COVID-19 Amenity Closures Q&A
Dear Sun Ridge Residents,
This poat serves to provide answers to the following questions since our previous post regarding the closure of the pool and tennis courts.
1. We don’t need to maintain the pool in the winter, so why do we need to continue to pay money to maintain the pool in the summer?
A pool isn’t designed to be stagnant during the warm months of the year.
Leaving the pool closed all summer is a guaranteed way to end up with a “green, smelly mess” and permanent stains or damage to the pool surfaces.
Draining the pool for any extended period of time can lead to serious damage. Even with a pool cover:
- Cracks form in the plaster, which will shrink and crack if left dry in warm temperatures
- Delamination can also occur, leading to ‘pop-offs’ of plaster in areas of the pool
- The pressure of the ground water can actually lift the concrete pool out of the ground
- The pumps are old and need to be performance checked periodically
These damages would cost the Association more in the long run and therefore, the pool will continue to be maintained in the summer.
2. Why can’t we just move money budgeted for snow removal to pay for the additional costs to open the pool?
Please understand that the added expenses were only one part of what we considered. As we reasoned in our original announcement, we determined that paying the added expenses would not eliminate the health, safety and liability risks of our community and the Association.
3. Can’t homeowners just sign a waiver of liability to eliminate the risk to the Association?
Per legal guidance, when liability waivers are challenged before the courts, they are sometimes found to be unenforceable.
This is because courts are generally loathe to uphold them, as they allow a party to avoid responsibility for its negligent acts. As a result, courts may invalidate liability waivers.
4. Why can’t we open the tennis and basketball courts?
To repeat what was stated in the original announcement, our insurance will not provide COVID liability coverage in the event that someone sues the Association claiming the individual contracted the virus while using one of our amenities. If this were to happen, we would have to defend the lawsuit using available Association funds and may potentially require imposing a special assessment to all homeowners.
Additionally, we would need paid monitors at each of the amenities to assure that documented periodic sanitation occurs, and social distancing rules limiting the number of people at one time are enforced.
5. If we are going to close the amenities, aren’t we entitled to a refund of our monthly maintenance fees?
Please keep in mind that while the amenities are shut down, there are still some costs associated with maintaining them. Therefore, we will strongly consider providing a credit to each homeowner after the 2021 budget analysis based on the unused portion of the funds earmarked for the servicing of the pool, playgrounds, tennis courts, and basketball courts.
We cannot emphasize enough that we carefully considered all facts before we reached our final decisions related to closing our amenities.
We look forward to having all of you join us for the annual meeting on July 15, 2020.
In the meantime, please stay safe and be well.
The HOA Board of Sun Ridge