Thanks again to Ken Dretchen and the Budget & Finance Advisory Committee (BFAC) for all their hard work on the 2018 Budget. The budget was approved at the October Board meeting assuring that assessments stay at current levels through the 2018 calendar year.
There has been a slight decrease ($.39) in the assessment for single family and townhouses while dues for condominiums remain the same. The new assessment for single-family residences and townhouses will be $141.37. On the housekeeping side, if you are in a single family or townhouse residence and you mail in your assessment payment, CMC will be sending you coupon books in time to begin making your new payments at the beginning of the year. If you have signed up for direct debit through the Community Management website and have authorized CMC to direct debit your assessment, then you need do nothing as the system will automatically begin to charge you the new rates effective January 1st. If however you have instructed your bank to make payments to CMC, you will need to modify those instructions to ensure the correct amount is being debited.
That said, our elections have left us short one member of the BFAC, since Yamil Hernandez, a BFAC member, was elected to serve on the Board. As such, we are in need of volunteers to fill the open positions. If you have an interest in serving the community, we need you. Please feel free to reach out to our community manager, Beth Brittingham, myself or KCA President Barney Gorin to learn more about this opportunity.
As I noted in my column last month, at the outset of the budget process the BFAC reviewed every expenditure line item with an eye toward minimizing future increases. The approved budget, available for review here, minimizes expenses wherever possible and only increased spending where absolutely necessary.
Again, as I outlined last month, the major additions to the 2018 budget contributing to the operating expense increase include:
- Increases in Grounds and Landscaping expense from adding in upkeep and maintenance of the retaining wall and Route 28 berm as well as wood chipping of pocket parks on a 2-3 year rotation, which were not previously included; as recommended by the Environmental Management Committee ($42,500);
- Funding for Kent Oaks Mews project as proposed by Kent Oaks Mews working group and approved by the BOT ($30,000);
- Funding of 3rd Party Inspection program in 2018 as requested by Board of Code Compliance ($19,500);
- Repair of the irrigation system to minimize costs of watering & maintaining certain KCA owned grounds ($24,000);
- Expanded funding of the snow reserve fund ($5,000); The goal remains to build the reserve to 50-75K so that in the future, the annual snow removal costs will be virtually constant each year with excesses charged to the Snow Removal Reserve Fund.
And as KCA President Barney Gorin mentioned in this State of the Kentlands address at the Annual Meeting and in his column this month, our Kentlands’ finances are very strong.