Reston Association North Point Director Dannielle LaRosa is suggesting the Board of Directors to take a look at an operating fund surplus to see if it can be used to offset a member assessment increase for 2016 and 2017.
Member assessments for 2015 were $642. The board is currently holding a series of meetings to determine budget priorities for 2016 and 2017. The final budget will be voted on by the board — and the annual assessment amount set — in November.
According to the first draft of the biennial budget, the board is looking at a $675 assessment (a 5-percent increase) for 2016 and a $692 amount (3 percent over 2016) for 2017.
LaRosa made a presentation to the board on at its budget planning session on Thursday that looked at using available cash to possibly offset the rise in assessments.
LaRosa, the board’s treasurer, said she worked the numbers to “see if RA can limit our assessment increase.” She said she is looking only at operating cash flow, and not money already earmarked for various projects.
La Rosa pointed out that the cash balance in the associations’s operating fund was $2.9 million in 2010 and grew to $5.7 million at the end 0f 2014. The reserve balance was about $4 million the last several years, then shot up to $5.2 million in 2014.
“The cash available is about $2-3 million each year for the last few years,” said LaRosa. “If you took that money away, nothing is really going to change within the organization. But you can’t take the balance down to zero. That is kind of like flying without a safety net.”
RA CEO Cate Fulkerson says the increase in funds in the last few years are due to board resolutions that said there needed to be more money put in reserve and operating funds.
“We didn’t spend all we said we would, and we put more in,” said Fulkerson “We didn’t complete some of the work.”
LaRosa estimates that at the end of 2015, there will be $1.4 million available that could be used to offset a rise in assessments.
“Right now, as of today, the total cash we have is $13 million,” she said. “$6.2 million is for reserves and we can’t touch it. $4.4 million leftover estimate. That leaves us with with $2.5 million roughly in our accounts. $1.4 million has not been earmarked for use.”
“We still need to be very prudent. …. let’s look at how much assessment will go up; let’s look at how we can offset that.”
The board directed the fiscal committee to review LaRosa’s findings and report back by the Oct. 22 board of director’s meeting.
To see LaRosa’s full presentation, watch the budget session on You Tube. The presentation begins at the 1:50 mark.