Chandler HOA community keeps increasing fees, where is the money going?

CHANDLER, AZ - Residents in one Chandler community want to know where their money is going and they're voicing their concerns at an HOA board meeting being held Tuesday night at a Chandler library.

"The percentage that they're hiking it, I think it's completely unreasonable," Janice McClellan said. 

As a resident of the Sunstone community in Chandler since 2001, she says she has seen her rates increase since December 2015 by nearly $45.

"And now, they've put us on notice that beginning September 1st it's going to be $220 a month," she said.

That's $75 dollars in two years. She and other residents want to know where their money is going? The HOA president, Toby Metzger, says it's going to help pay a loan that was used to help improve the community.

"We just got all this remodeling done, they're doing the grass, and rocks and plants and all this stuff, it's a lot nicer," said Kaylyn Poston.

Poston has lived in the community for 15 years and she says the new HOA has been a welcome addition from previous administrations.

"For years growing up it was just not very clean, we weren't really taken care of, the HOA didn't care," she said.

Metzger says the new board took over a "train wreck" with no money two years ago. They've been working to improve the area and make the community more pleasant, he says, by repainting all 116 units, fixing the pool, and the doing more landscaping.

The president says the cost of inflation and of labor is also a reason for the increase. He says he understands residents' frustrations, some of who are on fixed incomes, but wants them to know these decision weren't made lightly and given careful consideration and thought.

McClellan also takes issue with a letter sent out to residents by the board about a $40,000 deficit. The letter states the increase is also to help keep the deficit from increasing while helping maintain and continue standard services, like maintenance and pool cleanup. Otherwise they risk being able to pay monthly service. 

But, McClellan and a few others say some of the improvements were unnecessary and the board should have managed the improvements differently.

"If you don't have the money you can't afford it," she said.

They also say a lot of the work on the property is still not finished. Poston acknowledges that there's still more work to be finished but she likes the improvements that have been made over the last few months. Poston says she understands the reason the fees have increased for, but will have a problem if they continue to rise. 

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