Our Meeting With The Westmoreland County Administrator

Last week a post was made to address our BODs submitting a five year Capital Improvement Plan, without the input from the Glebe Harbor – Cabin Point Sanitary District Property Owners. After that post was made, we set up a meeting with the Westmoreland County Administrator for 10:30 am this morning, 04/18/2019, to discuss our concerns. The Westmoreland County Administrator, Mrs Tate as well as a representative from the finance department with Westmoreland County, were present.

I can assure you the meeting was very productive and we gained the reassurance that the five year Capital Improvement Plan submitted by the Glebe Harbor – Cabin Point Association Board of Directors, is nothing more then a “wish list”. We have asked for a copy of the Capital Improvement Plan that was submitted and we will update you when this happens.

The next process concerning Westmoreland County and their procedures is two-fold. Not only do the two Sanitary Districts need to submit a long term plan, but so does everyone else that has monies budgeted by the County. This would include the school system, fire departments, rescue squads and the list goes on. The first process is when the Westmoreland County Planning Board holds their open public meeting for everyone that has submitted their plans. As a citizen of Westmoreland County, you have the right to be heard. The second phase is when the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors meet to discuss this same issue.

Again, you will have the right to speak on the issue concerning our Sanitary District. I have written a very in-depth report concerning the contents of the Miller – Dodson and Associates Reserve Study, that was done for our Communities in December of 2016. It is severely flawed and according to the County, just about worthless for its intended purpose. I will make that post sometime in the upcoming days.

The letter below was hand delivered to Westmoreland County during our meeting this morning and the request was made to have it attached to our five year Capital Improvement Plan, that was recently submitted by our BODs. The only information that was removed from this letter was my address as well as my phone number. If you have any questions, just let me know. Your neighbor, Dana.

To: The Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors, the Westmoreland County Administrator and the Members of the Glebe Harbor Cabin Point Sanitary District.

Date: April 18, 2019.

Reference: 5 Year Capital Improvement Plan for the Glebe Harbor – Cabin Point Sanitary District.

This letter is being submitted to oppose the proposed (5) five year capital improvement plan that has been submitted, by the Glebe Harbor – Cabin Point Association Board of Directors, with their possible intention of raising our Recreational User Fee, (RUF) in the future, as per their community wide email sent on March 23rd, 2019.

It is our belief that the Glebe Harbor – Cabin Point Board of Directors are in direct violation of the Management & Operating Agreement between Westmoreland County, and the Property Owners of the Glebe Harbor – Cabin Point Sanitary District. The Glebe Harbor – Cabin Point Board of Directors have cited Westmoreland County Officials as the partial reason for this breach in said agreement.

As Members, we have not been asked for any input regarding this five year capital improvement plan before it was submitted to Westmoreland County, nor have we been given any opportunity to view this document.

Other then the recent Community wide survey we took in late January of 2019, asking if Property Owners were willing to volunteer for certain projects that may be coming up, as far as I know, the only volunteer committee we have at this time concerning our Association, is one that seeks out Residents willing to host our weekly happy hour parties, which close to 95% of Property Owners, do not attend.

When we became a Sanitary District and fell under the authority of Westmoreland County on May 1st, 2017, we started with a $0.00 balance. Since that time we have had the Weatherall Creek Channel dredged, the North Glebe Beach refurbished and riprap installed, the Glebe Harbor boat ramp restored and our pool, as well as our wading pool, completely refurbished. All of this has been done in less then 24 months, at the time this letter was written.

According to the Westmoreland County Finance Department, since we became a Sanitary District, we have paid close to $277,300 dollars into our Recreational User Fee Fund, #227 and in less then two years, our community has become indebted to the tune of around $800,000 dollars.

At the current RUF rate of $200 per year, we are anticipating paying off our largest loan by the year 2026. If we stay at the current rate of $200 dollars per taxable lot, and combine the amount already collected by Westmoreland County, by our 2026/2027 year budget, that amount would be close to $2,469,300 dollars.

1.

So, instead of doing all of this in 40 years as Miller – Dodson and Associates have suggested/recommended we do, we will be very close to doing everything in their report, in about eight to ten years. I am very well aware that the Reserve Study written by Miller – Dodson and Associates DID NOT take into account the estimated costs associated with our dredging, and beach replenishment needs.

Is Westmoreland County aware that since 2016, our community has paid more then $660,000 dollars concerning dredging? How about the fact that all the money we just paid to dredge Weatherall Creek less then a year ago, may have been wasted? According to one of our current Board of Directors, a statement was made during our November BODs monthly meeting in 2018, that some residents were already complaining that their boats were hitting the bottom of the channel, coming out of Weatherall Creek due to the wrong processed used, to dredge the channel.

Is Westmoreland County aware of the fact that when the decision to repair the boat ramp in Glebe Harbor, as a Community, we had another private boat ramp less then two miles away in perfect working order? Why was this such a priority? Are we that vane as a Community?

Do we simply take the report written by Miller – Dodson and Associates and disregard their findings as well as ignore their advice? It is very upsetting to have spent all of this money and fix all that we have fixed, just to have some individuals, only now, start to think about our priorities.

Our current Board of Directors have made recent statements that they feel, the current Recreational User Fee is not adequate to fund our future projects. I respectfully disagree with them and according to our reserve study, so does Miller – Dodson and Associates. The Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors should never forget that the majority of our Residents are living on a fixed income and many are seasonal as well. As already proven by Miller – Dodson and Associates, we should never have to raise our Recreational User Fee.

Honestly, if our BODs did not see the need for the proper amount of money needed to operate as well as provide upkeep for our Sanitary District, why would we rely on their advice now? What has changed? Did they know this budget amount was to low going in? Was the original $190 RUF set, just to keep the backlash down from Residents that wanted no part of this process? Did they think that Westmoreland County would just bow down to them due to the property they may own? I hope not! We truly need to put this constant fear of RUF increases, to bed so many Residents can have back their peace of mind.

Sincerely, Dana Tucker.

Glebe Harbor Resident and member of good standing with the Glebe Harbor – Cabin Point Sanitary District.

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