The acronym “CSL” is synonymous in the minds of the people of Jennings County with Country Squire Lakes, but to Mike Miller, CSL means a whole lot more. To him, it stands for “clean, safe living.”
Miller is a lifelong North Vernon resident and, for the last six years he has been the court appointed receiver for CSL, acting as a neutral third-party custodian of the property after years of mismanagement of the local residential community led to bankruptcy and a lack of public safety.
Once Miller took over management of CSL, his top three priorities were debt, clean up and safety.
CSL was $550,000 in debt for the note on a loan from a local bank. To remedy this, Miller began taking property owners to court. Either the owners settled their bill in court or their property was put up for auction. If no one bid on the property, it’s ultimately returned to the management of CSL administrators.
This course of action has made this private homeowner association debt free. Miller encourages any property owners in CSL with back payments to come forward and settle your dues before management files a lien with the court system.
Miller and his consultant Debbie Brown have implemented all new accounting procedures and accounting software so that management of the business can be done in house. At the same time, the services of Blue & Company from Columbus were retained. They now offer online and credit card payment, making it easier for property owners to pay their annual dues of $325.
The annual fee and the collection of back payments is how CSL develops revenue. Miller has put that money towards tearing down dilapidated homes, maintaining the lake and fixing the 34 miles of roadways within the community.
Miller and his team, with assistance from Marie Shepherd and Jennings County Area Planning, have initiated the tear down of over 300 dilapidated mobile homes in an effort to clean up the community but also making them suitable for buyers.
His final goal, to accomplish the “safe” in CSL’s “clean, safe living,” Miller has started collaborating with the Jennings County Sheriff’s Office. They are working on a master plan to make CSL a safe living environment and one of their key elements is the new Panther Patrol community watch program.
Sheriff Kenny Freeman will be hosting a Panther Patrol Q&A at the CSL Clubhouse on Friday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. for CSL residents. CSL community members are encouraged to attend if they have any questions on how to be safe community activists or would like to receive tips on how to best work with county deputies to garner quicker and more efficient results regarding legal matters.