RA: Monday is First Public Meeting for 2017 Budget, Member Assessments

Reston AssociationMonday marks the first of two public hearings by the Reston Association on the 2017 budget and assessment rate. The RA Board is proposing assessments of $698 per member household, which would be an increase of $41 above this year’s rate.

The second meeting will take place on Nov. 17, and the board is expected to set the 2017 budget and member assessment rate that night.

Capital improvements have been a major budget issue for the association recently.

A handful of residents spoke out at the Oct. 19 RA meeting about their dissatisfaction with how the board has managed funds in the Reserve, Repair and Replacement account, used for capital improvements. The board reported that night that the account has more than $6 million in it, yet many projects around the neighborhood have gone uncompleted.

For example, recent renovations of the Tetra building ran more than $430,000 over budget, bringing the final total to roughly three times what the RA had expected. Because of that overrun, several things — including the proposed rebuilding of the Pony Barn picnic pavilion, staff raises and additional hires — were put on hold.

One proposed solution to these problems is the creation of a new Capital Department within the RA. The board said it would hire a full-time director for the new office, as well as reassign two RA employees to work there. The Capital Department  would help ensure projects get completed in a timely manner, on budget, according to the RA.

In addition to the hiring of a Capital Department director –a position which Board members said would carry an annual salary of $84,000 — the RA said other staffing needs for 2017 include a land use assistant (with a $98,000 salary); a general ledger accountant (with a $82,000 salary); the promotion of someone to capital projects administration coordinator (a $36,000 pay increase); and the hiring of many seasonal employees ($181,000 in salaries).

The board also hopes to give current employees a total of $233,000 in merit raises.

Monday’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

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