Columbia Association Board of Directors Meeting
March 25, 2021 (Click here for meeting agenda and packet.)
Nina Basu, President/CEO, Inner Arbor Trust, spoke about the request for the FY2022 county budget. The IAT is requesting county funding for two projects: 1. Landscaping to protect the areas along the new Symphony Woods Road. This is good for the land but also brings jobs and protects the land. 2. A stream restoration project but with no cutting of trees. It will work on the eastern side of Symphony Woods where erosion is so bad. The request to the county is for $600,000. There will be plantings to help update the stream. It is yet to be determined exactly what needs to be done to complete the work.
Board Votes – Letter of Support for Senate Bill 144/House Bill 110
The Board approved sending a letter to the Maryland legislature in support of bills that lower the carbon footprint.
Board Votes – Letter of Support to County Executive re: Inner Arbor Trust’s Request for a Grant for $230,000 for park edging (conservation landscaping) project and $600,000 for the design of stream restoration and bend in the creek playground project
The Board approved the letter of support for the IAT requests unanimously.
Board Discussion – Reserve Fund Policy and Program
Susan Krabbe, Columbia Association, Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, presented the concept to the Board. CA has never had a reserve fund in the past, but because of the pandemic and the damage done to CA’s finances in this period, the Board decided to check out the plan for putting away reserve funds. This would be like an internal line of credit. The money would be spent if it did not create a bottom-line loss. It would run capital projects. If there was no choice, and the cash was not needed to prevent a loss, it could be used.
The reason that CA has the type of financing that it has is because the lenders do not see that CA runs at a loss. Pools and facilities run at a loss. Information about this is in the packet for this meeting on the ColumbiaAssociaton.com website. CA cannot tap the reserve fund for shortages. It was to be used only in emergencies. There were several Board members that had many questions about this fund. It requires a couple million dollars a year to be set aside. However, a few Board members believe that in the middle of the pandemic and tough economic times, it feels like the wrong time to do this. This is the first time the Board is discussing this issue. It will be discussed further in a later meeting before it is voted on. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts about this.
CA has applied for grants to help fund programs for the before and after school care program. The county has gotten funding and CA has reached out to the county as well.
The Report from the Inner Arbor Trust is included in the meeting packet.
Financial Reports and Updates
The financial reports for the 3rd quarter are on the website. CA is working to increase the money to the villages based on the figures for 3rd quarter. The Board will hear further about that at a later date. There is a payment due to the villages for third and final payment from the contingency fund that was closed. The final payment will be sent to the villages in April.
The financial metrics are the same. There was a cash shortage in 2020.
There was a simple survey that was sent and had an excellent response. Stress levels were checked. On a scale of 1- 5, the stress levels were 3.4. People are stressed. (Too bad they do not have the Haven to help with that stress.) All active, frozen and closed memberships over the past year were included in the survey. Residents really wanted the pools open. More people wanted to work out. Pools and work outs were the top two pools.
Spring is here!!!! Please be sure to get out and enjoy the warmer weather.