Check out this $2M view Lake Milton Boat Club not buoyed by soaring land value

By Peter H. Milliken


The private, gated, 6.6-acre Lake Milton Boat Club marina soared in value from $583,900 to just over $2 million in the newly released county real-estate reappraisal, and the club’s commodore is wondering why.

The boat club’s land value skyrocketed from $331,600 to just over $1.8 million, but its buildings depreciated from $252,300 to $187,300.

Kimberly Sefcik of Youngstown, commodore of the 61-year-old, 135-member boat club on Jersey Street, said she’s puzzled by the more than three-fold increase in the club’s total value and the more than five-fold land value increase as overall county-wide real-estate values have declined 4.2 percent.

“There hasn’t been any change in the property of the club and buildings,” Sefcik said. “There is not another privately-owned property to compare it to,” in the Lake Milton area, she said.

“We don’t have direct comparisons, but we have indirect comparisons,” in the field of residential real-estate sales around the lake, said Steve Raffa, an appraiser for Integrity Appraisal Services Inc. of Niles, which performed the reappraisal for the county.

“The Lake Milton Boat Club appears to be the most premiere property” on that lake, Raffa said.

According to appraisal industry standards, the value of the boat club, which has almost 1,600 feet of lake frontage, was based on its “highest and best use,” meaning its highest land value, which would be residential, explained Richard Barrett, another Integrity appraiser.

“They’re very modest buildings. They’re meant for utility and not luxury,” Sefcik said of the clubhouse and the bathhouse that accompanies a swim beach.

“It’s a very family-oriented, modest place that allows families to enjoy the summer months,” Sefcik said, adding that the club has some third-generation members.

Sefcik said the club’s officers and directors will discuss whether they’ll challenge the new tentative value at the county’s Board of Revision.

The club now pays $11,576 in annual real estate taxes.

The likely increase in real-estate taxes accompanying the revaluation “would require us to look at our finances as well as our members’ dues,” Sefcik said, declining to reveal the cost of annual membership dues.

The state also charges a $90 annual docking fee regardless of boat size, she said.

Boats docking at the club include houseboats, cabin cruisers, ski boats, sailboats, jet skis and canoes, Sefcik said.

“They are very secluded. They have a gate that goes across the street, and I’ve never been back there, never been invited,” said John Brallier, who lives on nearby Normandy Road.

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