The more than 700 families who paid initiation fees to Short Pump Community Center prior to January 1, 2009 will not receive a refund of their initiation fees from the dissolved corporation per a vote of the board of directors on April 22. The move is just the latest in a months long battle between […]
The more than 700 families who paid initiation fees to Short Pump Community Center prior to January 1, 2009 will not receive a refund of their initiation fees from the dissolved corporation per a vote of the board of directors on April 22. The move is just the latest in a months long battle between the board and members.
The corporation’s 2008 federal tax return signed by Treasurer Norwood Nuckols documented a total of $353,636 paid in member equity or initiation fees and assessments. Members paid up to $470 each for initiation fees as well as occasional assessment fees for improvements to the community center such as the tennis courts.
This is a reversal of a policy previously established by the board of directors which considered initiation fees as debts that are to be refunded prior to the demise of the corporation. The decision is also contrary to a statement made by Don Fitzgerald, vice president of Short Pump Community Center, Inc., during testimony at a hearing in December 10, 2009 before the State Corporation Commission. Mr. Fitzgerald stated that there was a policy to “protect those initiation fees should there be dissolvement so that the members would get them back.”
Short Pump Community Center, Inc. received a $10,000 contribution from Ukrops Supermarkets and $3,000 from Bennett Funeral Homes to help found the community center according to corporate tax records signed by Mr. Nuckols in 2000, funding that was in addition to the initiation fees, annual dues and assessments paid by member families over the years.
In recent weeks the disaffected members were hopeful that a new round of negotiations between the parties would result in a settlement that would enable the community center to open in May. “This week we were disappointed that the other side rejected reasonable and fair terms proposed by a group of members in order to settle this matter,” said Pam Hervey, a member of the center. “At this point, our best hope is to press forward with our active case in Henrico County Circuit Court. We are now representing ourselves in the Henrico County Circuit Court case.”
On behalf of the members of the community center, on April 19, 2010, attorney Jim Wilson provided notice of an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court per the decision by the State Corporation Commission to authorize the dissolution of Short Pump Community Center in its final order to authorize the dissolution. On March 19, 2009, the State Corporation Commission stated that it does not have the authority to determine whether a conflict of interest exists regarding the board of directors vote to dissolve the corporation.
“I also anticipate that some legal action will be taken by members regarding the initiation fee refund policy,” Hervey said.
Since September 2009, members have fought to reverse the dissolution and have attempted to negotiate a fair resolution that would keep the pool open.