No answers for Heritage Lake

Thursday, September 24, 2009

BAINBRIDGE -- An overflowing crowd packed the Bainbridge Community room Wednesday night to get information about an option being presented to improve the roads in Heritage Lake.

Homeowners at the private lake were asked to consider invoking the Barrett Law in order to obtain a bond to pay to resurface the roads at the lake. This meeting was an attempt to supply information about the Barrett Law and how it will affect property owners.

The meeting resulted in board members asking homeowners to go to the Putnam County government page and send their comments to county commissioners.

Ed Slam, president of the association, told the group at the end of the evening the road committee and board would have to discuss what their next step would be.

The meeting kicked off with Slam explaining what the meeting was about and then turning it over to Dan Antico to explain some facts about Heritage Lake roads, including information about the community, roads and taxes.

Antico gave a breakdown of what property taxes are spent on.

"None of them go to road maintenance," he said. The majority of the taxes go to the North Putnam School system (65 percent), with 24 percent going to the county.

Throughout the evening, different people called for an immediate vote of those present to accept or refuse to move forward with pursuing a bond by using the Barrett Law.

Slam explained that no vote could be taken that evening and reminded the group that this was an information session only.

This law allows an organization to obtain a bond with long-term financing that would be paid by the homeowners at Heritage Lake mostly likely over a 10-year period.

Complicating the process is the need for an engineering study to take place before actual assessed costs can be determined. The cost for the study is estimated to be between $130,000 to $150,000.

Commissioner Gene Beck was asked if the county would pay for the engineering study.

"If I have $150,000 I'm going to spend it on county roads, not on a study," said Beck.

Tempers ran hot and throughout the meeting, with Bainbridge Town Marshal Rodney Fenwick having to tell one resident to take a seat and stop talking.

Earlier this year, board members from the Heritage Lake Property Owners Association appeared before Putman County Commissioners to ask for help with their roads. With a reduction in the county budget, help was not available from the county.

The Barrett Law idea came from a later meeting between lake members and commissioners as they looked for solutions to find some way to pay for roadwork in the area.

At times, discussion among the audience members made hearing the speakers nearly impossible. A question and answer forum drew fire aimed toward Heritage Lake board members, county commissioners and the road committee.

One woman reported moving to Indiana and regretting it.

"You have some of the strangest laws. I'm sorry I ever moved to Indiana," she said. Audience members told her to move away.

Things grew calmer toward the end of the meeting, with several people thanking the board and commissioners for coming to the meeting. One apologized for the remarks and comments made by some present.

One resident told the Banner Graphic prior to the start of the meeting.

"I live on a circle and understand it will add value by fixing the roads. There is no money coming from the county. If it's $100 a year--maybe I'll vote for it. But what happens in 20 years when the roads need to be paved again?" she asked.

At the end of the meeting she commented, "I haven't changed my mind."

View 14 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • Sounds like something out of the movies.

    -- Posted by Nick | Nack on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 1:39 AM
  • Dont they pay POA dues..Isnt a private community? VBL tried to get the county to fix their roads aswell and it did not happen. property taxes pay for the roads to get you there, not private non county roads..Ask your POA to pay for the roads.

    -- Posted by Oh My Goodness on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 7:13 AM
  • If the county pays or helps to have the roads in Heritage Lake paved, then I want a refund from the county. I live in a POA and when it was time to have our roads paved; the homeowner's paid for it. It makes no sense that people choose to live in a private association but ask for public help.

    -- Posted by whatever4 on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 7:50 AM
  • I went to the meeting last night and I want to clear up a few things. I agree with other postings and people feelings that the county should not pay for Private Roads. However, many of the roads that need paving out at Heritage Lake are roads that lead in and out of the lake which are county roads. The Barrett Law which was discussed last night would require homeowners like myself to pay to fix the county roads as well. i pay Putnam County taxes to have Putnam County fix the roads. If I am going to pay to fix County Roads that go in and out of the lake then I want all of my Putnam County taxes to go to Heritage Lake. The biggest joke of the night besides the HOA was the Bainbridge Town Marshall who just wanted to make himself feel more important than what he is. Tempers may have flared with people raising their voices but at no time was anybody beligerent enough for a Town Marshall to step in. At one point I over heard him say that he had no problem taking people to jail! For what? I think somebody should go back and read our Constitution. Especially the Bill of Rights!!! Freedom of speech ring a bell!! Thank you to the County Commissoners for being there and I hope they vote against the Proposal to use the Barrett Law.

    -- Posted by Heritage Lake Resident on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 8:26 AM
  • I attended the meeting last evening looking for information only as I had not yet formed an opinion. I came away confused as it seems the two option are all or nothing. I have lived at Heritage Lake for 16 yrs and truly do not believe every road and court need to have asphalt. I live on a court and would prefer mine to stay chip and seal. I don't have a problem with an assesment or some such thing for needed repairs and proper maintenance, but I do have a problem with a huge sum to pave all roads.

    As for some of the earlier comments about our area of the county being private is partially true, however the county took over all roads at Heritage some time in the 70's which I would guess was an effort to abtain more miles of road as I am sure the monies coming from the state to the county has a bearing on the number of miles maintained.

