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The Orchards @ Anderson Heights Homeowners' Blog

The Official blog of The Orchards @ Anderson Heights – made by homeowners, for homeowners

2010 Budget

The 2010 budget process is about to begin and we, your board of directors, would like to get your input. Do you have any ideas that would make our community a nice place to live? Do you have any thoughts about the way your money is currently being spent? Do you have any ideas for doing things differently? This is the opportunity to ask questions about our money and suggest ideas for it’s use.

We realize that probably the biggest thing on everyone’s mind is the gate. We are hoping to have that resolved really soon. However, in the meantime, please provide any comments you have regarding our budget.

Thank you,
Robert

20 Responses to “2010 Budget”

  1. chris says:

    Robert,
    Is there a statement or a copy of hand out for the 2009 budget? Maybe the sheet you handed out at the HOA meetings in the past.
    (you can send the electronic version to me and I can figure out how to share it on this blog).

    Thanks,
    Chris

  2. Travis says:

    I know I’m on the board but I wanted to get people thinking about what kind of stuff they would like to see.

    Here is a thought, more picnic tables in the park. Maybe more pool furniture (as we had a great pool season with little to no vandalism).

    Travis

  3. Laura says:

    I think a better shade system for the pool would be great, I would love to take my family to the pool, however there is no shade – same for the park… I know that would cost a TON of money, but it’s a thought!

  4. Robert says:

    Chris,

    I will get the electronic copies from Canyon Gate in the am. All I have right now are drafts and I want to ensure that you are given the final copy. I’ll provide the handouts at that time as well. Folks are more than welcome to quiz me on those handouts.

    Great idea Laura! While we may not be able to implement all the ideas that are given, we can definitely begin to look into costs and ways to get it done so it can be planned for in the future.

  5. margo says:

    I would like to see the lights at the park light up again. I understand that people broke the bulbs. Maybe different type of lights so people cannot reach the bulbs. The ones that are there are so low just waiting for a little curious kid to brake them.

  6. Robert says:

    Hi Margo,

    I will let Travis provide you with the light saga in the park. He has dealt pretty closely with that issue from the beginning.

  7. Julia says:

    I agree with the above on improvements needed – better lights in the park and shade at the pool and park areas. I also understand that there are things at the pool that have not been fixed due to the lack of funding. (Such as the fact that the bubble portion didn’t work at all this year)

    I’ve heard the light saga at one of the HOA meetings, but can’t remember – is there a way to remove the broken lights cheaply, take then out and put cement over the top? (One of my children ran into one of the broken lights laying on the bike path and hurt himself. I would not like to see this happen to other children) Are street light prohibitevely expensive?

    I might look at budgeting different than the rest, but I’d like a number of expected revenues that we are allowed to “play” with… So, total expected revenues for the year, less expected non-collectible, less fixed recurring costs (Canyon Gate, electricity, lanscaping, etc). Also, are there guidelines/requirements set out about how much we should to put in reserves each year? I believe we’d all find it surprising how low that number is and help us prioritize those items we’d like to see improved for next year and future years after that. Do we currently have any funds in reserves that we are allowed to use for large improvements?

    Also – how are the collections from KB coming along? And, my biggest question — how did the non-payment number go from $40k in July to $70k in August???? (300 homes x $42 per month = $12.6k per month)

    I want to express my appreciation of the board. I think they are doing a great job of trying to make the community the best they can within many constraints. They are not just taking their own opinions, but considering all of ours as well, as shown by allowing this forum discussion on this website. I know I don’t have the time to commit to being on the board and want to express my deep appreciation of those that do make that time. Thank you all!!!!

    Thanks – Julia

  8. Travis says:

    @Julia & Margo

    The “Light Saga” in the park is just that a saga. Way back when KB was in control of the board we were fixing the gound lights (the ones that are only about 3-4 feet off the ground). We were fixing them to a tune of $1000 a light. At one point we had all but a few lights broken. We had started to repair the borken ones only to have the remaing working ones broken and the ones we had just fixed broken. So, we had decided to stop fixing and work on a plan to either remove all together or replace with something more tuff.

    Saddly just to remove the lights properly and cap them properly will run us about $20,000 (this isn’t per light but an overal cost). No I didn’t misplace the decimal point. There are alternative lights that will withstand abuse but all start at about $20,000 (this isn’t per light but an overal cost). Again I didn’t misplace the decimal point. So, when we do do this it will run us at minimum $40,000. Givin our delinquency rate we have put this on hold. It is not off the radar but at the moment we are focusing on the gate. One mess at a time.

    @Julia
    While Robert is the best person to answer your money questions as he is the treasure of the HOA I can breifly touch on a few of you questions.

    -“I’d like a number of expected revenues that we are allowed to “play” with…”
    **We design the budget to operate the community with very little overage of funds. This is because we are non-for prophit entity. Also this keeps dues low. There is more to this but again Robert is the best to answer this.

    _”Also, are there guidelines/requirements set out about how much we should to put in reserves each year?
    **Yes there are guidelines as to how much we have to put into reserves. Again another Robert question as to how much that is. I do know that we are due for another reserve study, which will reasses what we have and what we may need in the future and adjust our amount contributed to the reserve each month, could be up could be down.

