Sweetwater Station Homeowners Association, Inc is a registered non-profit corporation in the state of Georgia. All owners of residential lots in the community are members of the HOA.
The HOA is governed by (in order of precedence):
Similar to most other corporations, the business activity is guided by a board of directors.
How is the board of directors selected?
Per the By-Laws of the HOA, there are 9 directors. The directors are elected by the members at the annual meeting in February each year. Directors serve 2-year terms. Those terms are staggered, with 5 elected in even-numbered years and 4 elected in odd-numbered years.
Who are the current board members and officers?
Kenneth Craven - President
Dianne Kessler - Vice-President
Jerome Pendergrass - Treasurer
Richard Kousgaard - Secretary
James Evans, III
How are the officers selected?
At the first board meeting after the annual meeting, the new group of directors determines who will hold which offices for the next year.
What does the board do?
Currently, the directors volunteer their time to manage the day-to-day business of the HOA in an effort to save money for the amenities project (see below). Directors answer inquiries from the members, deal with the vendors, manage the A/P and A/R and general accounting, and handle all requests for information from closing attorneys for new sales and transfers. Some directors also chair other committees such as welcome/social, architectural review, and covenants review. Most recently, a significant amount of time has been spent on the improvements and repairs and maintenance. This includes gathering bids and working with vendors to get the services needed by the HOA.
The board of directors meets monthly to consider all current business activity.
Are board members paid?
Per the By-Laws of the HOA, board members receive NO compensation. In fact, the By-Laws prohibit any expenditure or contract with ANY HOA member, or entity owned by any member.
Why don't we have anything?
Unfortunately, the original developer went out of business in 2010 before any amenities were constructed.
Is there a plan to do something?
Yes, there is! We have the architectural/engineering plans now. The plans are on display at 36 Club House Drive. We are now getting final pricing from the general contractor for the pool and clubhouse. At the same time, quotes have been requested from multiple commercial playground vendors.
What is going to be built?
We did an online survey of the members prior to the 2018 Annual Meeting. The top 3 items were the clubhouse, playground, and pool. We will start there and then look to other items in the future.
How much is this going to cost?
The rough estimate is that this is about a $1M project. This includes clubhouse, pool, playground, additional parking, drainage, and all other fees to develop an amenities area of about 1 acre. It could be more or less depending on a variety of factors. Some of that is within our control and some is not. Some choices are ours while other items are going to be required by commercial codes.
Why did it take so long?
For most of the time from 2010 until 2017, there was a management company involved. The fees to the management company kept the HOA from building anything and from building up any reserve funds. That situation ended in 2017 and nearly everything we have now has been accrued since.
When do we pay the annual dues?
Dues are assessed each year on April 1st and are due within 30 days. After 30 days, late fees and interest may apply.
How do we pay the dues?
Annual dues can be paid through an online portal, https://sweetwaterstationhoa.appfolio.com/connect.
In order for this to work, members MUST send their email address to the HOA at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can link the email address to the property address.
It is not possible to create an account in the portal without getting an invitation from the HOA first. Please make sure that the HOA has your current email address.
Where does the money go?
Annual dues pay for all HOA expenses such as landscaping, pond maintenance, general maintenance, office supplies, postage, etc. Everything left over goes into reserves to construct the amenities.
Why did the dues go up?
The plan adopted at the 2018 Annual Meeting estimated that the budget needed to build and maintain the amenities would require increases in the annual dues. Prior to 2018, there had never been an increase since the Association was founded in 2004. Expenses went up over 14 years while income stayed the same. Dues had to increase just to keep up with changes in expenses as well as to meet the demand for amenities.
The annual dues cannot be raised or lowered more than 20% from year to year without approval from 70% of the members. We all want the dues to be as low as possible. In 2018, the estimated target was around $600/year. With the new homes now being built, that target may change, but the construction costs have increased as well.
At the 2021 Annual Meeting, the membership elected to continue to pursue this plan until the amenities area is complete.
What can the HOA do about the streets, parking, and speeding?
Unfortunately, not much. The neighborhood is part of the City of Savannah. The HOA does not own the streets. We have no authority to do anything with the streets. At this time, we are dependent upon the City of Savannah. For these issues, please call the police or call 311 to report maintenance issues. At the same time, notify your neighbors and the board of directors. The more of us that call, the quicker these issues get addressed.
What about trash cans left on the street or sidewalks?
Trash and recycling also falls to the City of Savannah. The HOA has no rules regarding where the cans go, when they go out, or where they are placed. The City of Savannah does have rules regarding when those cans can be at the curb. If there is a problem, please report it to the City of Savannah by calling 311.