    Heritage Lake residents may as well face the facts. We have to do repairs and maintenance ourselves as Mr. Beck did not hide his feelings of disdain for the lake and its residents. Even though the county made the commitment in the 70's it is plain they have washed their hands of Heritage Lake. Thanks to the Board - keep exploring and prhaps we can compromise.

    -- Posted by jakedog1 on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 9:20 AM
  • Back in 1978 I moved to Heritage Lake from Indianapolis,I moved here because of the lake. Just the lake , not taxes, not roads just the water. I realized this was not a wealthy county and the roads were not as smooth as interstate 465.

    Now 31 years later the roads are in better shape then in 1978. Heritage Drive is very much better and the side roads, the chip and seal roads are about the same as 1978.

    Now it seems some people want a 465 type road right to their front door. And they also want their friends and neighbors to pay for this for them.

    Now most of these people live only 1-3 blocks from Heritage Drive (a very smooth road) This means on their trip to work or shop they might have to drive on a chip and seal road in heritage lake property ,2-6 blocks round trip. When you consider a good part of the county roads are gravel, we have a pretty good deal with the chip and seal Remember the folks on gravel roads still pay their taxes like we do and don't have chip n seal.

    I don't think the roads are that bad ,and I'm not to good to drive on chip and seal roads.

    I find it offensive that my friends and neighbors want me to buy them a highway to their front door, maybe next year they will want a fire truck or ambulance just for our street only.

    Keep in mind people,there are lake areas in Indiana that do have the things you want (though not many) maybe you should check it out.

    -- Posted by jimmyjohn on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 9:54 AM
  • I live at the lake as well. I planned to go to the meeting but my wife worked over and I did not want to take my 19 month old boy. Glad I did not from what I read above in the article and comments. Unfortunately I am still very confused. Is the plan for us to pave roads that lead in and out of the lake? Are they really going to pave the courts as well? I agree with Jakedog1..we should tar and chip the small side roads. If they make an effort for lowest costs and a very good plan that all can read we can form opinions on that plan.

    Also, whats the costs? I keep hearing it will be put on property taxes over 10yrs....what is the cost?

    3 million(earlier article) for 2800 average prop's(earlier article) is 1071 per property over 10ys equals 107 per year. Is this correct? Is the 3mil to pave everything? If so, what does it cost to pave bigger roads and tar and chip courts and small roads?

    If the POA wants this than lets get some plans, options and property owner costs posted on the POA website so we can read them. Why is th site not being used to get the word out on exactly what the plan is and the costs?

    -- Posted by G-boy2008 on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 11:31 AM
  • jimmyjohn hit the nail right square on the head! Thank you for your comments.

    -- Posted by kubotafan on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 11:31 AM
  • Right ON Jimmy John.

    -- Posted by Harmony Church on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 4:11 PM
  • Did you know road repair money does not come from property taxes? It comes from gas tax in Indiana. All roads in Heritage Lake are county roads. The HOA does not own any of them. Instead of paying $3 Million to pay a private company to come in here and hot mix these roads, pay the County 1/2 that amount to cold mix it. It last as long and drives as nice AND cost half of what hot mix would. Plus the County has their own equipment and ability to make their own mix. If we have to pay money, lets hire locally and safe the jobs of our neighbors and friends. Use the County! In fact, there are many ways to fix these roads other than the most expensive option. Talk to the people that have the experience working on the roads, not the people that sit behind desks or on a board. And yes I do live in Heritage Lake.

    -- Posted by MY2009 on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 9:46 PM
  • The article says:

    "You have some of the strangest laws. I'm sorry I ever moved to Indiana," she said. Audience members told her to move away.

    Hmmm....I wonder if it could be attitude that keeps the towns around here from growing.

    -- Posted by AnnieO on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 11:45 PM
  • No kidding "not a native" I agree....oh yea...the roads in Greencastle are in great shape too...LOL.

    Truth is the roads are bad this county. Greencastle, country, Heritage Lake..everywhere.

    -- Posted by G-boy2008 on Fri, Sep 25, 2009, at 9:41 AM
  • There is nothing wrong with the roads at Heritage Lake. The county does just fine for a small rural community. If the few who want those new roads would approve a more fair POA fee assessment maybe they would have the money for those roads leading to their homes on the lake. Perhaps: $200 POA assessment for each $100,000 of Property Tax assessed value of the lot or lot/home. That is two-tenth of one percent (.2%) of the County Assessed value of the property. If a person has a home/lot valued at $100,000 on one lot, the POA fee would be $200 for the year. If that person has an extra lot, as many people do out here, and the extra lot is valued at $10,000 the POA assessment would be $20. HLPOA would then have the money to hire the county to upgrade the side roads. There is nothing wrong with Heritage Lake Drive.

    -- Posted by HLResident on Fri, Sep 25, 2009, at 10:30 AM
  • It's starting all over, again....sigh

    I REGRET moving here

    -- Posted by jefferson2011 on Sun, Jul 3, 2011, at 8:35 AM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: