Sound Financial Decisions Help to Restore Trust
At the February 20, 2019 Board of Directors meeting for HSV Property Owners, Linda Anderson spoke in regards to the HSV pool proposal and the mistrust the property owners have for the BOD and Management. This lack of trust will not be corrected until sound financial decisions are being made.
Ms. Anderson stated, “Let’s talk about a way to restore trust. It starts with the financial decisions that you, as Board Members, will make.“
Letter to the Editor
Ms. Anderson submitted the following letter to the editor of the Hot Springs Village Voice Newspaper:
“POA Meeting 2/20/19. Once again it was time to stand and speak against spending $1.25 million dollars for a second pool. I talked about a way to restore trust starting with financial decisions which would bring an understanding of what is needed versus what is wanted. When this HSV pool proposal came up for consideration, Mr. Medica said:
“Even though I would not stick my pinky toe in the pool, I want the biggest and the best.” – Mike Medica, Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association Board Director
“This is clearly an “I want decision”. Now we see the same determination to press forward on this controversial and expensive project when there is a huge infrastructure (maintenance) debt of $35-$40 million dollars. This was acknowledged by Cindi Erickson in 2018. This has never been addressed.”
“The Culvert Replacement/Repair Review was estimated to be nine million dollars, with a lot of unknown locations. This is not taking into account our road repairs caused by collapsing culverts. Have you noticed the bumps on many roads? Culverts are becoming clogged and ditches are not being maintained. This represents crumbling assets which affect property values.”
Commitment to Common Sense is Needed
“Where is commitment and common sense to first preserve, protect, and maintain our wonderful and beautiful Hot Springs Village? Our future depends upon a needs-based approach
“A new pool is not needed at this time in the face of this overwhelming maintenance debt that keeps getting worse. The BOD vote will show us what matters and I hope the Village comes first.” —Linda Anderson, Hot Springs Village
Stacy Hoover Gives Detailed Pool Proposal Presentation
At this same BOD meeting, Stacy Hoover, Director of Recreation, gave a detailed HSV pool proposal presentation. This is estimated to cost in the ballpark of 1.25 million dollars. Stephanie stated the previous pool was built in 1972. Ms. Hoover went on to relay a little history of the pool.
History of the Previous Pool
“2006, a five-year strategic plan identified that the DeSoto pool needed to be renovated. In 2010, a pool committee was formed to investigate the building of a new pool facility. 2011 repair estimates cost half a million dollars and the board considered pool renovations during the board’s retreat. In 2012, the pool project’s cost estimate came in at 1.2 million dollars. In 2013, there was an additional review of the project which was requested during the Board retreat. And in 2015, the pool with a life expectancy of 30 years, turned 42 years old and would not pass inspection with the Arkansas Department of Health.”
History of HSV Pool Proposal
Hoover then states, “in 2016, the pool was moved out of the 2016 budget and pulled… and moved out a year because of the lawsuit.”
(The lawsuit, Ms. Hoover is referring to is the two-tier assessment case filed by Gene Garner, Cathy Rudug, and Lynda Narug.)
“In 2017, town hall meetings and roundtables were held, a sub-committee was formed and the board approved a project plan and an RFP was requested. In July of 2017, we had those roundtables.” (Request for Proposal)
During August and September 2017 the subcommittee met and made recommendations for desired features for the HSV outdoor pool proposal. These recommendations were made using information from the POA staff, the community, and the Recreation Committee, leading to the approval of the project.
A project plan was approved in December of 2017 and the RFP’s were sent out in 2018. A motion to approve the pool by the BOD failed in April 2018. In May 2018 an outdoor pool discussion was held at a BOD meeting.
“In June 2018 BOD authorized staff to obtain conceptual and engineering drawings to develop a draft contract with Carrothers Construction that assured approved features with maximum costs and that we had desired terms and conditions.”
Where We Are Now: Replacement Pool Features
The February 2019 Board Meeting Packet contained details of the HSV pool proposal recommendations in a memo from Ms. Hoover
“A detailed project plan was approved by the Board of Directors at the December 20, 2017 meeting with project deliverables to include a zero-entry pool of approximately 3,000 square feet, sloping to a deeper end of 8½ feet, in the same location as the existing outdoor pool. The Architectural Control Committee met the first week of February for preliminary plan review. Feedback was provided on submittal of Approved for Construction plans signed by Public Works, Public Utilities and the Fire Department.”
Subcommittee Recommends Approval
“The Architectural Control Committee will also need color choices for CMU and roof shingles as well as Department of Health approved plans before issuing a building permit. The Outdoor Pool Subcommittee met the second week of February for preliminary plan review. The subcommittee members said the project provides the requested deliverables, meets the features requested in the roundtable discussions, is an important amenity for the community, and should be approved for replacement.”
“Consideration and approval by the Hot Springs Village Board of Directors, submittal and approval by the Arkansas Department of Health, and submittal and approval of the Hot Springs Village Architectural Control Committee. The project is estimated to take 40-48 weeks, weather permitting.”
Three Proformas Regarding Lifeguards
“Three new proformas have been prepared to represent the rise in minimum wage. The three proformas are based on No Lifeguards, Weekend Lifeguards, and Lifeguards available when the facility is open.”
“Total Budget (R500-70916): Approximately $750,000 of the original $1,200,000 was carried over from
“Base Pool Construction Proposal – $1,096,250 Includes pool, equipment, pool deck, clubhouse building, and shade structure Requested additions to Plans – $153,750 Pool ADA ramp and rail, fencing upgrades, IT equipment, landscaping, and lighting.”2-20-19_Board-Pool-Discussion
HSV Pool Proposal – Lazy L Style
The proposed pool will be in the lazy L style. Carrothers Construction built this style for “Medford’s new Aquatic Center, a state-of-the-art facility. The Medford pool is bigger than the pool that is proposed for Hot Springs Village by about 500 square feet. “This 3,500 square foot facility (Medford) includes zero-depth entry and “edge to edge” water at the perimeter of the pool. Its features also include a diving area, kiddie slide, shade structures, and spray features for everyone to enjoy a day at the pool.”
At the same BOD meeting where Stephanie presented the proposed pool plans, Jason Temple, PE COO addressed the culvert repairs needed. Temple stated in a memo to Lesley Nalley, CEO, “there could be an estimated total of 1800 culverts inside HSV POA of which approximately half (900 culverts) likely need to be rehabbed”.3-YEAR-CULVERT-REHAB-PLAN-2019-TO-2021
Board Director, Cindi Erickson, estimated that these culvert repairs would be around nine millions dollars, requiring a funding plan to be put into place.
Linda Anderson has stated, “In the history of HSV, the De Soto Pool information presented operating costs which always exceeded revenue. Example: In 2000, the revenue was $28,992 and the operating expenses were $101, 536 which represented a huge liability. Now, we are in a desperate situation. Adding another liability to the financial picture which is 90% in red ink (Hot Springs Village Income, Costs & Subsidies – 2018 -Frank Leeming) should be recognized as another reckless move of irresponsible spending. After all, it’s the property owners who will pay when there is no way out, most likely leading to increased monthly assessments.”
All-in-all, it does sound like a nice pool is being planned for HSV. We take no issue with the beautiful design plans. The Village had a pool and lost it, due to failure to pass inspection. Nothing we can do about that and a community this size should have access to a nice outdoor swimming pool. Should a pool be built outside the gates so it can be enjoyed by a lot more folks, especially the children in the surrounding area? This would possibly open the door to grant money to help with the cost. We don’t know the answer, but that seems like one solution as we are swimming in debt.
Written by Linda Anderson and Cheryl Dowden