Hi everyone, I’m Tom the new HOA community President. I’ve lived here for almost 5 years since I arrived from the UK with my wife Andrea, and daughters Sophie and Charlotte.
The concept of an HOA, with a shared space and joint responsibility, is not something we get much in Britain. It’s a great idea. Here in Montevideo, we are blessed with a wonderful space, complete with a community hall, and a pool.
But the reality is that after so many years, and like many of our homes, these shared facilities need some attention.
I’ve heard that many years ago, an attempt was made to improve these shared spaces, but that the idea of an assessment on each homeowner caused the community some heartache.
Let’s not do that again.
Our funds look much more healthy than they did back then.
Your board’s ambitions, whilst still high, accept that great things take time and that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
But, there’s a decision that we all need to make soon, together.
The pool leaks… which is really unforgivable in this day of water drought. The pool decking is crumbling and is a danger to toes big and small. The plasterwork will also need renewing in a year or two. We need to spend a lot of money (at least $500k) to address all of this.
We already have much of that money. We could start the work next year, and the board has an obligation to do this, to maintain the facilities of the HOA for the benefit of all residents.
However, there’s also interest from some fellow residents in the Community to take this opportunity to be bolder. Addressing the shape of the pool, making it more appropriate for lane swimming, and also making it available throughout the year.
A more traditional, rectangular pool would be more easily rented out when the Community doesn’t need it, which gives us an income stream to fund the costs of a longer opening season (it would cost us around $30-40k each year to open our current pool all year round, covering gas, water, electric, and pool servicing costs). I’ve heard that local swim clubs pay around $5k/month to rent a pool.
Let’s not beat around the bush. It’s still an expensive undertaking. Initial quotes to remove our existing pool and replace it with a new rectangular pool are around $1M.
Considering the condition of the pool as it is now, and with loan rates still near their historic lows, we have an opportunity to take that step.
With that in mind, the members of your board carefully developed a plan that allows us to borrow for this big ticket item, and use our current funds to address the other areas of the site that need attention. The loan would be paid back over as short a period as we can afford, but probably around 10-15 years.
If we get your approval, then we’ll instruct architects, contractors, banks and any other required parties to help us start this work in the fall of 2023.
If we don’t, we’ll get on with the required repairs to the existing pool, on around the same timeline. Either way, we’ll be investing in the long term future of the pool soon.
We’ll aim to make the pool more accessible to all, albeit without formal lifeguard coverage outside of the historical summer season. Note the ongoing costs of doing so are not insignificant if we are bearing them ourselves, as mentioned above.
The Poolhouse remodel is already out with the city for a permit. The fencing replacement (which will also include keycard access to the site during reasonable hours) is currently in the bidding stage. A clubhouse remodel is planned and will happen when we have the money.
We need your help to guide our efforts. Over the course of the summer, we’re going to be formally asking you these two questions:
1) Should the board explore options to change the shape of the pool while investing in needed repairs?
2) Should the board limit funding to only be by dues collection while undergoing repairs?
We need your feedback, support, and most importantly your direction. So, please send your feedback, thoughts, ideas, etc to the board at Board@miahomeowners.com. We’ll post all questions and responses here for everyone to read. We’ll also be arranging a formal poll of all householders in the coming months.
Either way, the future looks bright at the MIA,
Your President, and Board