As President of the New Jersey Coalition of Lake Associations (NJCOLA), I am very disheartened to read the statement released by New Jersey District 24 representatives Senator Steve Oroho and Assembly Members Parker Space and Hal Wirths regarding alleged “tactics” taken by lake associations in regard to collections during the current COVID-19 pandemic. (Click here for original article)
Noticeably absent from the release was even one single example of a lake association that has taken an “overly aggressive approach” or that is “trying to intimidate owners with heavy-handed tactics,” as stated by Senator Oroho.
In fact, NJCOLA has heard from many of our members, sharing ways to provide relief and assistance to their members during these difficult times, including the extension of assessment due dates, expansion of payment plans, and the creation of hardship funds to assist those who are ill or have lost employment.
While their residents face medical and financial hardships, lake associations remain obligated to pay taxes, insurance, and other financial obligations, maintain lake water quality, address the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) crisis some lakes have experienced, and meet stringent regulatory obligations.
Lake Associations are being offered a few of the financial safety nets made available to large corporations and small businesses. In lieu of releasing inflammatory statements advancing the interests and concerns of a favored segment of their constituency, our legislators would be better served by open-mindedly and fairly considering legislation to assist the needs of lake communities in which many more of their constituents reside.
Ernest W. Hofer P.E.,
President New Jersey Coalition of Lake Associations
21 The Boardwalk
Sparta, NJ 07871