By Shaun Nordlie
General Manager, ACLPOA
The 2018 budget season is finished, and the 2019 proposed budget is included in this month’s Apple Core. The big question every year is whether the annual assessments are going up the next year. The answer, for the first time in six years, is yes. The proposed increase in the annual assessments is $127.50, making the dues $977.50. So, why the increase in assessments, and for what is the additional money being used?
The dues break down into the following assessments –
Operating Account: $596.94
Capital Account: $82.75
R&R Account: $297.81
The Operating Budget increased about 6 percent from 2018. Some of the increases in Operating include the proposed increase in water rates from USI, a new contract for trash removal and payroll. In 2018, we added a Natural Resource Manager position and in 2019 we plan to bring our accounting in-house. These two salaries are offset, partially, with the money we paid third parties for these services. The benefit to the Association to bring these positions in-house is that we will have a staff member concentrating on these efforts 40 hours per week, rather than one day per month, or when necessary.
The R&R (Replacement and Renovation) account is used to fund our Reserve Study, which is our road-map for when items need to be replaced, or when facilities need to be renovated. The Reserve Study is a living document, so it is updated often. For instance, if the Reserve Study shows that we need to replace a truck in 2019, but the Manager of Building and Grounds thinks that the truck could last another year, we adjust the Reserve Study to reflect this. It also works the other way; if a freezer is not scheduled to be replaced until 2020, but is starting to need maintenance work, we will move the freezer up in the schedule to be replaced in 2019. For the 2019 budget, we are funding the R&R account $800,000. The R&R budget for 2019 is $516,400 in expenditures. The difference is making up for costs that the reserve study shows in the upcoming years. So, in 2020 when the Reserve Study shows higher expenses for R&R, we are starting to save now for those expenses.
The Capital account is what we use for paying off capital, or large, long-term projects. It was used for the pool loan. In 2018 we finished paying for the pool. In 2019 we are putting money in the capital account to save for our next capital project. What is that project? It could be CAMP, the dam spillway, land acquisition, and/or increased amenities. The Strategic/Long Range Planning Committee is working on a 10-year plan for the future of Apple Canyon Lake. One comment I have heard from many owners in the past six months is that we should be saving some money before starting a new project. This is the start of our savings.
I hope this helps explain the 2019 budget and the increase in dues. I understand that no one wants a dues increase, but I feel that the Budget Committee and Board of Directors is putting Apple Canyon Lake in good shape for the future with the ground work of this budget.
I have also compiled a five-year history of the assessments, so you understand how the annual assessment breaks down into each fund.
History of annual assessment funds –
If you have any questions regarding the budget please contact me, I would be more than happy to discuss the budget and explain each fund for you.