    -“how are the collections from KB coming along”
    **They are moving forward. We are collecting monthly dues from them on all empty lots. We are also in the process of collecting all back dues on the empty lots since the board was taken over by the homeowners.

    -“how did the non-payment number go from $40k in July to $70k in August”
    **The jump includes all interest, all fines, all legal fees and just out and out more delinquencies. Right now about 40% of the homes in the community are delinquent….so odds are one of your neighbors is not paying.

    I hope this helps.
    Travis

  9. Tiffany says:

    Hi! This might sound silly, and even rude. But, is there a way we could flag homes that are not paying their dues? For example, people who get DUI’s get their picture in the paper. Is there anything we could do to motivate people to pay so they won’t come out on that list?

    Just a thought. I know for those of us that pay, it is really frustrating to be penalized for those who do not pay.

  10. Robert says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    Public disclosure to encourage compliance is actually becoming pretty common place with taxes. So taking this type of step is not unheard of. But I think in this case I would probably want a legal opinion before we did something like this. I do feel your frustration though.

    Just so everyone knows, past due accounts were turned over to a collection agency on 9/30. We are hopeful that this step brings in some revenue. Monitoring the delinquincy levels is my number one priority right now.

  11. Robert says:

    Hi Julia,

    The current board has only been involved with the preparation of one budget thus far. Our budget is relatively simple. We budget for all the items necessary to maintain the common areas. We then budget for all necessary overhead costs (management fees, tax preparation fees etc). Lastly, we build in the amount that is necessary to fund our reserve. We then build in items that are not fixed costs, but those we’ve felt are necessary for the community such as security at the pool.

    To be completely honest, there were so many things that were in such disrepair when we took over, that any residiual funds have been used to repair those items. Unfortunately, there are still several items needing repair (bollard lights, gates etc) that it may be a couple of years before we are in the position to fund any improvements.

    That being said, we can budget in almost anything if the community is willing to bear an increase in assessments. This is the point of of this blog. To get a feeling for what things the community would like to see funded, and to take everyone’s temp regarding an increase.

    My personal feeling is that an increase would only serve to increase the rate of uncollectible accounts. On a lighter note, if everything is collected, we will have sufficient funds to puruse various projects to improve the community.

    I’ll have to pull financials to answer your question about the rise in past due accounts. I suspect that it’s mostly because of the receivable caused when we starting billing KB. I’ll get back to you on that.

  12. Julia says:

    Thanks for the answers! That clarifies things a lot…

    I have one small additional thing I’d recommend – we need more trash cans placed in various parts of the park. The bottom half doesn’t have any, and I think that increases littering. (Not that we have a huge problem with that, but if it’s fairly inexpensive…)

    Would posting quarterly financials be something we could do on this site? I’d feel better informed to get financials more than at the annual meeting.

    Thanks – Julia

  13. Margo says:

    Yes, I agree the park can really use more trash cans. My family and I are always picking up trash
    while we are there .

  14. Frank says:

    I know that having 40 % delinquency rate has placed the community in a tough financial situation, I would oppose an increase in assessments. If things continue to get worse I rather see the gate problem solved rather than to have to pay any pool expenses.

    It might sound drastic but I very concerned with the safety and security inside our gates.

  15. Robert says:

    Frank – As long as the pool is operational, we have to continue to pay to have it serviced. That is actually a city mandate. Plus, there are many in the community who enjoy the pool so while I appreciate your desire to get the gate closed, dumping the pool isn’t the way.

    We are hoping to have the gate issue resolved soon. We are hopeful you will begin to see changes sometime this month. (October)

  16. Margo says:

    I’m looking forward to the changes that are to happening to the gates .

    I also think homeowners need to use the gate as one way to secure our community . Alarms. Neighboorhood watch and envolvement of all us should play more of a part in the safety and security of our lovely neighboorhood .
    Just what I think ;)

  17. Julia says:

    I agree that an increase in assessments would not help, it would just increase the amount of past due accounts. I would, however, support a one time fee to do something that would solve the gate problems. Of course, as 40% of people won’t pay it, we’d have to calculate that into the equation as to how much, which would hike it up probably too much…

    I, personally, moved into the community because of the pool, gates, and park. If we scrapped the pool, I would not want to live here anymore. I’m glad that we’re required to keep it up. But, I also find it very disturbing that the security that we’re paying for in our assssments for the gates is not currently in place. I’m glad to hear there are plans in place, it will be great to see them closed again!

  18. Laura Kohr says:

    Does anyone know when we are going to have an Orchards HOA meeting?

  19. Travis says:

    To all:

    I would like to make a statement that most people may not understand.

    Technically we are not paying for security gates, we are paying for PRIVACY gates. I know KB pushed them as security gates but that is not correct. In order to make them security gates we would need a guard checking in all vehicles at all times.

    I agree that getting the gates closed will help things. But as they are not security gates it is up to each homeowner to secure their home as best as they finacially can.

    Travis Reilly
    Orchards HOA Board Member

  20. Mark says:

    Laura-

    I’ll see if I can get an answer to that question about the next HOA meeting…

    Mark Racicot, Orchards HOA Board Member

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