Not so neighborly dispute over spending dues

Published: Mar. 21, 2017 at 6:12 PM CDT
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Several homeowners in southwest Omaha have serious concerns about spending by their neighborhood association. They claim they're due more answers.

Some of them told Six On Your Side they've not seen cancelled checks or receipts.

Declining an on camera interview, the president of the Walnut Grove Homeowners Association Anne Rewolinski called complaints "nitpicking" and said the board has worked to improve property values for 288 homes.

The neighborhood was annexed years ago, but the city won't maintain a private drive serving five homes so the association spent $800 on snow removal over the last two winters. Emil Radik who lives a few blocks away said, "The people who live here should be taking care of their own property, not us. It's not our responsibility."

The Association President Rewolinski said neighbors have to work together and the private drive maintenance is fair while other expenses are justified with yearly budgets sent out. Some said that's not enough transparency.

Walnut Grove Homeowner Michelle Taylor said, "See the cancelled checks. Let's see the books. Let's see where this money is going."

In a list sent the Nebraska Attorney General The Walnut Grove Homeowner's Association spent $29,000 in 2015 with $18,000 to asphalt parts of the neighborhood trail.

The disgruntled homeowners said, "If you going to put out that kind of money, then have a meeting with the homeowners."

The association president stopped meetings saying residents don't attend but after learning the city will maintain the trail, the board reduced dues to $45 a year.

Homeowners who don't like the trail their dues are taking can simply not pay them. The HOA president said dozens have not, but many of them have liens slapped on their homes for not paying dues. In a letter she told the Attorney General a lien is "a very last resort." The AGs office can't comment.

The homeowners in Walnut Grove have two chances to hear both sides.

Those who want the association dissolved will gather at Millard South on April 8th at 1 p.m.

The the board will have its own meeting at 7 p.m. on April 18th at the Western Bowl.