The POA budget presentation took place online this year because of restrictions in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Usually, the entire board and all senior staff meet at Riordan Hall so the public can ask questions about the budget. Last week, the board was in the board room, senior staff members were participating via Zoom and the public was asked to wait in the lobby for the open forum portion of the meeting or email questions ahead of time. The meeting was streamed on Facebook. On Thursday, there were no questions from the public.
The board is expected to vote on the budget at this week's regular meeting, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m.
General manager Tom Judson used a PowerPoint presentation to go through the operating, capital and cash flow budgets proposed for 2021. The PowerPoint and the budget are posted on the POA website, bellavistapoa.com/governance/financials/.
Judson began with the commitments promised as part of last year's assessment increase. The 2020 plan promised that $6 of each assessment would be used to eliminate or reduce amenity fees, $2 would go to expenses associated with the Trafalgar Road fire -- that will go towards legal fees tied to the fire; $4 was dedicated to operational costs and capital improvements and $1 was promised for reserves.
The presentation includes numbers for 2019, actual, budget 2021, a column for trailing 12 months that includes September 2019 through August 2020, and the difference between the trailing 12 months and the 2021 budget.
While the presentation discussed summaries of various departments, the details are available online, he said.
Some of the departments have some capital projects in the budget, golf operations has two projects at Metfield -- parking lot paving and stabilizing the tee bank at hole 18.
Golf Maintenance capital projects include the purchase of root pruner, repairs to a pump house on Dogwood #18, a sand top dresser for the Country Club, improvements to the red tee boxes on Highland and a new mower for Berksdale.
Recreation will see increases in labor costs, including some due to an increase in the minimum wage. Revenue will probably increase at the marina and the campground, including the tiny cabin at Blowing Springs.
There are some capital projects in the recreation budget. A pickleball court is going in at Branchwood and some funds are needed out of the 2021 budget. The Kingsdale pool complex is in need of $132,000 worth of updating. Judson noted that it has been 25 years since the pool area was last updated. Also, just under $80,000 is expected to be spent at Blowing Springs to add more tiny cabins, and $12,000 will purchase a fish and ski boat for the marina.
The Food and Beverage Department was impacted by covid, especially the banquet operations. But revenue in late 2020 matched or exceeded the same period in 2019. Although the goal was for both Lakepoint and the Country Club to break even by the fourth year of operation, covid interfered. Judson proposed leaving 2020 and 2021 out of the four-year period so the restaurants will be able to meet that original goal.
There are two capital expenses proposed for the clubhouses. There are four heat pumps that need to be replaced at the Highlands Clubhouse, and the Country Club needs exterior paint.
In the maintenance and construction division, some equipment that is no longer needed will be sold, and the costs of labor will increase when vacancies are filled.
There are several capital expenses for the MAC division, including a replacement mower, a replacement pickup truck and a mini-X track hoe. Also, a 19-foot scissor lift will be purchased.
Lakes and Parks will also see an increase in labor costs, including the impact of a new minimum wage. Capital projects include two half-ton vehicles that will be bought used and a paving project for Brittany Dam.
Judson noted that Membership Services has been operating with "the doors closed" due to covid, but it's been successful. Through phone calls and the internet, all functions have been fulfilled and there are no plans to reopen. However, expenses went up due to an increase in supplies to process activity cards and postage.
The entire capital budget for the POA, without water, is $897,582. But that figure doesn't match the depreciation estimated for 2020 which is $1,800, Judson pointed out. Most experts agree that capital expenditures should match depreciation and while the POA hasn't met that goal, the number improved over 2019 and 2020 when capital expenditures only matched 23 percent of depreciation.
The 2021 budget includes $280,000 to replay the loan to the water department and $174,000 for reserves.
The water budget is separate from the POA and it contains capital projects, including $500,000 for water main replacement and $141,000 for work on the Avondale tower. Also, a new crew will be added and equipment costs for that include $105,000 for a dump truck, $105,000 for a backhoe and $70,000 for a service truck. Other equipment needed includes $35,000 for a PAX Power Vent for a Bethnal Tank, $19,580 for a Enigma Correlating Loggers (replacement), $105,000 for a single axle dump truck (replacement), $20,000 for a backhoe trailer (replacement), $70,000 for a service truck (replacement) and $92,000 for a 4x4 service truck (replacement).
The video presentation ended just before Judson asked for questions, but when contacted later, he said there were no questions. Only about two minutes are missing from the video, he said, due to technical problems.
When the budget is presented live, those meetings are not always well attended, Judson said. He believes the information on the website is enough to keep the membership well informed about POA finances.