Covid-19 and the Laundry Facility

The board decided to close the laundry facility at White Mountain Vacation Village out of an abundance of caution. It was a difficult decision. I lived for a time on a sailboat and I understand what a convenience an on-site laundry can be.

Several factors were taken into consideration in this decision. First and foremost, the safety of the residents. It would be devastating to lose a resident to Covid-19 as a result of our inability to keep the premises free of the virus. Second, asking someone to clean the laundry constantly per the CDC guidelines would be placing them at risk. In addition, many, if not most of the required cleaning and sanitizing products have become difficult to purchase. Shamrock Foods who distributes to restaurants, hotels and grocery stores is even facing a shortage. Third, the liability of keeping the laundry open during this crisis. Everyone now knows that anyone who so desires can file a lawsuit against the Association. The cost to defend lawsuits is born by the homeowners not the Board. We made the decision to close the laundry to protect the lives and financial interests of the residents.

Laundromats were deemed an essential service by Governor Ducey. This means no one can force a laundromat to close if they choose to remain open and can operate under the CDC guidelines. It does not mean a laundromat is required to remain open. There are public laundromats open and operating in the area for residents to use. We understand these are less convenient. However, in order to keep the laundry open at The Village, the Association would be required to abide by the strict guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for cleaning, sanitation and social distancing – a seemingly challenging, if not impossible, task for owners to police for a private facility. If no other laundry facilities were available in the area, we would have considered the responsibility and risks for keeping The Village laundry open more seriously.

Residents have pleaded to leave the laundry open stating they clean up after themselves and leave everything safe for the next person. The Board cannot guarantee that everyone is doing this and doing it per CDC guidelines and therein lies the problem.

After much discussion, we are offering a proposal to open the laundry. This would involve a lot of work and planning on the part of anyone who volunteers to step up and take responsibility. One or more people would need to organize to make this happen.

The guidelines outlined by the CDC for cleaning, including the proper supplies, timelines and appropriate protective gear for volunteers must be followed. A written plan for social distancing would need to be put in place, including having an attendant on the premises at all times during operating hours to enforce that policy. People would need to sign up to do the cleaning and verify that they did so. This plan would need to be in writing, including, but not limited to, who is responsible for cleaning and how often, how to monitor for illness and what to do if someone ill enters the premises. It must be presented to the Board for approval along with the social distancing policy.

We would require waivers releasing the board, RSA, HOAMCO, and Developer from any responsibility for keeping this facility open.  Know that when you sign off on cleaning, disinfecting, and monitoring for social distancing and illness you are responsible for the health, wellbeing, and lives of anyone who enters the laundry facility.  If anyone is willing to volunteer, and after all policies are in place and supplies obtained, we will open the laundry for eight hours every day for the remainder of the crisis.  Someone will have to be onsite at all times during operating hours and will be required to sign in, sign out, and sign off on cleaning, disinfecting, social monitoring, illness monitoring, and guaranteeing the use of protective gear.  The group of volunteers would be responsible for obtaining all supplies and protective gear with the RSA reimbursing you for the expense.

This is an unexpected and unprecedented crisis.  It is too dangerous to be business as usual in the Village. People’s lives depend on making hard choices.

If you are interested, knowing and accepting the responsibility and risk involved, please submit your plan to Sherry Watson at HOAMCO. She will get it to the board for consideration.

11 thoughts on “Covid-19 and the Laundry Facility

  1. I am fortunate enough to have a washer and dryer in our park model. But, I have had to use the laundromats in Show Low and Pinetop. They are always crowded and not very clean. I believe the village laundromat is much safer. I don’t think anyone would have to dress in biohazard gear.

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  2. I’ve never commented on this blog, for obvious reasons . However, as I sit at home battling pneumonia and covid-19 this subject is extremely personal. The only thing Liz is guilty of is caring deeply for each and every homeowner, even for the ones that constantly attack her. This is not about what we believe to be true or what we believe needs to be done; it is about the facts. Everything listed in this Blog has to be adhered to and is non-negotiable, as the guidelines come from the CDC and is not based on our opinions, feelings or beliefs. I am at a complete loss of understanding regarding this subject. If I wasn’t so sick I would come and collect all your laundry, wash it, dry it and return it, just to keep all of you safe. However, right now I’m just fighting to keep myself alive. Liz, and the Board, are fighting to keep all of you alive, as over a thousand people are dying every day because of Covid-19.

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  3. I couldn’t agree with the above posts more.. it’s really a shame and disappointing that our association would have such little regard for the residents. There sure wasn’t any trouble with them getting behind raising our dues..which, in part, we pay for the facilities now closed.
    I will say one positive thing. I have talked to and emailed with Sherry Watson our HOA representative many times since the facilities were closed, she always listened, answered as best she can, and at times I could hear the concern in her voice the same as I had in mine. At least she has shown heart, this wasn’t her decision, the association hid behind their posts.

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  4. I although I understand the HOA’s position on this, I think they’re missing the big picture. By shutting down our laundry, that a few people use, they are forcing these people out into a public where they are more at risk of being exposed. This is particularly concerning because the majority of the residents in WMVV are 60 years or older which is the group of our population that the CDC deems the most at-risk. My 2 cents

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  5. So. Sherry is fighting Covid-19 and we are to go to the office and submit our plan to her. Even though the Governor of Arizona has issued a Stay-Home mandate.
    With all due respect, that puts her and us at risk again not to mention your seemingly disregard for your neighbors and government.

    Respectfully, Jeanne

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  6. The weight of our loss of our facilities is greater than any refund.

    Please reconsider opening the clubhouse or at least the laundry facility as soon as possible. For those of you who have facilities readily available you cannot possibly know inconvenience nor the hardship you have placed on us who do not have them.

    This note is not a gripe it is a plea.

    Jeanne

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  7. It’s been over a month since our Laundry facility was closed and recently both the Federal and Arizona State Governments have published timelines, plans, and guidelines to get started on reopening our economies.

    SO with that in mind, what is the plan and time frame to open OUR Laundry Facility?

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  8. If we can go out to restaurants, grocery shop and get our hair done then what is the delay in opening our laundromat

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  9. Liz, now that movie theaters, casinos, restaurants,mail salons, beauty salons, retail stores and Malls don’t you think it’s time to open up our laundromat. Give us a break!….

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  10. The ruling to keep the laundromat closed is ridiculous. Why can’t it be run like all the other establishments that are opening up with requiring social distancing? This is a major inconvenience for all of us. I’d like to see Liz live here and put up with this, out of sight out of mind I guess. There is never more than four people at a time the the laundry room anyway. Any idea when you will lift this ridiculous ruling? I dined out last night but can’t go down the street and use the laundromat in my community, insane!!

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