No propane discounts

By Marshall Smith
Staff Reporter

The Idyllwild Property Owners association is currently inactive and will cease to exist after March 15 unless someone steps forward to manage it.

In 2006, Trish Seaward took over the reins of IPOA so that members could get propane discounts from local propane suppliers. At that time, with propane prices high, suppliers were giving per-gallon discounts to member associations. “I volunteered so people could get a break on their propane,” said Seaward.

Members did receive propane discounts from most suppliers. Seaward gave local suppliers annual lists of IPOA dues-paying members. IPOA dues were $15, and with significant discounts per gallon, the $15 annual fee was a bargain. Said 10-year IPOA member Mike Brooks, “With the discount per gallon and the small membership fee, the discount was worth it.”

But with propane prices at historically low levels for the last several years, and with increased price competition among local suppliers driving prices down, member-association discounts became fewer, and from the suppliers’ standpoint, unnecessary.

According to Nancy Borchers of the Pine Cove Property Owners Association, when propane prices were higher, pushing $4 per gallon with some suppliers, PCPOA membership (at $10 per year) resulted in discounts of up to $2 a gallon, making association membership a great bargain. “But at this point, I don’t think there are discounts for association members,” she said.

Seaward said unless someone steps up to take over IPOA responsibility by March 15, the last remaining dollars in the association account will be donated to the Idyllwild Community Center. “Right now, the money is in a CD in the bank with the Community Center as the beneficiary,” said Seaward.

Seaward said all association-membership funds, since she took over in 2006, have been donated. “Funds went to local nonprofits, people with emergencies such as a house fires and other people who have just fallen through the cracks.” Seaward said the only record or receipts from individuals or groups who received IPOA donations are occasional thank-you notes.

Seaward estimated that IPOA membership rolls varied from highs of 600 to more recent levels of 300.