In the September 2018 "In The Know" video interview with Tom Judson, he covered many areas of what will happen if we get the proposed assessment increase. One of the areas he emphasized, of course, was the overwhelming miles of trails that we will have. He made the statement that he saw a study showing there were 101,000 users of the trails and of that number 60 percent were Bella Vista residents. This is a totally agenda-driven statement. I can tell you for certain that I have used the trails and taken visitors on the trails on numerous occasions, and there is no way anybody recorded that activity.
He further made the statement that we have spent all of our reserves, but we still have an "emergency fund" somewhere in the background. However, he did not state the amount of that fund and what "emergencies" it would be used for.
Of course, he mentioned his personal favorite project: building the "Tom Judson Community Center." He also said that we just leased some of our POA property to the city of Bella Vista so it can build a training center for the fire department. This made me wonder why we don't lease to the city the property on which we are going to build the new community center. This center is called a community center because it will be open to the public. If it were open only to the members who are paying for it, it would be called a POA center. If we leased the land to the city, it could get grant money from the Walton Foundation to pay for building this new center. (The POA cannot get grant money because we are theoretically a non-profit organization.) The POA could then share the maintenance costs of the facility with the city just like the trails. The only problem with this is no one has yet identified what the maintenance costs are going to be.
He went on to outline other projects that are dependent on the increase. Most of the things he mentioned are already in the 2019 budget and not dependent on the assessment increase. For example, he included in this category all of the things we are going to do to the Berksdale Golf Course. If this is not already budgeted, how could our board have voted to close this course? The plan shows this as being a wonderland that will flood in the spring but be beautiful the rest of the year.
When asked what would happen if we do not approve the assessment increase, his answer was that we would just plug along and things would ultimately go into disrepair. This is another totally agenda-driven comment. We have sufficient funds to maintain the amenities we have. If we do need more money, we should just raise the cost of using our amenities for the people who don't live here.
This is not a resort. This is our home.
Bella VistaEditorial on 09/12/2018
Print Headline: Why not lease community center property to city?