Reston Association considers $735 assessment in third draft

The Reston Association could increase a yearly assessment fee from $718 by 2.3% or $17.

The increase is in a third budget draft that the association’s board of directors is considering amid a public hearing at 7 tonight. The board could approve the final budget and 2022 assessment at its Nov. 18 regular meeting next week.

The board has been working on the 2022-2023 budget and the association’s annual capital projects. Acting CEO Larry Butler has called for a 3% performance-based merit increase as well as raising salaries for dozens of workers based on a 2019 study to the bottom of their pay ranges. Most of those affected staff would make less than $60,000 with the changes. The third draft also calls for creating two new positions: a senior environmental position and a capital projects manager. The latest proposal also removes three new positions that were being considered.

Around two-thirds of the service organization’s operating costs are personnel, and Butler has suggested that merit increases, which were freezed this year, would help retain the organization staff consisting of around 100 full-timers. High-profile departures affecting its CEO and directors of information technology and human resources have occurred in recent months.

On top of those salary changes and staffing issues, a line item for assessment revenue contains some nuances. For 2021, RA’s 21,230 units is generating around $15.2 million. With a potential assessment fee of $735 and the association identifying 21,350 units for 2022, the yearly assessment revenue would generate just under $15.7 million. But instead of using that figure, budget drafts have listed over $17 million in assessment revenue for 2022.

RA staff said the upcoming budget proposes the use of operating surplus from 2020 and 2021 for the 2022 assessment as well as funds from canceled or reassigned capital projects.

“Fundamentally we are utilizing resources already received from the membership to keep the assessment lower,” RA staff told Reston Now.

The third draft also calls for pushing the Barton Hill tennis renovation and lighting project to 2023 but has planning/engineering money for the project in 2022. The Glade clay tennis renovation project was moved from 2023 to 2022.

Capital project costs also include $1.75 million for Lake Thoreau pool in 2022 and $1.3 million for Shadowood pool in 2023.

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