How is the island run? What are the dues?
The Dewees Island Property Owners Association (POA); is governed by an elected board of nine volunteer directors who serve in 3 year terms. Meetings are open to the community and held every other month on the island. Dues and Capital Reserves are assessed annually with the fiscal year beginning in October. Our community wide annual meeting for elections is held in March each year, with annual festivities for owners. All of the island’s incredible infrastructure is supported by POA dues; our docks and roads, our pool and tennis courts and beach access paths, our nature center and fire station, and our hourly ferry. Per our covenants, the cost of operating the island is supported equally by the 150 lot units. The Dewees Island HOA fees include POA dues, capital reserves, and the Dewees Utility Corporation. POA dues for the 2018 fiscal year are $9641.00. The operating budget covers much of the ferry operating budget, insurance, road and dock maintenance, amenities, salaries for island staff, legal expenses, and emergency services. In addition, the 2017 Capitol Reserves requirement is $2450.00. This provides for planned capital expenses, and capital improvements, like the new ferry. Our major purchases are planned and funded through adequate reserves.
In 2018, an additional reserve assessment of $1700 will be assessed to cover damages to the roads and the Lake Timicau restoration project after Hurricane Irma. Although the call per owner might have been much higher, our partner organizations like the Dewees Island Conservancy and Ducks Unlimited helped us reduce the total amount due.
Who determines the budget?
The budget committee is a group of dedicated volunteers and staff members. The budget committee is a group of dedicated volunteers and staff members. The staff proposes the budget, and it is reviewed and edited at the budget committee level before being sent to the POA Board. They meet 4 times in June and July, putting approximately 100 volunteer hours of work time in addition to the staff time. Meetings are open and community members are invited to participate. The 2018 annual budget was $1,834,867.00.
Dewees Island HOA fees for 2019 have been approved at $9,880, $419 more than FY2018. The increase reflects rising fuel costs.
Is there a cap on the annual increase?
Yes, there is a hard maximum limit for each year on the Dewees Island HOA fees of no more than 5% or the consumer price index, whichever is higher. Even if the budget committee of the board does not increase to the maximum in a given year, the following year the maximum cap increases to the potential. The board and budget committee are constantly working to keep costs manageable for the least possible increase. In 2018, the actual increase per lot was $688 per lot for a total of $8451, significantly below the theoretical cap.
What does the budget cover?
Most of the costs of running the island. For more information about the budget, click here.
What is the Dewees Utility Corporation?
The Dewees Utility Corporation is a separate entity. Each owner also pays part of the water utility on the island. We have a state-of-the-art water treatment facility and wastewater treatment facility that provides potable water to our 150 homesites, and treats wastewater with an environmentally advanced system. In 2018, undeveloped lot owners paid $3203 per year in utility dues. Finished homes pay a base rate of $3803 per year, with additional charges for usage. Bills are sent in August with a due date in October, or in 9 monthly installments. Click here for more information about the DUC.
When are Dues billed?
Dues are billed in September and due on October 1. Owners pay all at once, or in 10 installments (interest charges apply.)
What about Supplemental Assessments?
The budget does not plan for delinquencies. If there are delinquent owners who create a budget shortfall, a supplemental assessment will be determined near the end of the fiscal year. In 2018, this number was $1860.00 per lot.
How is the Ferry paid for?
75% of the costs of the ferry are in the annual budget for all owners to contribute. 25% is paid out of usage fees. Owners pay $3 per ride for themselves and their guests and contractors to ride the ferry. Bills are sent at the end of each month. Owners have the option of purchasing an annual pass for each person to ride the ferry at a cost of $500.00 per rider. Beginning 10/1/2018, owners will pay $4 per ride.
Becoming a Dewees owner is a lifestyle decision.
Our open spaces– our private and pristine beaches, acres of marsh and maritime forest, and connected community– are our amenities. Where others may choose a country club or urban lifestyle, we choose the sounds of birdsong and the waves on the beach, clean waters and unspoiled shellfish beds, elbow room between neighbors and the ability to learn and laugh with our friends. Choose a fabulous community with a thriving social life founded on a commitment to enjoying the natural environment in perpetuity. It is a gift to the future.