The lack of a Bombay Woods Maintenance Corporation continued to be a hot discussion topic at the Smyrna Town Council meeting Tuesday night.
Town lawyer Barrett Edwards started the discussion to give council members an update on where the town is at in the process of trying to help the residential development with their defunct HMA.
Edwards told council that rather than going to the Court of Chancery to get a receiver to take over the HMA, a simpler route would be to petition the court to hold an election for the Board of Directors. Once the board is elected, Edwards said the HMA can move forward.
He said it doesn't matter how many people vote in the election, as long as there's a quorum, the people can vote for the board.
"We already have the petition ready to be filed," Edwards said. "We just wanted to remind you that we've deviated from the original course."
Councilman Bob Johnson asked how much the process would cost the town, to which Edwards said as low as $3,000 to $4,000 or upwards of $5,000 to $6,000.
Edwards said the town would assess the residents in the development to recur the cost; the cost for the residents would range $20 to $40.
The update resulted in a few residents approaching council regarding the possible decision to petition the Court of Chancery.
Bombay Woods resident Anna Hanna asked council how they could decide to move forward with the election off of one resident's concern. Hanna was talking in reference to Bombay Woods resident Andrea Beck, who has approached council several times over the past few years for help with the HMA.
"Two years ago I requested a meeting with the mayor and never got a response," Hanna said.
Councilwoman Valerie White said she had been approached by a few people about the issue, but couldn't respond to Hanna's comments on the mayor not responding to her emails.
Town lawyer Terry Jaywork said that for years the council has been reluctant to get involved with helping developments with HOA issues; however, Beck was persistent that the council help the development. He said holding the election would be the development's chance to get their HMA back up and running.
Resident Wendy Bernard said that half of the residents in the development genuinely do want to pay their dues and take care of the development, but the other half of the residents don't want to do the same. She wanted to know what council would do when the development is in the same position a year from now when the HMA goes defunct again.
"Really what the town is doing right now is giving Bombay Woods another chance to get back up on their feet and to move forward," Edwards said. "If they don't take hold of that chance and it just goes belly up again, I'm not going to speak for council, but I think council would be more hesitant to get involved the second time."
Since council didn't have a problem with the change in course from the lawyers, Edwards said the lawyers would file the petition with the Court of Chancery for the election in a few days.
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