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Local HOA's to be asked to Fund Turtle Express

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by John G, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    Page A3 of the Walton Sun has an interesting "Advertorial" (Paid for by the business, so there's a slant), on the Sunshine Turtle Express.

    While I applaud the Express Owners for trying to do Something, Anything, to help with the crazy amount of traffic and parking, I have to wonder what the road this "HOA: Help Our Avenues!" is going to look like.

    First, one must realize a simple fact; a Homeowners Association and a Condo Association are two very different things. The term "HOA" can be confused and is often painted with a broad brush stroke. Many of the "associations" along the 30a routes are condo, while many of the areas serviced are resorts like Watercolor.

    The Shuttle Co., is looking for these "HOA's" to help with the cost of additional Turtle Express Shuttles. Regardless of the effectiveness, or the perceived effectiveness of this initial shuttle (2014), how do you go to a property owner (part of the HOA) and tell them that their HOA / Condo Dues will go up to support a transportation system?

    What if I don't rent my unit?

    Why should an HOA / Condo Assoc., pay a penny for this? If the shuttle was so successful, then I'd go buy more (or lease) vehicles and charge a bit more to cover my costs. Is this shuttle Free or is there a cost? Now I'm confused.

    The Advertorial also gives some interesting numbers that I'm not so sure of. The service provided gave rides to (according to the Advertorial) 4500 passengers. Hey, that's great, less congestion, less drunks, etc. But how does that mean "2250 cars off 30A"?

    The math would suggest two people per vehicle.

    Four people in one car would then translate to about 1125 cars off of 30a. When you consider a large SUV, numbers are around 750 cars off 30a (six in an SUV).

    So, the bang for the buck is up for debate as is the "4500 passengers" as noted in the Advertorial.

    The Advertorial also states that "We have the best beaches, the bestwater, and now we have another tourist attraction: free Transportation,"

    Yet the fee for the HOA's targeted is "$1 dollar a day". Far from free. Nothing is Free, except the Walton Sun.

    IMO, Parking is the problem of the local business that failed to plan in advance for growth. The cost of the shuttle should be absorbed by the owner of the shuttle and they sould profit $$$ or the local business person should pay for it (as some have done and kudos to them).
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  2. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    My wife and 3 grandkids rode it once from BMB (@Tavern) to seaside for kicks. They rode all alone both ways in July afternoon midweek. We where going to take 8 one night to seaside for dinner, but it was hard to find out the time it might arrive and return. Great idea and will probably be really good when expanded. You need multiple trolleys running like every 30 minutes to succeed. People want wait on vacation for something that may just show up....
     
  3. Will B

    Will B Moderator

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    My guess is that the voting members of the HOA's would have to vote to approve the use of the fees since it will probably translate into a dues increase.

    Don't hold your breath...
     
  4. Leader of the Banned

    Leader of the Banned Beach Fanatic

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    No way I want to help fund this through the hoa. Eff that crap.
     
  5. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    We don't rent our home. We have started cooking at home more often to avoid traffic and crowds. I am not willing to pay for the transportation of renters. The shuttle should charge those who use it. And I would be willing to pay per trip for the shuttle in the busy season to avoid spending so much time looking for a parking spot. Sometimes we drive to Seaside and go back home because we can't find a parking spot. If we haven't planned a dinner at home, we go to Bruno's (which is a very good option).
     
  6. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

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    It amazes me that the Inlet Beach/Rosemary Beach area has become such a hot spot. 30 years ago families used to come to the beach for the beach. Now it appears that snobbery and elitism is the order of the day, at least in South Walton County.
     
  7. chicagosanfran

    chicagosanfran Beach Comber

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    So I should fund the T Express to help business and tourists? Ya i dont think so, what happened to the idea that this T express would be funded by the local business entities? What a bunch of manure, we have a bike path, how about riding on that instead of me paying to carry tourists to the business entities, or better yet, let the local business community pay for it like they said they would.
     
  8. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

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    Sounds like a great idea to me. We sold our place in Seagrove Beach last year. The next step is selling my house north of the bay. My next home will be in a place where there's no HOA so I won't be affected.
     
  9. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    At least someone around here is trying to do something positive instead of incessantly griping and offering no solutions. If you and your HOA will not support it, the t express won't stop at your neighborhood. So what do you have to complain about other than the prospect of progress?
     
  10. 30aconcerned

    30aconcerned Beach Lover

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    So are you going to pay so that it will stop at your house? The businesses benefit from this so why should they object for paying for it? Most HOA assessments are excessive as they are. Certainly do not need an increase for this.
     
  11. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    My point is that each HOA can decide for itself. No one seems to think the T express is a bad idea, it is a debate over how to pay. Personally I think the TDC should kick in some funds.

    Businesses are not objecting. This is an effort to VOLUNTARILY expand contributions. No one is requiring it or holding a proverbial gun to your head.

    If you are worried your association would vote yes. Lobby them. If you lose, move
     
  12. 30aconcerned

    30aconcerned Beach Lover

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    It's not your place to tell anyone to move or not. Or does being a "Parent" give you that right. Keep your advice for your children.
     
  13. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

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    They need to hit up Hammock Bay HOA. It's a vehicle for some of Jay Odom's political contributions, like some of his others. I'm sure the homeowners themselves would have no voice.
     
  14. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    The point again is that T Express request is optional for your HOA or condo association just like it is for businesses. It may be the right thing for some and not others. I assume this would (or would not) be reviewed as part of each association's yearly budget process. Seems to me this is free market principles and democracy at its best. My words about moving were ill-chosen. I should have written that if any of us are unhappy with the decisions our own HOAs make, we have options to lobby the homeowners, vote out the board of directors or any number of other options.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2014
  15. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    Here is one board member who will not support this request and I don't believe our HOA will either. The businesses profit from the use of the T express. They should be the ones who support it. The transportation during tourist season is a good idea, though.
     
  16. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    If my math is correct the average riders per day is 38 people. They ran for 120 days and carried less than 4600 people. It would be interesting to see the cost per "passenger".
     
  17. Scooter

    Scooter Beach Fanatic

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    Thank Atlanta for that!:angry:
     
  18. tsutcli

    tsutcli Beach Fanatic

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    Every time we saw the shuttle all through the season never saw more than one or two on board. Suspect 4500 riders is a bogus number and, as pointed out by others, even if true represents a low utilization rate. I predict that, like many programs pushed by gov't, this will eventually be taxpayer funded as it will be nonsustaining on the revenues generated from businesses. As the costs of supporting go up supporters will drop away = gov't intervention. I'm sure our HOA would not participate.
     
  19. carson

    carson Beach Fanatic

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    It should be business supported only. Use it for their employees, make Seaside and Watercolor kick in a chunk to park their employees off site. More parking, more dollars. I damn sure wouldnt pay for it, but have people pay a buck or two if they use the service. Common sense?
     
  20. jhanes

    jhanes Beach Lover

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    If the target audience for users of the shuttle is tourists, then it should be paid for by the bed tax!
     

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