Columbia Council Rep Report

CA Board Work Session April 8, 2021

Columbia Association Board of Directors

Work Session

April 8, 2021

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

Resident Speakout

No speak out tonight.  There were no residents who chose to participate.  Board meetings are still remote via computers.

Work Session Topics:

Announcement of the new Columbia Association President/CEO

Lakey Boyd was introduced.  She spoke to those watching the meeting online explaining a bit about herself and about how her background works into her new position as President/CEO of the Columbia Association.   She felt it was about an opportunity to be part of a community that looks forward and asks some big questions about values and what really matters.  She believes that we can always do better at helping people grow in our garden that is Columbia.

Reserve Fund Policy and Program

Insurance costs and coverage was discussed.   There are several coverages for the various issues that could create problems, i.e., IT coverage, water damage, liability, etc.  All these coverages mean money that must be available to pay for the coverage and pay the cost of deductibles.  The Board may approve a $2 million reserve fund.  In the event a major catastrophe happens, CA would be seriously damaged financially.  $2 million reserves are just a start.  It is hoped that in the future there will be more reserves set aside.  Deductibles and cost of insurance are going up annually. There must be coverage to protect the organization.

Capital Improvement Plan as of January 2021

Projects are factored in today’s dollars, but it needs to include inflation numbers for future years. The planning tool is for the Board, it is not a budget.  It helps establish numbers so it would be easier for the Board to grasp the many numbers once it is budget time.  For each department, money has been moved from the near future to further out on the timeline to allow CA to rebuild after the damage of COVID begins to dissipate.   The county is taking over the cost of maintaining ten ponds in Columbia.  This will save millions of dollars for CA.

CA is moving away from the current style play equipment at tot lots to the new metal play structures that wear better and last longer.  The idea is to make the tot lot program sustainable.

There is money for rehab of the neighborhood centers out of Category 3.   The neighborhood centers will be maintained. There are no plans (at this time) to replace or demolish them.  Locust Park Neighborhood Center is in the next budget for rehab.

The Columbia Gym will not be updated in 2022 because of COVID so it will be deferred maintenance.   The plan is to not defer maintenance that will cost more in the future.

Dennis Mattey, Director, Open Space and Facilities Services, showed the Board some renovations that had been done on tot lots and other outdoor work that the Open Space team is doing to help improve people’s experiences in Columbia.

General Plan Update, including Focus on New Town Charette

There are 4 scenarios about potential changes in the county development.

Plans A through D go from low growth to higher growth with A being the lowest growth.  Downtown and Gateway do change.  But as we go through the four possible changes, the most changes include the Dobbin, Snowden corridor as well as Gateway and Downtown.  The county has its sights on these areas.

Route 1 and Route 40 are also included.  There could be a MARC train and bus rapid transit.  Also, Gateway will become a mixed-use area. Scenario D allows for the highest growth.  If plan D is chosen, then the Gateway area will change the fastest.

There will be Charettes beginning late April that will last three weeks.  There is no additional information yet on these charettes but if you are interested please contact Kristin Russell at CA or the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning to see if you can participate.

The Board will not look at the Villages potential to keep reserves in FY2021 until FY2022.   Members were told that the reserve fund question about the villages being able to keep their reserves rather than give it back to CA has to be done in May or June of this year.

Erickson Senior Living in Clarksville is continuing its planning.  The project is moving through the county more quickly now.

Spring has sprung.   I wish you all a wonderful time in the sun.


Nancy McCord

[email protected]