Dues & User Fees
From: Sharon Villines (sharonvillinesprodigy.net)
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001 19:41:01 -0600 (MDT)
> 3) We're thinking that the costs shared equally will be for things
> that are available to everyone, even though some households may use things
> more or less that others. Have any of you ever had squabbling about this?

We are new and our first year budget is very tight. There is a move to
charge fees for discreet areas like the laundry room and the guest rooms. We
went around and around on this for the DSL lines and will shortly go round
on it again for email.

So far my argument has held up that even if you don't use a particular
resource, you still benefit from it being available to others. If only the
people who use the web a lot pay for the DSL, that means when they do
research on the web for their team, they are supporting the community not
only in terms of time but financially.

it is to my advantage to have the guest rooms because it is nice to have
people's families visiting, even if mine doesn't. If the guestrooms were
like public hotel rooms, with no interaction from guests, that would be a
different story.

And, of course, all those resources raise property values.

We do agree that equipment and consumables be purchased by the users -- like
equipment for the exercise room or tools for the workshop. The guest room is
just thrown in with the commonhouse with users cleaning. But the users also
are more likely to donate stuff because their family will be staying there.

Nickel and diming everyone takes a lot of time and energy, and in the end
you probably won't keep it up. Too much decision making, fine lines, and
record keeping.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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