PUNTA GORDA -- The owners of homes in
Emerald Pointe Community that burned down four months ago
are still paying HOA fees for those homes.
Although the insurance
company has paid the Condo Association $1.9 million. The
residents said they haven’t received any of the insurance
money but are still paying the HOA fees.
Not only are their homes a pile of ash but two months after
their homes burned down their HOA fees went up.
One man who lost his home in the fire and bought a new one.
He said he’s paying fees on both and he’s not happy about
All that’s left are shells of a series of homes that once
stood proud at Emerald Pointe in Punta Gorda.
Mitch Eby’s treasures
burned beyond recognition.
“Her jewelry or wedding rings, watches, my service revolvers
everything, it’s all gone,” Eby said.
What Mitch clings to is his neighbor’s kindness.
“During the fire, this lady comes up and I hardly knew her
and said, ‘we’re gonna be gone for two months, here’s my
key.’ The lady next door fed us for three weeks. Every other
night she’d bring food over,” Eby said.
Mitch decided right there and then that he didn’t want to
leave Emerald Pointe, so he bought a new home.
“I knew when I bought this place that I would have to pay
two HOA’s,” Eby said.
Mitch said paid close to $600 in condo fees when he lived in
Emerald Point the first time, now he’s paying $800.
Neil Purtell, the Condo Association President said, the
extra $200 goes to insurance.
“It costs more to repair things now, replacement value,
which is what we deal with, we don’t deal with market
value,” Purtell said.
Making matters worse is the fact that those who lost their
homes in the fire still must pay the HOA.
In other words, if those fire victims want to vote yes or no
on whether to rebuild they have to pay the price.
“We’re going by Florida law. We have no choice if I don’t do
that, then we got problem,” Purtell said.
Purtell said that’s the law and not his doing.
Mitch hopes to Condo Association doesn’t eat more of the
$1.9 million insurance payout.
“They already spent 100,000,” Eby said.
Purtell said it’s expenses involving the cleanup and
remediation of the problem.
The HOA also set aside another $200,000 for any additional
fees they might face.
The people who pay HOA fees for the townhomes will vote
Tuesday if they want to rebuild the homes lost in the fire.
But most of the fire victims don’t want this rebuilt, they
want the $225,000 payout in their pockets.
If members vote no Mitch will stop paying HOA fees on his
burned-down house when the association buys it.