Townhome Fee Hike Upsets Homeowners

Jeremy and Brandi Tumbleson said they are due an explanation for what caused a due increase at the Brookside Townhome Association in Bellevue.

Brandi said, "We were shocked the association was out of money because nobody told us there was a problem."

A problem caused by the long hard winter according to Denny Bray of Property Source which managed the fund until last March. Bray said snow removal cost of about $28,000 was three times the year before. Lawn service costs also grew higher than expected leaving the Association in the red.

Vice President Bob Smisek said the board just took over bill paying in March from Property Source. Smisek said board members were shocked the association maintenance fund is broke. Brookside's 87 townhome owners now face a vote to increase monthly fees from $88 to $115.

Bray said they are not alone. Of 30 associations managed by Property Source, 13 are considering increases in dues. All she said due to high cost of snow removal last winter.

But the Tumblesons question if that's why all the association funds melted away. Vice President of the Brookside homeowners Association agrees but said the association can't afford an audit.

The owner of Property Source said she understands townhome owner's frustration. But Bray said its not mismanagement. Just a perfect storm of high snow removal costs, a longer grass growing fall requiring more mowing and and slower than expect townhome sales that would bring in new members.

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