Bella Vista POA Membership Fee Increase Could End In Recount

BELLA VISTA (KFSM) -- Early tabulations showed two proposed membership fee increases for the Bella Vista Property Owners' Association narrowly failed Tuesday (Nov. 1).

The Bella Vista POA was proposing a $9 monthly increase on improved properties, or properties with water meters, and a $3 monthly increase in fees for unimproved properties. Currently fees are $24 per month for improved properties and $16 per month for unimproved properties.

Both measures failed when they received less than 51 percent of the votes.

The measure for the $9 fee increase for homeowners failed with 50.86 percent of the votes. The $3 increase for property holders failed with 50.35 percent of the votes.

Tom Judson, Chief Operating Officer for the POA, said a counting error by the company that tabulated votes counted blank ballots as no votes.

"147 people abstained from question one. The tabulation company included those abstentions as a no vote," Judson said. "They should not have included those abstentions as a no vote."

Legal counsel for the POA will research the question to determine what will happen next, Judson said.

The board of directors will hold an open to the public emergency session Wednesday (Nov. 2) at 4:30 in Riordan Hall to discuss the results and if any action will be taken.

The funds generated by the fee increase would have gone toward improvements to amenities like golf courses, parks, trails and playgrounds, according to the POA. The POA has not increased its fee in 14 years.

Ballots to vote on the increases were mailed to POA members on Sept. 1 and they had to be returned by Nov. 1.