By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Big Wood Springs lake community in Winnsboro. (Photo Source: KLTV staff)
Here’s a report that illustrates special challenges faced by small Homeowners’ Associations.
Big Wood Springs, a small and modest Texas HOA in Winsboro, has seen more than its share of troubles. Earlier this year, homeowners discovered they were victims of embezzlement. Their HOA treasurer, Letha Anna Thomas, was arrested on charges of stealing funds from the Association’s account.
I wrote about the incident previously. You can read about it here.
Now the community’s bridge has been washed out — cutting off their main vehicular access to the community. But most of Big Wood Springs’ residents have limited incomes, and their HOA bank account is now practically empty.
Apparently, the HOA treasurer did not purchase insurance coverage, and most of the owners have been uninformed and uneducated about how to reduce financial risk, and how to finance needed repairs.
KLTV reports that the County won’t help the community, because the bridge failure occurred on private property. Incredibly, emergency agency officials don’t consider the bridge failure a matter of public interest, despite the fact that their vehicles cannot access homes in the HOA.
Additionally, the area that includes Big Wood Springs has not officially been declared a disaster area. That means the HOA cannot even get a FEMA loan.
What are these owners and residents supposed to do?
Community victims of alleged HOA theft suffer bridge washout during storms
Link to Video, KLTV