Civic? Club? What’s the difference?
In lieu of a modern Home Owners Association, Blue Ridge Acres has two separate organizations. The Blue Ridge Acres Civic Association owns the maintenance barn, front entrance and our private roads and is responsible for the maintenance of those roads. The Blue Ridge Acres Community Club owns the community areas, including the office, the pool and the river frontage. Both organizations are comprised of volunteer community members. Both organizations were founded and continue to exist to serve the community of Blue Ridge Acres.
Every Blue Ridge Acres homeowner is, by virtue of paying their mandatory road maintenance fee, a member of the Civic Association. The annual road maintenance fees are used to repair roads, remove snow and pay taxes and insurance on Civic Association property. Over the course of the average year, the Civic Association spends approximately $4000 on administrative expenses, including insurance, postage, utilities and printing. Those costs are paid by donations, separate from road fees. Annual road maintenance fees amount to about $60,000 in annual income. We have slightly over 10 miles of roads in Blue Ridge Acres (that comes out to less than one dollar per foot of road). From that $60,000, about $10,000 is spent annually on snow removal, $45,000 is spent on road maintenance and about $5,000 is spent on equipment, taxes, insurance, utilities and rent. The bulk of the cost of actual road maintenance is contract labor (over 50%). There are some simple things we can all do to reduce that cost and ensure that more of our money is spent on gravel and asphalt. That includes keeping culverts clear and operating and clearing debris and leaves from ditches around our property. The Civic Association is currently owed nearly $60,000 in past due road maintenance fees. Additional money and time is spent trying to collect that money. The Civic Association has the legal authority to file liens against the property for which the road maintenance fees have not been paid, and is actively pursuing filing those liens. Liens will show up as negative marks on credit reports and they will be flagged by title search companies. Resorting to this measure is unfortunate, but necessary to ensure that everyone is equally responsible for the upkeep of our shared roads. Paving every road in Blue Ridge Acres was quoted at $1,300,000. Until we manage to come up with that kind of money we need to work together to ensure that our roads are maintained in the best condition possible.
Up until the 70s, it was also mandatory that homeowners pay a yearly fee to belong to the Club. That rule has since been changed and club membership is now at the discretion of the homeowner. The annual Club membership fees are used to pay for building upkeep, pool maintenance and expenses, grounds maintenance, insurance and taxes on community property and equipment.