JACKSONVILLE, Fl -- The Fountain Gate Condominium community was built in the 1980s and now some of the buildings are in need of repair. The wood siding is rotting.
Many of the property owners are aware of the need, but there is growing outrage over a special assessment fee to meet that need.
"They feel like we're being railroaded in this because most of the homeowners are on a limited budget," said Jody Kilgore, "they're retired."
Kilgore owns a unit, she is also a director on the Homeowners Association Board. But Kilgore is against the current proposal to impose a fee on the owners for repair.
"I think we need to listen to the people's vote," she said.
She acknowledged the need for the repairs but believes the unit owners are being left out of the decision-making process.
"Whenever there's a material change, the community should provide 75% of the vote to say 'yes' or 'no,' but the board voted and not the community," said Kilgore.
The HOA is securing a loan for the $1.5 million project. To pay back the loan, it is imposing a special assessment, approximately $20 thousand per unit, to be paid monthly over seven years.
"It is still a seven-year contract for unit owners that are in their 70s and 80s on a fixed income," she said.
A recall of the current HOA board was filed with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Kilgore supports the recall. If it is successful, it would mean replacing the current board and the property management company.
"Then we can start over," she said.
Kilgore said right now she has more questions than answers, and there are other property owners who feel the same way.
"Everybody in this community is stressed over what's going on because we don't know where this is going," said Kilgore.
Attorney Chris Cobb represents the HOA and the condo management company.
"The unit owns voted down the materials and, in the absence of that the vote, is allowed at the board level," he said.
He said the board has a fiduciary responsibility to maintain the property.
"It is a challenge for the board," said Cobb. "The bottom line is it just has to get done. And we have followed state law and the governing documents."
If the residents effort to recall fail, the HOA plans to move forward with its assessment starting November 1st.