**This notice was mailed to all members on 4/25/2024 as required**

Greetings Neighbors!

This is the first official annual update from the Orange Commons Homeowners Association to all members. We will endeavor to keep this information concise. Should you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to email board@orangecommons.com and we will get back to you when we are able to do so. In brief, things are starting to smooth out and we have a bit of a footing underneath us now that we’re a full year into the process. The basics of inflows and outflows for the HOA are in place and we are starting to refine more and more of the organization’s needs.

Financially we are on track. At the end of 2023 (reflected on the financial statements) there were 12 homes unpaid. As of this letter, 2023’s assessments are now current with 106 of the 113 households. Since we have reached a full year not having heard from those 7 remaining members after numerous attempts to contact and invoices sent, they will now be referred to the HOA’s attorney at Bousquet Holstein PLLC. The HOA passes through the legal fees of these efforts and any costs the attorney bills related to each home to their individual amounts due and not to the other members.

With outflows we continue to see improvements. The budgets need to be built using information available at the time and to ensure expenditures are covered. However, this does not mean to spend every bit of the money if we can create additional savings along the way. We have been able to negotiate with many of the relevant vendors to drive costs lower than initially quoted amounts and create additional surpluses along the way. 2025’s budget will reflect these better prices we have obtained and will also reflect the existing surplus generated from savings on expenditures, as well as various late fees and transfer charges collected when homes are sold.

Enclosed are the financial statements for 2023. These statements are simple representations of the financial activity from last year. Remember that every single transaction the HOA is party to is entered into the ledger and is viewable publicly via the resources page on the website. We collected more than we spent in 2023. This was expected for several reasons. First, we began to fund the reserve savings account. Target reserve set by the board is $16,000 which represents approximately one year of HOA expenses. These reserves are not dedicated to any specific project and are only set aside as a responsible measure for situations that may arise. Second, we were able to negotiate some of our costs down further than expected. Third, we collected late fees we did not budget for. Finally, we pay some costs monthly instead of annually resulting in those funds rolling into the next year.

Outside of the basic cash flows of the HOA we have a couple items of note to share:

The attorney is looking into our options to pursue the developer for their failures along the way. It appears that the developer strategically waited until after the statute of limitations regarding their failure to collect the initial funds had elapsed before turning over the HOA to the members. Josh Werbeck and Tom Taylor at BH Law are working on our options here but the actual financial damages suffered (the late fees we paid to bring the taxes current) are quite low. The funds they failed to collect from members between 2015 and 2022 for initial purchases and transfer fees would have come from the membership. The attorney general was provided with this information in the past but we may consider having BH Law contact the AG on our behalf pending the costs involved. With the information we have currently it may very well be the case that this matter is not worth the time and money to pursue.

Our neighbors at 4470 Route 31 have built a driveway on top of land that the HOA owns. This has been discussed many times in HOA updates and meetings. Our attorney advised us that we must not ignore this issue and the board is bound to protect the interests of the organization here. We have obtained a survey of the relevant parcel and are currently working with the attorney on a license arrangement, renewable annually at our discretion, wherein the homeowner at 4470 Route 31 would pay a fee to the HOA each year to continue enjoying the use of that land – this fee would offset a small portion of annual assessments to members. The board could seek to end that arrangement as needed in the future.

There is an expansion in the works for our neighbors at the Trinity Assembly of God. When we were made aware of surveys being conducted on HOA and member property near the western intersection of Route 31 and McNamara we reached out to the church and they were very responsive. They did not have much to share at the time but offered to keep us in the loop as things developed. We will share anything we receive from them with all of you.

One new visual item you will see happen this year is some upkeep around the two primary water retention basins (ponds) in the neighborhood (one at the east intersection of Route 31 and McNamara Dr, the other surrounded by homes on the southern side of the development). As recommended by the engineer at Plumley who originally designed these systems we will be improving the ingress and egress pathways by clearing overgrowth and smoothing out the relevant sections.

It has come to our attention that one individual has been building a false narrative of the actions of the board. Please be assured that we endeavor to be transparent and will continue to do so. Constructive feedback is always welcome.  Whether feedback or suggestions are or are not implemented, be assured that we do review, discuss and, in some cases, get the input of the HOA’s legal counsel before making that decision.  The majority of these decisions are discussed openly during board meetings for which we strongly encourage attendance as they are open to all households.

In closing, the HOA is in a great position currently. As we continue to move forward, we hope to continue to drive costs lower and are committed to remaining transparent. The meetings page on the website (orangecommons.com) contains information to join any of the quarterly board meetings if you wish to and we’re always available to contact. If there was one thing we ask of all of you it is to please vote when we send election cards out in late 2024. It would save us a good amount of postage cost, and more importantly many hours of our time, for you to help with that and respond.


The Orange Commons HOA Board of Directors

Enclosed: 2023 Income Statement and 2023 Balance Sheet

Orange Commons Homeowners Association
2023 Income Statement – 2023-12-31
Assessments Received (Budget $22,556.51)$20,161.62
Overpaid Assessments$20.38
Late Fees Received$185.00
Bank Interest$0.73
Total Income$20,367.73
Accounting Services$298.70
Bank Fees$19.56
Legal Fees$0.00
Web Resources$103.68
Printing Costs$110.14
Postage Costs$421.20
PO Box Cost$226.00
Office Supplies Cost$175.64
Insurance (Liability, D&O, Bond)$1,116.64
Property Taxes$4,046.17
Property Upkeep & Landscaping$7,844.00
Total Expenses$14,361.73
Total Increase (Decrease)$6,006.00
Orange Commons Homeowners Association
2023 Balance Sheet – 2023-12-31
Empower FCU Checking$2,004.27
Empower FCU Savings (Reserves)$4,001.73
Accounts Receivable – Assessments$2,395.44
Accounts Receivable – Late Fees$1,320.00
Overpaid Assessments$20.38
Total Member’s Equity$9,701.06