Local subdivision shows rebuilding comes at a price

Emily Allen, Multimedia Journalist /Target 13 Investigator , emily.allen@krdo.com
POSTED: 03:15 PM MDT May 22, 2013    UPDATED: 03:40 PM MDT May 22, 2013 
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Oklahoma homeowners devastated by Monday's tornado salvaged what's left of their homes Wednesday. It's the beginning of a long road to rebuild that's all-too-familiar for some Colorado Springs residents.

It's been almost one year since the Waldo Canyon Fire. Construction is still underway for homes wiped out by the fire. 

Homes in Parkside at Mountain Shadows subdivision are slowly taking shape on properties in the community. The fire wiped out 141 of its 178 homes.

New homes and heavy construction equipment comes at a price. Bigger homes have required the community's Homeowners Association, to move large drain pipes. Heavy machinery has wrecked curbs and damaged its sprinkler system.

The HOA is asking homeowners to approve a special assessment of $1,700 to cover costs to repair the sprinkler system, curbs and relocating drain pipes.

One board member who didn't want to be identified said the sprinkler system was outdated and the board was already considering replacing the old system. 

One resident said the board has done its due-diligence to use the most cost-effective companies to fix existing problems.

However, resident Terry Rector disagrees. His home was destroyed in the fire. He said the board hasn't been upfront about information behind projected costs to fix infrastructure problems.  He thinks the special assessment has become a divisive issue in the community.

"There is not enough information being provided and it seems as if they keep changing the rules," said Rector.

Carmen Wood will break ground of her new home shortly. She supports HOA's special assessment.

"We knew there was a monthly fee. We knew there was going to be rules of an HOA but we picked this. It was our choice to move here," said Wood.

"My guess is 90 percent of people who live in this neighborhood, all they have to do is take the bill to the insurance company and it will be paid."

Wood said organizations have already come forward to assist homeowners whose insurance won't cover the special assessment.

Residents will vote on the special assessment at a meeting June 12.