We realize there have been questions, speculation, confusion and concern over the state of the pool repairs. The board has been mostly silent since the January meeting about the pool because there hasn’t been much in the way of progress. Rather than releasing a “half-baked” update to the neighborhood full of hopes and speculation from the board, we tried to hold off and get solid information for our neighbors.
The board decided to give an update by April regardless of where we stood in the “repair” process. It’s April, so here is the latest.
1. There is no progress at the pool because Lennar has not started the work.
Lennar has claimed for months now that they were going to preform all of the repairs at their cost. There was a lot of negotiating to get to that point, and none of it in writing. Lennar has told us they want us to sign off on a release of liability (something we are not 100% sure we should do) before they will repair the pool. The board agreed to consider that option and have been waiting for a contract to examine.
2. Lennar drilled the core samples, not Almond Glen HOA.
The core samples taken in early December were taken by contractors working for Lennar. We never gave permission in writing to collect the samples. Lennar put the pool in it’s current state, and we hope that binds them to the repair process. Since we didn’t collect the samples, we don’t have the results of the samples. I was told, “It’s really bad” by a Lennar rep.
3. The “repairs” are extensive.
Our understanding is the “repairs” are well beyond just patching a crack. The damage is so extensive that Lennar has discussed demolishing the current pool and replacing it. Lennar was hoping to save the “Kiddie Pool” in an effort to save on some of the costs. This doesn’t mean the pool WILL be torn out and replaced, that’s just one of the options discussed.
4. How do we know Lennar is going to fix the pool.
We don’t. Flat out we DO NOT 100% KNOW THEY WILL DO IT. One of the reasons the board has been so quite is because of possible legal action. We did receive independent verification that Lennar and the contractor (JL Thompson) have been obtaining permits to demolish the pool.
5. Can we just patch the pool and get through the summer?
No. That is what happened under the builder-controlled board last year. That allowed Lennar time to sell most of their houses and get their model out of Almond Glen before the work started. Now we are faced with the reality that Lennar is putting Almond Glen in it’s rear view mirror… and our pool is worse than ever. Even if we wanted to “patch it up” and run the pool… we can’t. The extreme water loss last year and the problems associated with it were wearing on our pump. The last thing we want is to damage the pumps in an effort to limp through summer.
6. What about the pool contract? Are we going to pay lifeguards to sit next to a closed pool?
By contract, yes… that could have happened. Luckily we formed a very good relationship with our pool management company (Aquatech). We will end up shifting the contract into next pool season. Aquatech will be allowed to extend our contract into the next year in exchange for not holding us to our current contract.
7. Is there ANY good news?
IF Lennar sticks to their verbal agreement, comes to the board with a fair deal, tears out the entire pool, and builds a new pool… then yes. The pool has so many underlying problems that a COMPLETE rebuild would be wonderful news. A project of that magnitude could cost $250,000 to $300,000. The ONLY way for our neighborhood to accomplish that would be to agree to a special assessment. We would have to hold a member meeting, establish a quorum, vote for a special assessment, pass the special assessment, issue notice of the assessment to the neighborhood and then collect the assessment. Divided up that would be about $1000 per home. Of course not everyone will pay and we will have to lien and then eventually foreclose on homes in order to get the assessments paid, so it would be safer to collect $1500 from everyone. NOBODY wants all of that mess. In the meantime the pool will sit empty. The whole process would probably take until at least the end of summer. Lennar fixing the pool for us is by far the best-case scenario. No law suits, no special assessments, no long-term problems.
8. How long will this take? Will we have a pool this year?
We don’t know. Since the work hasn’t started and we have no information about when it will start… or the full scope of the work… we just don’t know. Our best guess… a minimum of 2 months. If they broke ground today (April 1, 2014) I would be surprised if the pool opened by June 1st, 2014. Repairs as extensive as a rebuild could run longer, months longer. The best course of action is to look at the calendar and mark August 1st as the day the pool will be fixed… then pray for it to be true. There is no way to be more honest about it than that.
9. If the pool opens in August… what then?
We will extend the pool hours as long as we can… as long as its warm out the pool would be open.
10. Who’s fault is this?
Landcraft, Eastwood, the board that decided to not fix the pool last year. We can blame anyone we want. Landcraft went bankrupt, Eastwood transferred the pool over to the Almond Glen Owners Association back in 2010. Lennar knew about the problem after they started building and did very little while selling homes to new owners and failing to inform them there was a problem with the pool.
Who is not at fault? The homeowners. We didn’t break the pool or buy into a neighborhood knowing there was a pool problem. The board. We didn’t break the pool or choose not to fix it. AGOA does NOT have the money to fix this. This isn’t just something we can spend cash on and make it all better. Even if we could… we don’t feel the owners should be responsible for fixing the pool.
11. Why didn’t the board announce all of this before now?
Two reasons. (1) We don’t really have much to announce. No start dates, no factual info, no plans, nothing. This is all hearsay and speculation based on what we have been told. People can SAY anything and DO something else. (2) It’s going to cause an uproar. We have now taken a known vacuum (what’s up with the pool) and turned it into a BIGGER vacuum (did you hear what’s wrong with the pool). Let’s be clear… WE HAVE NO FACTS ABOUT THE POOL… WE ARE NOT 100% CERTAIN IT WILL BE TORN COMPLETELY OUT AND REPLACED.
12. How much money has the board spent so far on this project?
To date we have spent zero dollars and zero cents of your money on the pool. We HAVE spent countless hours discussing it, emailing about it, in meetings over it, and in discussion with Lennar about it. We have been trying to get this done at no cost to the neighborhood… and collecting everything we could in case of a lawsuit. It’s been exhausting. Nobody wants to see the pool up and running more than us. 4 of the 5 board members have young children who love the pool. We enjoy the pool. All of the board members realize the value added to our homes by the pool. The board is tired of being beaten to death by the pool… trust us when we say… we want the pool fixed.
13. Since the pool won’t be open… do we get money back or will the HOA buy us a membership to a pool somewhere?
14. Why not?
That’s not how an HOA works. If we, the board, did make a stupid decision like that it would be full of problems. Issuing a refund would mean EVERYONE gets a refund. Even the people who haven’t paid dues in years and are nearing foreclosure would get a refund. The HOA would pay out more than it took in. Same thing with a pool membership… everyone would get a membership… even if they don’t use the pool. So no… this board will not vote to give back money or buy pool memberships.
THE FINAL WORD
To sum it all up in review: The pool is still broken. We do not know exactly when or how it will be fixed. We are working hard to get the pool fixed. Yes the pool may not be open for most or all of the 2014 season.
Member – Almond Glen Board of Directors