Reston Association board OKs yearly fee increase with $1 million surplus to limit hike

Reston Association (file photo)

Reston Association members will see a 3% increase in annual assessment dues next year.

At a meeting on Thursday (Nov. 17), RA’s Board of Directors voted to increase member fees from $740 to $763 as part of its $20.7 million budget for 2023.

The board held off higher increases in the annual fee by buying it down with $1 million in cash surplus from last year.

An attempt by board member Glenn Small to use savings from not filling current vacant positions — roughly $781,000 — failed to gain clout with the board.

The move was suggested by RA’s fiscal committee in an effort to keep the assessment from growing at “too big of a percentage,” RA CEO Mac Cummins said.

Citing conversations with RA members, Small said he was concerned about fee increases over the last 15 years, including a 69% increase in fees from 2007 to this year. He compared the increase to a 44% hike in the number of full-time staff.

“We need to find a way to stabilize and reduce assessments,” he said.

But Cummins cautioned that failing to fill some positions could have a direct operational impact on the organization and members.

The long-term outlook of fee increases is unclear, particularly when the cash surplus was utilized this year, according to board members. Assessments are due on Jan 1.

Board member Bob Petrine said he was confident that the new CEO’s initiatives will provide long-term planning and direction.

“I think we will see a more robust process going forward,” Petrine said.

The budget doubles boat mooring fees for 2023. Fee increases are also proposed for non-resident memberships. For example, an all-access family pass for pools, tennis and pickleball may increase from $450 to $522.

The board also moved to remove $381,000 in funding for lighting improvements at Barton Hills Tennis Courts for this year. Instead, funds were shifted to next year to offset new projects like a refurbishment of the ballfields at Hunters Woods.

An additional $300,000 was allocated to another future pool of money for the renovation of the Barton Hill courts.

Cummins also added a line-item of $50,000 for organizational assessments and development.

The budget — 71% of which covers staffing and staff-related costs — also includes two new positions for a registrar and an administrative assistant for covenants.

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