine whether certain HOA-controlled assets should be brought back under CDD control, Cox determined the district agreed to let the HOA provide day-to-day maintenance of district-owned Stoneybrook gates and gatehouse in 2011.
Cox promised to give supervisors a copy of a May 2008 contract between the HOA and Envera for a remote voice-interaction security service, which is paid for through HOA dues.
The HOA pays for the cost of that service.
The formal asset agreement between the CDD and HOA does not mention who would be responsible for such a service, Cox said.
Cox said he is unsure if the CDD could even assume that contract if it wanted.
Cox speculates that if the CDD were to assume control of day-to-day gate operation — including fees paid to Envera — the district would need to increase operation and maintenance assessments for property owners.
He could not confirm an increase in those assessments would be offset by an equal reduction in HOA fees.
Cox will now move to get clarification on the Envera contract to help answer those questions.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
• Don Adkins, of ECo Consultants, which cares for wetlands in the CDD, said residents are disposing of tree trimmings, plastic bags with dog waste and other debris in the “swell areas” around wetlands. This action blocks water from draining properly and should be stopped.
• Supervisor Richard Lane asked the district manager to look into the cost of adding radar-speed signs inside Stoneybrook and Lighthouse Cove.
• The board’s next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 15.