The budget for 2016 finished the year in good shape with a surplus of several thousand dollars. Overall, the costs of improving and maintaining the Community reached about $190,000 last year. The Operating Budget covered $170,000 in expenses and the Capital Reserves were used to cover $20,000 for major infrastructure projects.
Within the operating budget, most expenses were closely in line with projected costs for the year. The surplus for the year resulted primarily from under spending on snow removal and general landscape repairs. While early 2016 snow falls consumed $11,000 of the $13,000 annual snow removal budget, we were lucky to have no snow removal costs in November or December. As a result, we underspent the budget by $2,000. On Landscape Repairs, numerous projects (see the Landscape Committee Report) used about $23,000 of the $26,000 budgeted for this purpose, leaving a surplus of $3,000 for the year.
Some of the major infrastructure projects undertaken last year were concrete curb and sidewalk repairs ($15,000), partial replacement of a wooden retaining wall on Community property ($500), and 13 new trees planted within the Community ($2,000).
Regarding our Capital Reserves, we ended the year with a total reserve amount of $130,000,
slightly less than the $134,330 recommended in our 2015 Reserve Study. The overall 2016 operating budget surplus will be added to our contingency savings account and
can be used in the future to cover unanticipated future deficits.
For 2017, the Board expects total operating spending to rise almost 2 percent over the 2016
budget. This increase will primarily go toward known cost increases for the lawn/landscape maintenance contract (+2.5%), the management contract with National Realty Partners (+3.5%), and additional contributions to the Capital Reserve (+2.5%). We also added more funding (+$1,000/+20%) for our legal expenses to bring this budgeted expense more in line with the annual average cost over the past several years. Other budgeted expense items are expected to remain about the same as in 2016. As a result, the annual 2017 assessment for each house has been increased by $24.00/1.8% to $1,370.