Vandal sticks doors to Clearwater Homeowners Association board of directors
A vandal attempted to lock four members of a Clearwater Homeowners Association council inside their apartments last week by filling their keyholes with liquid adhesive.
Two members saw their locks vandalized a second time, according to police investigating the incidents.
Horizon House HOA’s chairman of the board suspects the act was the work of a resident upset by a proposed appraisal.
As the building is almost 60 years old, a maintenance assessment is launched by the owners’ association to restore the property to perfect condition.
The chairman of the board, Edward Schmoll, drew up a list of problems that need to be fixed: the pockmarked parking lot that needs to be redone; a leaky facade that allowed 800 gallons of water to seep into hallways and laundry rooms during Hurricane Irma; structural problems with the roof; exterior paint at end of life.
Money is also needed for a technical study to meet regulatory fire safety requirements.
The estimated cost to solve these problems? Over $ 300,000.
According to data from listings on the real estate website, Zillow, residents already pay monthly dues ranging from $ 500 to $ 800. Membership fees depend on the size and location of the apartment.
While the dues may seem exorbitant to foreigners, Schmoll said the charges covered all utilities, including central heating and air conditioning, common washers and dryers and water heaters, as well as costs associated with l general maintenance of the building and the grounds.
When the Horizon House Co-op building was erected in the early 1960s, it was one of the tallest buildings on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Located at Island Estates at the southern tip of Pasadees Key, just north of Clearwater Memorial Causeway, the 15-story, 126-unit tower was the second FHA co-op built in the state.
At the time of clearance, reports said it was the most expensive building to be built in Clearwater history.
Six hundred and sixty 40-foot concrete piles were driven into the ground to support the mastodon. About 900 gallons of paint were needed to cover the exterior.
Advertisements from the construction era advertised the building as the height of luxury: $ 3,750 down payment and a monthly payment of $ 213 would get you a two-bedroom apartment. The prices have increased with the floors.
These days the tower is starting to show its age.
A lack of caution in previous advice, Schmoll said, allowed the problems to metastasize. He described the division as a conflict between two camps: the new council and the councils of the past.
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Schmoll said the current council has a fiduciary duty to ensure the building is in good repair and the assets of residents are protected. Schmoll credited the previous board of directors with starting conversations about the condition of the building.
Dr Thomas Tocco, a resident for seven years and a former board member, said he supports the current board and its efforts. Tocco, who previously handled infrastructure projects as a school principal, said if residents continue to throw the proverbial box down the road, it could end up doubling the cost of fixing the issues.
Tocco cited the lack of substantial increase in maintenance rates over the past 10 years as the culprit. According to Tocco and Schmoll, there is not enough cash reserves to cover the costs.
To repair the building and protect the investment of resident shareholders, the board puts the evaluation to a vote. If the owners accept the resolution, Schmoll estimates that unit owners will have to shell out $ 3,200 to $ 4,200 in cash to cover expenses.
Schmoll also suggests a 1% to 2% increase in monthly maintenance rates to help offset inflation.
To reduce the impact on residents, Schmoll said the board intended to offer a payment plan that will extend payments over a year.
This may not be enough to satisfy everyone.
But Schmoll is not discouraged.
âThe behavior displayed by the culprit is not typical of the residents of the building,â Schmoll said. âIt’s a great place to live.
“If the intention of the culprit was to persuade us, it really backfired. The good thing is that he tied the community together.”