Reston Association’s Board of Directors has increased the annual member assessment by 7% as part of its $22.1 million budget for next year.
At a special meeting on Nov. 20, the board set the assessment at $817, up from $763 last year.
In a change from previous years, the fee includes recreational passes for members. Director Jennifer Jushchuk cast the lone dissenting vote against the proposed assessment.
The budget also includes increased lifeguard salaries and a 4% increase in boat mooring, garden plot rentals and other fees. The cost of non-member recreational passes was also bumped up by 35%.
“We heard consistently throughout the year that our members value our recreational amenities; however, things like pool availability and recreational fees were barriers to many of our families,” RA CEO Mac Cummins wrote in a statement. “We wanted to provide a budget that prioritizes what our members have told us they value most.”
At the meeting, board president John Farrell lamented that the fee is higher than necessary, because 3,000 residential units are “freeloading” off of RA by using its facilities without formally joining the association.
“This assessment is not as low as I’d like it to be, but I think it’s the lowest one that we can adopt with reasonable business judgment,” Farrell said. “The problem is this assessment is about $100 to 120 higher than it should be because we have 3,000 units that are freeloading.”
Member assessments, which are paid by all RA property owners, are due by Jan. 1. In a press release, RA notes that “the vast majority” of its revenue comes from the annual fees, paying for programs, facility maintenance and other operations.
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