President Report – November 2018
The days are shorter, the nights are colder and the 2019 Budget is brewing. Sorry, but as I write this, our household is in the middle of Halloween preparation and that sentence is a little influenced by that.
Speaking of Halloween……it will have passed by the time you read this and we need to thank Mary Beth Brown for stepping up to lead the party (or trick-or-treat pre-function) that is held annually up at the Clubhouse. As always there are many volunteers that help pull this off and make this a great event for the kiddos before they head-off to get their candy stash from their Blue Ridge neighbors.
We are putting the final touches on the 2019 Budget for approval at the November 12 Board Meeting. This year’s budget is being structured to handle some increased general and pool expenses as well as increased interest expense for the original 2009 locker room remodel loan.
The only significant outlier in the budget is an expense of $38,000 to fund the installation of a concrete pad across the rail road tracks at our pedestrian crossing from the Beach Park. It will be similar to the one at the North Beach crossing and makes it much easier to walk across the tracks. We are currently out of compliance with Burlington Northern and this will be installed under their direction. There are also plans for a simple gate (not locked) at the stairs to prevent kids and dogs from running across the tracks. The main reason to do all of this is to increase safety. We will essentially fund this expense by reducing our reserve contribution down to $50,000 (from the reserve study recommended $93,000). We are comfortable doing this because we are able to make an additional reserve contribution of $75,000 this year derived from excess 2017 income.
All of this will be spelled out in the Budget Ratification letter that will be mailed out after Board approval in November. This year we will hold a stand-alone Budget Ratification Meeting on Monday, December 3 at 7:00 separate from the usual Board Meeting on the following Monday. This is the opportunity for the community to ask questions and comment on the budget.
Kudos and Thank You to Blue Ridge Staff
Also part of fall and year-end activities is a review and discussion about our Blue Ridge staff that includes our Association Manager, Michelle Morgan, and our part-time Administrative Assistant, Alison Gray.
Michelle has continued to make an invaluable contribution to Blue Ridge and the way we operate. All of us on the Board repeatedly say we couldn’t do our jobs without her. She has introduced needed policies and procedures and through negotiation and research has saved us thousands of dollars. We look to Michelle as the expert in HOA regulation and best practices and are continuing our efforts to determine what works for Blue Ridge. Alison has done a great job to support the office functions in numerous ways with a goal of improving customer service to the community. Please join the Board in thanking them for all that they do!