The Chautauqua Property Owners Association will roll out a new interface and operating system to allow two-way communication between the CPOA and its members early next year.
The platform — dubbed the “CPOA Platform” — is expected to be unveiled in January 2020, and be fully functional by next season. The CPOA has been working with a third-party developer on the project for about five months; however, the concept has been in the works for over a year, according to CPOA Member-at-Large Paul Ritacco.
“We reviewed multiple, different types of platforms, and we’ve come up with one that we believe will truly meet the needs of the time, as we bring our membership into it, in terms of being able to communicate well, efficiently and timely with our membership,” Ritacco said. “This platform will allow us not only to communicate to them, but allow them to communicate back to us.”
The platform — which will be a mobile-friendly website — will allow users to access exclusive resources, including an updated property owner directory, message boards, newsletters and important internal links. The message boards will be narrowed to specific interests, like supporters of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra or the School of Dance, or region-specific chats.
“We are trying to create an online community,” said CPOA Secretary Erica Higbie.
Higbie said the CPOA is in a stable financial situation to pursue the large-scale project. The association does not yet know if it will have to increase CPOA member dues, which are currently $20 annually.
“We’re trying to increase benefits to our members, and this is a platform that’s going to enable us to do that,” said Richard Parlato, chair of the CPOA subgroup, Property Owners Who Rent. “We think that the benefit package that we present eventually will offset any conversation around costs and cost increases.”
The third-party developer employed by the CPOA adheres to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which protects citizens’ data and privacy, meaning the CPOA Platform will be highly secure, according to Ritacco.
Ultimately, the purpose of the new platform is to consolidate information and provide ease of access to its users. Ritacco said that, aside from being dues-paying CPOA members, users will only need an email address to access the site.
“Technology today is being designed to be easier, so we’re trying to capitalize on that,” he said. “We’re trying to keep it very simple.”
The CPOA recently clarified tax revenue streams, as well, following confusion at a Porch Chat on Aug. 7. Chautauqua Institution does not receive any tax revenue from property owners’ county and town taxes, according to data from the Town of Chautauqua.
“A number of property owners are under the mistaken belief that the Institution is the recipient of a lot of real estate taxes, and thus do not understand why the gate passes are so expensive,” said CPOA President Paul Perry.
Based on a property assessed at $300,000, home owners pay $6,196.27 in annual taxes — $0 of that goes to the Institution.
“As you can see from the distribution of the real estate taxes paid, the Institution receives none of those taxes,” Perry said.
However, some of that $6,196.27 does go to Institution subsidiaries: about 0.68% per $1,000 assessed value goes to the Chautauqua Fire District; about 1.27% per $1,000 assessed value goes to Chautauqua Utility District, which supplies water, sewer and lighting to the Institution. About $300 — based on a $300,000 property — goes to the Town of Chautauqua.
The largest tax — 9.31%, or $2,793 — is distributed to local schools. Medicaid makes up about 4.2%, and the county tax accounts for nearly 3.60%. The community college received 0.62%. These numbers are based on the tax rates as of February 2019.