Heritage Lake homeowners still seeking help with roads

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- Heritage Lake homeowners are still hoping for some help from Putnam County Commissioners and commissioners are looking to hear from more homeowners before they consider taking the risk of paying for an engineering study of the lake area roads.

Several members of the Heritage Lake Homeowners Association board appeared before commissioners at a special early morning meeting Tuesday to ask the county for money to pay for a study that they must have done before going forward with the bond issue using the Barrett Law.

For several months members have been coming to the commissioners meetings looking for help in finding funding for the $3 million road project in the second most populated area in Putnam County.

With the help of the commissioners, the organization determined they could use the Barrett Law to obtain a bond with long-term financing that would be paid by the homeowners at Heritage Lake.

The sewer system at Heritage Lake was financed over 10 years in a similar manner.

If 40 percent of homeowners lodge a complaint against the tax assessment, it goes to court and a judge will decide if they can do it or not. Objections have to be in writing and submitted to the county auditor's office.

"Everything is pretty much in place to move forward," said Dan Antico. "Our association operates on about a $1 million budget and we don't have any money for the engineering survey. We'd like the county to consider paying for it."

Estimated cost is between $130-160,000. Spending the money is a risk because if 40 percent of the homeowners object to using the Barrett Law than the bond issue will stop.

If the project moves forward the money becomes part of the bond request.

"More than 60 percent of the homeowners are for it. It's more than like 80 percent," said Antico.

A community meeting for homeowners is planned for Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Bainbridge Community Center.

There are approximately 2,800 property owners in the Heritage Lake area. They will have an opportunity to hear about the bond issue. Commissioners hope to hear from homeowners regarding the plan to use Barrett Law to pay for resurfacing of the roads.

Representatives at the commission meeting cited improved home values, safety issues, more people moving into the area and ultimately more property tax monies for the county.

Commissioners tabled the request to pay for the engineering survey until after the meeting on Sept. 23.

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  • would the money be better spent doing something for the whole county, not just the 2800 homes in Heritage Lake? The roads all over the county are bad.

    -- Posted by busymom48 on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 7:38 AM
  • Thank you, npgrad2008. It appears that alot of the people who comment on this are unaware that we are a private lake community. We are not asking for the county to fix our roads (been there, done that with little success), however, we, as homeowners would take on the burden of the repairs in the form of our P.O.A. dues and pay back the loan to repair the roads ourselves. We have been paying higher taxes for many years to add to the county budget to keep our roads in good repair. However, somehow, the county ran out of money again and this never came to fruition. So, for those of you who do not live at the lake, let's brush up on the facts before we comment...

    -- Posted by lindam7766 on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 2:13 PM
  • Isn't Heritage Lake a private community?

    If they are county roads that need fixed then they have a point, but if they are private roads that need fixed then that is up to the homeowners association there at Heritage Lake.

    -- Posted by shocktherapy on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 3:40 PM
  • Lindamm7766 - Question

    Im confused...the sewer project was paid for by a lump sum added to the property owners property taxes. It says this would be paid the same way in the above article.....

    You said: "we, as homeowners would take on the burden of the repairs in the form of our P.O.A. dues and pay back the loan to repair the roads ourselves"

    What option is it...POA dues (i am sure they would be increased) or on the lake homeowner property taxes?

    I dont want it on my property taxes...try to sell and its the 1st thing a prospective homeowner wants paid in full at closing. I would however seriously consider increased POA dues.

    -- Posted by G-boy2008 on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 3:43 PM
  • But why should the county pay for the study for private roads? npgrad?

    This isn't a county problem if they are not county roads.

    -- Posted by shocktherapy on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 3:45 PM
  • It is a county problem...they are county roads.

    -- Posted by G-boy2008 on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 3:53 PM
  • So by the time everything is paid off, would it be time for new roads again. We've all seen (those of us who are lucky to live on a paved or chip and sealed road)how roads deteriorate over a short span of time (usually within one year, roads are crap again). So this would become a vicious cycle. I think it's sad that the residents would have to pave them theirselves while I benefit from driving on their roads from time to time.

    -- Posted by whodouthinkur on Thu, Sep 10, 2009, at 8:26 AM
  • I live at HL as well. No one from the POA has talked to me about this. I was on the lake Sat with 30 other adults and none of them have been polled either. Where did the ""More than 60 percent of the homeowners are for it. It's more than like 80 percent," said Antico" come from?

    I am totally against having a lump some on my property taxes to pave roads. This is way too complicated. People with 100k houses pay the same as people on the lake with 300k houses? How about homeowners who live on Heritage drive (in excellent condition"? They have to pay for roads on the other side of the lake. I agree with the sewer project that was done...every house had that work done...this is not that type of project.

    I would however be open to a increased POA fee for this....

    Most HL homeowners know that when they bought or sold..9 times out of 10...the purchaser made the seller pay off the sewer assesment before buying. Now all the homeowners have to deal with that issue for the roads being paved?

    Let alone we are paying for Putnam County roads through our taxes and the wheel tax...but we are going to pay on our property taxes as well?

    This is not the way to get the job done.

    -- Posted by G-boy2008 on Thu, Sep 10, 2009, at 3:27 PM
  • I see a few people on here that live at HL and are saying "no " to this...how is this getting pushed through? Just because a couple members of the POA board say 60 to 80 percent?

    Voices need to heard at the POA meetings.

    -- Posted by G-boy2008 on Thu, Sep 10, 2009, at 3:29 PM
  • YOU PEOPLE CRACK ME UP!!! If you can't get on the same page for a newspaper article, why should I care what your roads are like? You live in a private area, pay your own bills. And by the way, at least get together for a "United Front". How weak!

    -- Posted by idiot on Wed, Sep 16, 2009, at 7:10 PM
  • Community should vote on this before proceeding.

    -- Posted by HLResident on Fri, Sep 18, 2009, at 1:06 PM
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