Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

October 2, 2013

Gover presides over new board


CROSSVILLE — The new members of the Fairfield Glade Community Club Board of Directors convened for their first official meeting on Thursday. President Phil Gover presided and introduced the members in their new roles. They are as follows: Bob Stackhouse is now acting as vice president; Pete Cahill, treasurer; Bob Diller, secretary;  Harry Price, director at large; Barbara Storer, timeshare representative; and Misty Keyes, developer director.

On Oct. 9, the Incorporation Committee has scheduled two sessions to explain the proposal for Fairfield Glade to become a municipality in depth. These sessions will be conducted from 2 – 4 p.m. and 6 – 8 p.m. at the Community & Conference Center and will hopefully answer any questions members may have about incorporation.

Additionally, a tentative date for a town hall meeting to present the 2014 budget has been set for Nov. 7. The architects for the Druid Hills pool facility are noww working on construction drawings for the project and will hopefully have estimates for bids before the budget is presented.

The strategic plan committee has developed a lot plan to address the unused lots that are currently in the Community Club's inventory. Stackhouse explained that stipulations stemming from a 2006 lawsuit require a tier system to assess fees for lots in various stages of development in Fairfield Glade. Lots are categorized as either "A," "B" or "C," depending on access to sewer, roads, etc. "A" lots are the most developed and draw the most in dues, "B" lots are assessed at 85 percent and "C" lots at 65 percent.

Beginning around 2007-'08, many lot owners stopped paying dues. These were mostly lots in the "C" category, which have no improvements at all. Previous boards understood the agreement with Tennessee's Attorney General (AG) to mean the club could not put a lien against properties that were delinquent, leaving them powerless to collect the required dues.

In 2010, the board sought clarification from the AG on what the A-B-C Agreement actually said. The AG made clear the board could put  liens on delinquent properties. By instituting liens, owners were forced to pay, or could quick-deed the properties back to the club. As a result, the club has acquired roughly 1,000 lots. Almost 700 of those are "C" lots; about 200 are "B" lots and around 120 are "A" lots.

Fairfield Glade is comprised of about 18,000 lots spread out over 12,500 acres and connected by about 120 miles of roads.

"There's no unbuildable lot. It just depends on how much money you want to spend on the lot," said Stackhouse.

The strategic plan committee's lot plan has been focused on the "A" lots.

These lots are spread throughout the Glade. Cataloging and assessing the lots has been no small feat but, now that all the information has been collected, the next step is to decide what to do with them. In the mean time, the club has been able to sell 62 "B" lots for $108,000. The assessments on those lots exceed $30,000 annually.

"To show how successful this has been, our total fee for getting all these lots back and paying back taxes was $59,000 over the last five years. In this one transaction, we've almost doubled what we invested, and we're getting $30,000 a year more," said Stackhouse. "Our total tax bill on those lots that we had [currently 956] is $20,000. Just on selling those 62 lots, we make a profit of $10,000 a year over what we have to pay in taxes and we cover all expenses."

Another goal of the plan is to continue to acquire "C" lots until the board can amass them into an area that can be developed or used by the club.

The ACC Committee reported 58 single family detached homes approved versus 38 in 2012; no manufactured homes; no mobile homes approved versus two in 2012;  59 new homes under construction; 44 homes completed in 2013; and 541 miscellaneous projects for the year.

Regina Welch gave the finance report. At the end of August, total cash on hand was $3.5 million. The Amenity Reserve Fund has received $146,000. There are more than 2,200 past due accounts, with 1,400 being more than three years delinquent. Total revenue for the year is $14 million. Overall, the club is $36,000 over budgeted expenditures, however, they expect to save around $200,000 on capital expenditures and end the year favorably.

Members who have not updated their membership cards in the past two years need to do so.

Don't forget to check out the Hit the Trails festival this weekend. The event, scheduled for Oct. 5 will have more than 25 organizations that represent every outdoor activity in Fairfield Glade. A separate article on page 1A gives details on the event.