Columbia Council Rep Report

CA Board Meeting February 25, 2021

Columbia Association Board of Directors

Meeting, February 25, 2021

NANCY’S NOTES (Click here for the meeting agenda and packet.)

Resident Speakout

Dipper Wettstein spoke about his involvement in the community   He lives in River Hill.   He is head training official for CNSL and knows a lot about aquatics.   He thinks it is time to for CA to redefine the pools’ mission.  He thinks CA should sell or lease a few pools.  He is a native to Columbia and thinks CA should be making the aquatics program better.

Michelle Mercer has lived in Kings Contrivance since 1978.  Her children are grown and living in Columbia.  The neighborhood pools are more than an aquatics program.  It is a gathering place where people bond.  It is an important part of what makes Columbia special.  She asks that the Board look at the facilities as more than revenue generating.

(Note – when people bought homes in Columbia, they did it because of the amenities.  It is a huge disappointment to our communities to not have all pools open.  Hopefully, next year things will get back to normal.)

Frank Vance lives in Talbot Springs.  He says his pool is hidden.  It is where new neighbors meet the older ones.  He says if the pools are gone, the property values will go down.  He says getting rid of the pool hurts everyone.  He fears if the pool does not open again, after two years, it will never open.  Also, many do not have cars in the neighborhood, so, they are not able to reach the other pools.

Discussion about the FY2022 Budget

Ginny Thomas presented a statement saying that in the event money loosens up before or early in the summer then more pools can open.  Staff will monitor this, and the Board wants the community to know that it is hoped that CA will be able to afford to open the additional eight pools.

Capital Budget

It was suggested to move funds from the capital budget to operating.  I was told that both must balance.  The Board is supposed to make decisions tonight   I do not think we are prepared to vote on the budget tonight.

CA came into COVID-19 with $5 million loss and now there is a $10 million loss.   The Board needs to look at golf – one is for wealthy in the community, the other is for the moderate-income residents.   CA needs to break even on the recreational facilities.  Every facility loses money.

The annual charge is used to cover losses of the facilities.  Many do not have memberships but are paying for those losses.  Renters may not realize but they too pay the annual charge.  It is part of rent they pay to cover the costs for the landlord.

The capital budget was approved as submitted.  There is now $8 million in the capital budget this year.

Operating Budget 

Dick Boulton suggested waiting a year to close Haven.  Can the shut down costs be delayed for another year?  Depreciation will give CA a big hit.  The shut down costs are significant.  It is expected to take those costs in FY2021 if Haven closes April 30, 2021.

Some Board members were softening toward Haven.  We received very many emails from people who have found Haven to be just that during this pandemic.  Others have spoken glowingly about the effects of Haven.

The Board was informed on January 8, 2021 that CA staff proposed closing the Haven.  This has given the opportunity no time while we worked on the budget to discuss the Haven.   Now the Board must complete the budget tonight.  It has been very difficult time this year with the budget.

The pools and the Haven were the two major issues during tonight’s debate about the FY2022 budget.  It is hoped that all pools will open next month.

The operating budget was approved.  Very sadly – Haven will close April 30, 2021.

I wish you all a happy March.




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