HISID to market backlog of lots

Saturday, March 3, 2012

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- The Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District (HISID) began its first steps Monday to market its foreclosed and quit-claimed lots by approving the establishment of a marketing committee, to be headed by Commissioner Linda Graves.

"We need to do more with marketing, and very quickly," she said to her fellow commissioners. She proposed a special committee, open to the public, to include "those who want to participate."

She wants the committee to draw on the work done in the last two years by a property owner's marketing group, headed by Vernon Anderson, as well as any other ideas people come up with.

Based on property owner Bob Anastasi's suggestion, Graves presented a draft letter to be enclosed with the assessment bills going out this week, offering free golf to any non-resident property owner who brings a guest with them to play. The guest would pay a guest fee.

After discussion, the letter was revised to limit the free golf to three times and approved to be sent out.

Nigel Hartey of the Holiday Island Ambassadors returned from last week's work session to give a more in-depth report on what her group is doing to market Holiday Island.

To general applause, she said all marketing efforts "won't matter if we can't resolve our differences." She asked commissioners to carefully consider the needs of Holiday Island in their decisions.

She said anyone is welcome to join the Ambassadors.

The board tabled indefinitely signing a contract with Total High Speed Internet after several commissioners and Public Works Director Kenny DeHart expressed reservations.

The plan was for the company to place an antenna on a water tower and replace some district radios with its own equipment to provide water and wastewater telemetry. It would maintain and service the equipment at no cost to the district in exchange for the right to sell high-speed internet service to residents. The draft contract is for three years, with one-year renewals.

Chairman Linda Griswold said the district's telemetry is currently backed up by generators, but this would not be the case with the Total High Speed's equipment.

Also, not enough information is available about how many residents would be able to use the service.

"I'm not comfortable until we do more research," she said. "There are too many unanswered questions."

DeHart said he would have no problem with the company paying a monthly fee to mount its equipment on the water towers, but "It's a bad idea to have another company come in and replace our equipment with theirs. ... We do not need to have anyone come in and mess with our telemetry."

In other business, the board:

* Approved 3-2, with Commissioners Griswold, Graves and Bruce Larson voting aye, and Ken Brown and Ken Ames voting nay, to send a letter to developer Tom Dees, acknowledging receipt of his letter terminating the marketing contract with the district.

* Approved unanimously a motion to seek an Attorney General's opinion about whether the developer is required to pay assessments on unimproved lots.

* Approved unanimously a motion to send the developer an assessment bill for all unimproved lots.

* Approved, on second reading, Reg. 33, Amendment #2 on the district manager's authority to accept donated items at a certain market value.

* Approved a motion to accept the annual Arbor Day proclamation.

* Heard Williams recap the financial report for 2011. The district ended up $474,734 behind, with 75 percent of it as uncollected assessments, the bulk of it from the Table Rock Landing timeshares and National Recreational Properties, Inc.,/Capital Source lots.

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