Now We All Know!

When we purchased our property in Glebe Harbor, in October of 2016, we did not have the ability to attend the meetings that dealt with becoming a Sanitary District, as we simply were not property owners when this change took place. We have inquired many times for answers to our questions, as to what the exact procedure was and what procedures were involved between Westmoreland County and the GH-CP POA Association. We have been given many different answers to the very same questions, so I decided to speak with the Westmoreland County Administrator, and get it directly from him.

On or about Thursday, May 30th, 2019, I had a recorded conversation with the Westmoreland County Administrator, Norm Risavi. The audio you will hear, is used with his permission and this post is being made so everyone who was not here in the beginning, concerning the formation of our Sanitary District, will now have as much information as the people who were. I will be posting a more in-dept explanation on this issue as time permits and I can gather additional information.

Norm is a member of our Sanitary District, as he lives here. So is Russ Culver. Russ is a member of the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors. He represents the 2nd District, which is where our Communities are located. I asked Norm several questions during our conversation concerning our SD as well as our financial situation we are now in.

Norm explained to me that our Community was given three choices to fund our new Sanitary District. The funds could be raised by increasing Real Estate taxes, Personal Property taxes or using a Recreational User Fee tax. You will hear this in the audio below.

After it was determined that our Community would use the Recreational User Fee tax system, several meetings were held between our Community and Westmoreland County. The price was fixed at $190.00 per year, per taxable lot. This figured was determined by the information provided to Westmoreland County, by our Board of Directors. You will hear this in the audio below.

Our Board of Directors, as well as the original POA members knew this would be the amount they would have to work with. Since we have 1370 taxable lots, multiplied by $190.00, our original budget in 2016/2017 was set at $260,300 dollars. When we had our $10.00 budget increase in 2017/2018 due to inflation, our budget was increased to $274,000 dollars per year. This is where our budget will remain, unless it needs to be raised due to catastrophic events or a small increase for inflation, like the $10.00 that was added last year in 2018.

So how do we increase our budget for our projects? Like any other business or household, we need to find ways to reduce our spending. We know that for our 2019/2020 budget year, we will have finished paying off the last installment of $32,000 loan payment and that money will be available for future projects in the year 2020/2021 budget. We also know that we will not be finished paying off our original loan and continue to pay $73,000 dollars per year till December of 2026.

The logical solution is to reduce our payroll expense. In fact, it is our only solution. If we keep our current budget for payroll till the year 2026/2027, we will have paid out $372,000. Do we really need a full time secretary and property manager during the fall, winter and spring months, when these services can be preformed by our BODs as well as volunteers?

We all know that from the fall through the spring, our Communities are basically a ghost town. Phone numbers can be forwarded, electronic key systems can be installed, volunteers can change light bulbs, people who use the clubhouse can pick up after themselves and  run vacuum cleaners after their parties or events. I know that some people may think that cleaning up after themselves, is beneath them, but if we want to have the money for our other projects, this must be done.

For the Members of our Sanitary District who keep saying we need more money and everyone should have their RUFs increased, honestly, what you really need to do, is step back, take a breath, and try and come up with plausible solutions, to help ensure the well being for our Community as a whole, and not just for the original POA Members who signed the petition to wit 79 of these signatures, own waterfront property.

Everyone truly needs to understand that regardless of what you may have been told, Westmoreland County has no intentions of raising our RUF, just to please a few Members of our Communities. As I posted back in December of 2018, there would be no RUF increase this coming budget year, and no increase was added for our 2019/2020 year budget.

The original POA had been failing since 2013 according to their own documents. If you want change in our Community, then it must start with each and every Member willing to step up and help out. We do not need to pay more money each year, we simply need competent Members who know how to bring a Community together, work with each other and spend our monies wisely. Please listen to the audio and make up your own mind, and if you did not know any of this before, then we have done our job by helping to inform our community with accurate information. Your neighbor who lives on the inside of the curve, Dana Tucker.