FAQ on the Pool Compromise and Universal Pool Access

Posted February 28, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Filed Under: Front Page, News, NRC Email

Message Courtesy of Brandermill Community Association
Updated March 17, 2017
If the "Pool Compromise" is approved:
Q1. Will all three pools remain open?
  A: Yes and for seven days a week during the same hours as last year.
Q2. What will the family pool rate be?
  A: $300 for 2017, but if you want to be a permanent member, the rate drops to $250. That rate requires you to be a member year-after-year and subject to any increase in rate as the regular assessments go up.
Q3. What are the other rates for membership?
  A: The daily rate is $15 or you can buy a coupon book of 10 passes for $100 or 5 passes for $65.
Q4. Why aren't there more pool membership options like last year?
  A: The operational costs of the pools are budgeted to be paid for by the user fees. Last year the pools lost $58,000 so changes had to be made.
Q5. Why has the family membership been increased?
  A: In 2013, the family rate was $435. The BCA then tried for three years to significantly reduce the membership fees to see if a much lower rate ($195) would generate the same revenue because of more members. The total members did increase, but the pools lost $108,000 during those three years.
Q6. Will non-residents of Brandermill be able to join our pools?
  A: Yes, but only as a family membership, which costs $335.
Q7. How many Brandermill households were pool members?
  A: In 2016, there were 695 family memberships, which represents 18% of our homes.
Q8. How do the pool fees for 2017 compare to other area pools?
  A: Other area pool rates are at least $400 for families, so Brandermill has the lowest rate and with a choice of 3 pools to attend.
Q9. Why is the BCA Board proposing the "Pool Compromise"?
  A: Brandermill's pools are more than 30 years old and need more than a facelift. When the BCA took control of the pools back in 2001, a commitment was made that the operational costs would not be forced on members who didn't want to join the pools. It's a compromise between those who want everyone to pay for the pools and those who expect the BCA to honor its prior commitment.
Q10. Other amenities – like bike paths and parks – are maintained by all members. Why not pools?
  A: There are 29 amenities that are supported by user fees. They include the marina, and rental use of the clubhouse, a pavilion, Sailing Center boats or a T-rack.
Q11. Will current residents be required to join and pay for the pools?
  A: No. Only those new homeowners starting May 1 will automatically become pool members and pay $250 annually.
Q12. Why start on May 1?
  A: The results of the Covenant vote change will be announced on April 17; and if approved by 75% of those voting, it would become effective on May 1.
Q13. If I sell my home and buy another home in Brandermill, will my new home have to pay the pool fee?
  A: No.
Q14. If I move away from Brandermill and choose to rent my Brandermill house, will my tenants have to be pool members?
  A: No.
Q15. Is it fair for the "Pool Compromise" to shift the costs of pools to new homeowners?
  A: At closing on their homes (if not sooner), the pool fee will be explained to the new buyers. Other planned communities – like Magnolia Green, Hallsley and Hampton Park – require higher assessments that include a pool.
Q16. Is it the Board's intention to move over time toward Universal Pool Access with the "Pool Compromise"?
  A: Yes. In 2016, there were 217 Brandermill homes sold. Using the figure of 200 new homeowners annually, in ten years that would total 2,000 new homeowners generating $500,000. Since the pool the fee would increase along with any assessment increase, actually it would be considerably more than $500,000 – plenty to operate and provide for capital improvements.
Q17. The "Legal Language for Pool Compromise" terms specifically define the concept of a "Pool Fee," and the proposed new Section 14 Item (f) states that "The Pool Fee shall be $250 per Pool Lot for 2017, subject to increase or decrease in subsequent years, as determined by the Board." Given this definition, how is an increase in the Pool Fee is capped in any way for for 2018 and beyond?
  A: The Pool Compromise ballot question states: The 2017 Pool Fee shall be $250, and it shall increase year-to-year with any increase in assessments. This means that any pool fee increase is capped to an amount consistent with the annual increase approved by the Board of Directors. The last two years the Board of Directors approved a 5% increase in the annual assessment. Since this is a change to the community Covenants, the Board of Directors is legally bound to follow this language.
Non-Binding Survey on Universal Pool Access
Q1. Why hasn't UPA been in effect since the BCA bought the pools?
  A: In 2001, when the BCA Board voted to buy the pools, to keep support of most of the community, the commitment was made to non-pool members that they wouldn't have to pay for pool operational costs.
Q2. Since buying the pools in 2001, has any previous Board put UPA to a community vote?
  A: No. This Board recommends the "Pool Compromise." However, if it fails to get 75% [of the votes cast] to change our Covenants, the Board will consider the results of the non-binding survey on UPA on this spring's ballot for next year.
Q3. If the "Pool Compromise" doesn't achieve 75% approval and the non-binding survey doesn't support UPA, what then?
  A: That will indicate that the only remaining option is to continue user fees to pay for the pool's operating costs. They would continue to increase over the years.
Q4. Has the Board studied the cost of implementing UPA?
  A: In 2012, Club Source Design issued a report paid for by the BCA. It recommended UPA after first upgrading and improving the pools to meet a 60% increase in attendance and meeting federal requirements for renovation to become compliant with the American Disability Act. The projected cost back then was $1.7 million. Residents may view the Club Source Design Report.
Q5. Can't the BCA Board simply increase the assessments to start UPA this year?
  A: No. The BCA attorney has said the 5% increase already implemented cannot be increased.
Q6. Could the BCA increase assessments by $75 next year and implement UPA?
  A: $75 (a 16% increase) for each homeowner is not enough to upgrade the pools to handle the 60% higher attendance, according to Club Source Design. Moreover, in the past 25 years the BCA operational budget has not been increased more than 5% annually. Members are likely to object to such a hike for just pools in addition to any other assessment increase.
Q7. What would the increase to the commercial assessment under UPA?
  A: There would be a 26% increase to commercial members' assessments.