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POA board approves budget for 2023

by Lynn Atkins | November 23, 2022 at 4:55 a.m.

The Bella Vista Property Owners Association held its regular monthly meeting one week early in November because of the Thanksgiving holiday. The meeting took place on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Country Club.

Because it was early there was no October financial report available, but officials said when the report is completed it will be posted on the POA website: bellavistapoa.com/.

The board voted on the 2023 budget, which was discussed at length at a public meeting earlier in the month. Chief Operating Officer Tom Judson reminded the audience that the 2023 budget and accompanying documents are posted on the web site: https://bellavistapoa.com/governance/financials/.

While the budget wasn't discussed in detail, Judson offered a few important facts to consider about the 2023 budget (without the water department), which predicts POA total income of $24,489,411 and total operating expenses of $23,604,155.

First, he reminded the audience that 2022 included one non-recurring revenue number: the POA collected $926,000 for the sale of cell tower leases in January 2022. That's an important piece of information when comparing the two budgets.

Also, revenue from the sale of POA-owned lots will probably drop by $448,000 in 2023 because there just aren't many more lots left to sell.

"In some ways we're a victim of our own success," Judson said.

Comparing wages between 2022 and 2023 is difficult, he said, because it's been impossible to fill all the budgeted positions in recent months. To help solve that problem, wages went up in the last year. However, the 2023 budget reflects full employment so it appears to be even higher than the necessary adjustments due to wage increases.

There's also a positive factor. Thanks to an assessment increase that was approved by the membership and the conversion of recently sold lots that will become improved lots with a higher fee, assessment income is expected to increase by $554,000.

When discussing various departments, Judson noted that golf rounds are going up along with the use of some of the recreation amenities. He credits those increases to the restructured usage fees that went into effect in 2020.

There were several capitol projects that were budgeted in 2022 but, because of supply chain issues, they were not completed in 2022. The largest project is the renovation of Riordan Hall which began recently and will take at least one year.

Capitol projects in 2023 include new carpet for a well-used area in the Lakepoint Event Center; a new walk-in freezer for the BV Grill in the Country Club; a project to stabilize the pump station on the Country Club golf course and a new service road; some paving at the Highlands and Kingsdale golf course; replacements for rotary mowers and at least one truck; another pond for raising fish that will be stocked in Bella Vista lakes; one phase of a signage replacement project; and paving in Bella Vista Heights which is not part of the city of Bella Vista.

A separate budget for the water department was also approved. Although the POA owns the water department, separate budgets are maintained due to a legal decision made some years ago.

There were four policies on the agenda which were approved as a second reading. Two readings are required to change a policy. Each policy has been discussed at a Rules and Regulations Committee meeting and at work sessions, as well as last month's board meeting when the earlier first vote was taken.

The policies include: Policy 1.01 -- Establishing, Changing, or Rescinding Policies; Policy 1.03 -- Guidelines for Association Committees; Policy 1.03.1 -- Audit Committee; and Policy 1.03.2 -- Guidelines for Function of Election Committee. Last month Judson said that most of the changes were intended to clarify the policies. They can be found on the web site: bellavistapoa.com/governance/governing-documents/.

Print Headline: POA board approves budget for 2023

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