New Homeowner Accepts Important Challenge 

Submitted by Sharyl Mueller

Ona Alpert and Todd Josselyn are our newest neighbors at 55 South Slob. At the annual GAPOA meeting in January, Ona expressed her concern about the volume of trash in her front yard beach, “it’s kind of depressing and sad. But it’s a worldwide problem. It’s not unique to just us.”

As a young girl, Ona spent winters with her parents on St. Croix at Coakley Bay. She remembers the crystal clear blue water so naturally she introduced her husband, a Vermont native and contractor, to the island. He got hooked too and about a decade ago, the couple decided to buy a home here. “St. Croix has so much beauty. It’s special. It has a little of everything. And I like the people; they are warm, friendly and helpful.”

Ona was nominated for the job as Adjunct Beach Coordinator after she told homeowners her Christmas day story, “from my back porch, I could see big pieces of trash on the beach. When I got down there I saw pieces of fishing lines, plastic bottles and smaller trash.  Alone, I filled 5 big trash bags and 5-gallon buckets.”

Within three weeks, the beach trash returned; Fisherman’s Beach was the worst, says Ona. “I’d like to spark a little extra sense of responsibility in our community to say – I’m not gonna walk past that, I”m going to pick it up.”

Ona is coordinating the April 2nd cleanup, slated to begin at 8am. She’ll send out email reminders and confirm the meeting location. Ona, a warm, thoughtful and energetic homeowner, reminds us all, “Make things better, that’s our purpose in life.”

2015 PRESIDENT’S REPORT

GRAPETREE AREA PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC.

“GAPOA”

2015  PRESIDENT’S REPORT

I hope 2015 was a good year for all and this letter finds you in good health and good spirits. This year’s Annual Meeting is scheduled for January 16, 2016, 4 PM at the St Croix Yacht Club. Light food will be provided and a cash bar available prior to and during the meeting.

In my March 2015 Report I stated the affairs of the Association were being effectively managed by your Board and its financial position was improving. Today I am pleased to report that your Association is even stronger and is positioned well to execute our 2016 plans to improve the roadways, enhance our web site, increase our collection activity and to continue to advance our automated record retention plans. Our revenues are above budget by over $20,000 and our expenses are below budget by over $20,000, giving the Association a $40,000 cash surplus vs. budget as of November 2015. Revenue was over budget primarily due to the Board’s execution of a more aggressive collection plan and expenses were under budget due to reduced property taxes and lower brush cutting cost.

Our roadways held up nicely this year due in part to the lower rain fall, causing less erosion and less vegetation growth and also in part by the Board’s management of the roadway improvements over the past several years. New estate signage was added this year that should help emergency vehicles better find property locations. The Board request that all members that do not have their plot number posted on their home to please do so. More road paving is planned for 2016.

We had success in reducing our assessed values on our five tax bills for road and drainage plot that the Association owns, creating an annual tax savings of over $2100. The Association also received a refund on the over payment of 2013 taxes.

The execution of our 2015 collection plan resulted in exceeding goal by over $20,000. New liens were placed on twelve past-due members this year after all efforts to collect failed. Our goal is to exhaust all collection avenues prior to seeking legal action. We need better contact information on our past due members to help us resolve these issues.

The new Web Site was launched in May 2015. The new platform will allow the Board to better manage the content and to provide more useful information to our members. Please visit the Site for more information about GAPOA at www.gapoa.com. You can update your contact information on line including your address, email and phone number which will allow the Board to effectively communicate with you.

Enclosed in this Annual Meeting Announcement packet is the 2016 Meeting Agenda, 2015 Annual Meeting Minutes, 2016 proposed Board of Directors Slate, Invoice for the 2016 assessment, Proxy Form to be completed if you cannot attend the meeting naming any Member, Officer or Board Member to vote your proxy, and a RSVP form with a request to update your contact information. Please complete the required forms and return with your $300 annual assessment.

To be eligible to vote at the Annual Meeting members must be current on their 2015 assessments. For those members that are past due and would like to discuss resolution with me please call me at 860-326-9548.

We have a couple of Board slots open for 2016 and will be soliciting members at the annual meeting to join the Board.   We need your help and voice to continue the good work of the Association. Please consider volunteering. You will enjoy it and it takes little personal time.

Hope to see a big turnout for a fun evening at the Annual meeting.

Yours Truly,

James E Pedrick

President

Information you can use! Support a good cause and give gently used furniture and appliances a new life

THRIFT STORES

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Our community-supported thrift stores offer gently-used, recycled items at discounted prices. Sales from our stores help to keep our free programs operating and services available to those in need.

Closet To Closet, Shabby Chic Corner and The Home Store are all located at 15 Peter’s Rest. The stores are open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Phone: (340)773-2503.

Closet To Closet is our main store with clothing, toys, books and more on sale to the general public. Clothing and household items are provided free of charge to those in need through our Crisis Center. Viviana Cohen, the store’s manager, is assisted by a staff of dedicated volunteers. Closet To Closet is open Tuesday through Saturday.

Shabby Chic Corner, located inside Closet To Closet, is open Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Our “boutique” offers gently-used designer clothing and accessories at deeply discounted prices. Qiyamah Rahman is Shabby Chic Corner’s coordinator.

The Home Store has higher-end furnishings, appliances, dishes and artwork. Looking for furniture or home accessories for a new house or to jazz up the style factor in your home? Come on in! Realtors, we’ve got home goods for staging properties, too! The Home Store’s entrance is behind Closet To Closet, past the shoe repair store and around the corner.s We are open Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Pattie Nicastro is the manager of The Home Store.

Click here for a listing of special sale days in all our stores.

HELP US WITH YOUR DONATIONS

Doing some seasonal cleaning or downsizing? Your generosity helps to keep our stores open, with great bargains accessible to everyone in the community. Donate your gently-used items to our stores. We can arrange pick up for large pieces of furniture or appliances. Call us at(340)773-2503 for more information.

THANK YOU FOR CARING!