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Montibello Neighborhood News

This Letter was originally emailed and mailed to Homeowners in February 2024

 

As you all know the Montibello neighborhood is run by a voluntary board of community members. Historically our board has been comprised of 10-11 members that are responsible for different aspects of keeping our neighborhood beautiful, safe and social. A place where people want to call home and a desirable neighborhood that keeps our housing prices strong. We are currently running the board with only 5 members and the amount of work demanded from each member has become overwhelming.

 

I am going to throw a lot of information out there and try to break it down as best as possible. However, the bottom line is...our board needs volunteers and funding or it is going to disappear.  

 

What does the HOA Board really do?

The board is comprised of 11 different committees headed by volunteers within the neighborhood. Each of these committees overseas different areas of the community from landscaping our common areas, collection of membership dues, budgeting, taxes, insurance, safety, communication to our neighborhood, social events and more. Our annual budget for expenses is $30,000 and your board controls and votes on how this money gets spent. Believe it or not they do FAR MORE than run social activities.

 

I don't see all of this happening in the community?

You are correct. At this point of time we have less than half the man power to run this neighborhood so many of the needed tasks are not getting done. We are also down on annual contributions for the year. As of the end of 2023, only 325 of the 570 homes in the community actually contributed the annual $75 voluntary dues.  This is down from an average of 420 houses in previous years. This means that our neighborhood had $7,125 LESS to spend on needed expenses this year. Also note that cost of every material, utility and labor has greatly increased in the past several years leaving us with a great need for funds.

 

How do the HOA funds get spent?

Contrary to what many believe the HOA has expenses beyond social activities. In fact, the social activities only comprise 16% of the HOA annual budget. We spend $8400 a year just to mow and maintain the entrances and the 1 mile strip along Carmel Road...and let's face it they don't even do a great job. This does not include any tree trimming, pine straw or landscaping at the major entrances. We had an irrigation system in to help with keeping flowers and vegetation growing in these areas, however the system is over 20 years old and broken and leaking. It will cost us over $9,000 to replace this system which we had in the budget for this year, but did not collect enough funds. So...we have resorted to natural landscaping...most of which has recently been destroyed by the install of fiber in the community. It will be replaced once this construction is fully completed and the weather permits.

 

Some of our miscellaneous expenses include HOA mailings (which have had to be cut back on), Insurance, Web services, Printed directories (which is no longer offered) and cut backs on the social events.

 

So what does all of this mean?

The board is at a loss. Without the help of additional volunteers AND increased contributions to annual dues the board is going to dissolve.  Our current 5 members are over taxed with the needs of the community. They are also parents, have full time careers, social activities and other community engagements. They want to contribute, but their time is limited...just like everyone else's. If we lose more board members without replacement there will be no more HOA to run this community. To be honest, I am not sure how that will even work. What I do know is, if there isn't a board our annual taxes, expenses and insurance will go unpaid, there will be no social events, no landscaping and no cohesiveness. The desirability of this neighborhood will surely decline and in the end will most likely have an effect on everyone's home values.

 

Since we are a voluntary HOA there is not a property management company in town that will take over our community as payment of their fees can not be guaranteed. Plus if they look at our budget and see the diminishing contributions they for sure will not be interested.  

 

So....what can you do?

We need volunteers and consistent annual funding.  The board realizes that in today's world everyone is busy. However, this is your neighborhood, your home, WHERE YOU LIVE! We need your help even if it is just a little bit here and there. We need volunteers and if we have more help the work load really isn't all that time demanding.

 

We also need you to contribute your $75 annual dues whether you come to all or none of the social events. The average HOA due in Charlotte for surrounding communities like ours is $250 per year. We are asking for ONLY $75 A YEAR!! This is far below market average and truly it needs to be higher. However, we fear if we raise dues we will actually end up with less contributions so we will keep it at $75 for 2024. HOWEVER....if you can and are willing to contribute $150 a year it would greatly be appreciated. Billing will go out for annual dues in March.

 

How do I get involved?

We need your help!  If you are interested in volunteering you can get involved in many ways. We are in need of 7 committee chair members. These members meet 4x a year for 1.5 hours plus needed time for their committee. If we fill all the chairs your time dedication would be around around 3-4 hours per month depending on your committee needs.

 

If you are unable to take a roll as a chair member we have a volunteer list to help with other items. These are more task related items that you could volunteer for as you had time and there was need. We would simply send out sign up sheets as needs arise to those on the list and you can pick and choose how you can help.

 

We sincerely thank you for your time and hope you understand the desperate need for your involvement!

Your Montibello Board Members

 

 

What does each board position oversee?

The board is comprised of the following committees:

  • Membership:  This person is in charge of running our membership drive each year to help promote our members to donate their $75 to the community. The run the campaign, promote the need for the donation at different community events, organize and maintain the community directory and mailing list.

  • Neighborhood Watch:  This person works closely with our local officers to report safety concerns within the neighborhood, coveys local community news, and coordinates events for our neighbors to meet the officers or for them to attend our events so everyone can also know who they are.

  • Street Host Coordinator:  This person works closely with several designated neighbors who have offered their time to welcome new neighbors and provide community news, information on accessing our web-site, pay dues and join events.

  • Community Affairs & Architectural Review:  This person answers all your questions on and covenants and restrictions for each property, building and improvement questions and HOA question for real estate closings. They also work with other close communities when there are area development concerns.

  • Social:  This person is in charge of planning and organizing the community events. This is one of our larger roles and requires the support of several helpers. One of the things that makes this neighborhood special are the social events that we host. This role requires a lot of organization and delegation of duties to continue to offer the events we have each year.

  • Beautification:  This role is in charge of landscaping of the common areas for the community. We have over a 1 mile stretch of land that runs along Carmel Road along with 7 entrances and 2 cul de sac circles that have to be up kept with lawn maintenance, pine straw, landscaping/flowers and tree trimming.

  • Communications: This role is in charge of keeping the neighborhood notified of all ongoing via email, printed news, sign boards and social media.

  • Secretary:  This role records the happenings at the 4 board meetings throughout the year and ensures works closely with the communications member to ensure this news gets distributed out to the neighbors.

  • Web-Design:  This is a new role which add one more count to our needed board members. We have a new web-site to help distribute the information to the neighbors and this takes time to develop so we can keep everyone informed.

  • Treasurer:  Is in charge of paying all of our 3rd party expenses, balance our budget and file our annual taxes. They work closely with the membership and president to ensure our HOA stays financially stable and expenses are paid and enough income is brought in each year through donations to pay the bills.

  • President:  This role is in charge of keeping everyone on task and bringing the board together cohesively. They are required to fill in all the gaps and help out where needed. Along with keeping annual budgets and county regulations and filings up to date


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