Swimming Pool Update
Posted on Jun 1st, 2020
Dear Member of the Magnolia Walk Home Owners Association,
As communicated in our recent HOA newsletter, due to the potential spread of COVID-19 and evaluation of the State of Georgia’s requirements to safely open the pool, the Board of Directors decided to close the pool until further notice. Our decision was based on recognizing that the risk of spreading the virus exists; the cost to the HOA to meet the State requirements could be significant; and the fact that the Board is not prepared to manage the pool under the current circumstances. In response to the Board’s decision, we received a request for a special meeting of the Board of Directors from 2 families which the Board will honor once the families making the request provide the information required in the By-Laws, Article VII, Section 2. This special Board meeting is to be held between the families making the request and the Board of Directors. This meeting is not to be confused with a request for a special meeting of the HOA members which requires the approval of 22 HOA members. The 2 families requesting the special meeting with the Board of Directors have expressed the following in an e-mail to the Board:
“In reviewing the HOA By-laws I believe the Board is currently acting outside the authority that the by-laws authorize in Article VIII, Section 1 A and B. I would like to ask that the board either immediately remove the restrictions that you have placed on current members in good standing from accessing Common Areas without cause (as defined as deliquesce of dues payment) or call a special meeting Tuesday at 8 pm to review the violations currently being acted out by the Board and determine a path to resolution.”
We have consulted with an attorney regarding the Board’s decision under the By-Laws and specifically, Article VIII, and the legal opinion is that the Board acted within the authority granted under the By-Laws which is to adopt and publish rules and regulations governing the use of the Common Area and facilities, and the personal conduct of the members and their guests thereon, and to establish penalties for the infraction thereof.
The Board is required to document and inform the HOA members of any Board meeting and any decision made by the Board. In this regard, the Board will notify the HOA members of the outcome of the special Board meeting the following day.
Here is additional information that has been shared with some of you and that you need to know and evaluate before asking the Board to open the pool:
- The pool is temporarily closed until further notice. This means that the Board will continue to monitor the situation and specially the guidelines issued by Governor Kemp under executive Order 05.12.20.02. Links to the guidelines and summary are provided below.
- The guidelines are enforceable requirements – not optional. This means that any plan to open the pool must address the guidelines subject to verification by the County Health Department. Failure to meet the guidelines can result in a warning and/or closure of the pool and fines.
- The guidelines by the Governor were put together in conjunction with the CDC in order to slow down the spread of the corona virus.
- The Board reviewed the guidelines and found that as a small community, we could not afford to do the things necessary to comply with the guidelines.
- We contacted our pool service company and inquired about what other customers were doing to meet the guidelines. Advantage Pool Services manages about 155 communities, only 5 of the 155, are attempting to open. These 5 communities have 100 to 1500 homes and have a much larger budget that we do with 56 homes. These communities pay for lifeguards and have the money to add a COVID person, they are doing this by cutting their hours and using the funds to pay for a COVID person. Even these communities are not happy with the new guidelines at the pool.
- We have also contacted other communities opening and not opening and they are cautiously opening but they admit this is costly and they are not sure they can consistently comply with the guidelines.
- We have contacted the state of Georgia and Gwinnett County and they have made it clear that the Governor has the authority to do this and hence the issuance of the Executive Order. The Governor may announce changes to the guidelines on June 12. The Dept. of Health indicated that most people are closing their pools temporarily. They also indicated that during their first inspection of the pool, if they determine that the guidelines are not being followed that they will issue written notice of non-compliance. On the second failure to comply, they will lock the pool with their locks – meaning we can’t even service and maintain the pool which will create an extensive cost to clean up later.
The Board wants to reiterate that the pool is temporarily closed until further notice. We are committed to continue serving as Board members of the Magnolia Walk Homeowner’s Association, represent the homeowners and make decisions on behalf of the HOA members. Reconsideration to open the pool is contingent upon the Board getting from the State and County authorities the information supporting the decision to open the pool, and for the HOA members to recognize the potential financial cost to meet the State requirements and liability associated with the decision to open the pool. The board is charged with maintaining all amenities, upkeep and the affairs of the association in Magnolia Walk while managing a tight budget with limited assistance. Our decision to temporarily close the pool was based on the facts we had, to comply with the State of Georgia Executive Orders, insure the financial stability of the HOA as well as the safety of our members and their families.
If you have questions, please contact a Board Member.
MWHOA Board of Directors