Columbia Council Rep Report

CA Board Work Session September 10, 2020

Columbia Association Board of Directors Work Session

September 10, 2020

NANCY’S NOTES (Click here to view the agenda and packet.)

Easement Request – Water Main Connection – Swan Point Place and Cradlerock Way

CA is responding to an easement request for Swan Point Place to expand a water line.  The county will be constructing a redundant water line. This will be on the consent agenda for the next meeting.

Capital Projects and Open Space Updates

Dennis Mattey, CA, Director of Open Space and Facilities Services, presented some of the work that the team has been doing over the past couple months.

*Rustling Leaf stream stabilization project is now compete.

*A couple of hoop structures were installed at the Horse Center.

*Running Brook Neighborhood Center received a new roof.

*Open Space has returned to a 40 hour work week.

*Stream stabilization is about to begin in Wilde Lake and Lake Kittamaqundi.  This will reduce the cost of dredging in the future.

*CA received an energy star award.

*Carpet and vinyl plank flooring was installed in Owen Brown Community Center building.

*Air Pear Fans have been installed in various CA owned buildings also high velocity fans were installed in the Supreme Sports Club.

*A solar system was activated at Slayton House.

There is a citrus, oil based product in tot lots that is used by Open Space to help fight the weeds.  It is safe to be used around small children and pets.

The lakes are being used heavily during the pandemic so there is more trash left behind than usual.  Open Space is working to maintain the lakes.

Discussion of the Most Recent Development Tracker

The Starbucks on Snowden renovation was approved by the Planning Board with some changes to the original plan.  There is concern about those going to this Starbucks will be parking in CA’s Supreme Sports Club lot.


Talbot Springs Elementary School reconstruction plans are moving through the county.  They are asking to increase lot coverage from 10% to 13.96%.  It will have a partial second floor as well.  It is being built to handle larger capacity in Columbia. The classes will all be on the first floor to make it easier and safer for the children to be able to exit the building in an emergency.

Taco Bell on Snowden River Parkway is planning to demolish the old building and rebuild in the same foot print.  Because it will be a new build, the project will have to comply with the new regulations.

HHC is going to the Planning Board on October 1 at 7 pm asking for approval to allow a temporary parking lot for the location where the American Cities building was located.

Policy on e-scooters

CA and an e-scooter vendor are working on an agreement to allow the vendor to rent these vehicles for use on Columbia pathways.  The county has agreed to allow these vehicles on its pathways, There was discussion about the speed of these scooters.  Currently the upper limit is believed to be 20 MPH. The vendor is able to limit the speed to 15 mph.

Gateway and downtown areas are the only places that these scooters will be allowed at least initially.  The impact will be monitored.

E-scooters and electric scooters are seen as the same things.   CA is aligning with the state’s allowance regarding e-scooters and e-bikes.

Status Report on the Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budget

The 1st quarter financial will come out next week.

Village Financials Update

The roles and responsibilities of the Villages Community Associations were presented to the Board.  If anyone is interested in this information you are welcome to look at the meeting packet on the CA website for 9/10/ 2020.

There was a long discussion about the Villages’ financial situations.  Facility management is now being looked at by CA.  Revenue and expenses to manage the buildings shows a loss of just under $800K in FY2020.  With CA’s expenses the loss is over $2,000,000 for FY2020.    The Board was told that this is likely an optimistic figure.   It doesn’t take all costs into considerations including the Village Managers’ time on facilities management.

Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Discussion:  Parameters for Operating and Capital Budgets

The Board needs to decide what can be achieved in the coming budget and how to achieve it.  The Board will meet to discuss its value and how the Board sees CA moving through the pandemic and into the future.  Until the Board has the conversation it is difficult to come up with the parameters.  Depreciation needs to be considered.   The Board needs to look at all expenses vs. income.  What is the most efficient manner to move forward fiscally?

There are a number of considerations that need to be evaluated.   There was a lot of discussion about a variety of possibilities that will help guide the Board through the budgeting process.

Next month the Board will meet to discuss priorities and values to determine how to structure the budget.

Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Discussion:  Annual Charge rate and cap

The Board will need to determine what happens with the annual charge rate.  Currently it is $.68 per hundred of assessed value.  Membership rates for our facilities will also be determined.  There are also income qualified memberships that people are welcome to contact the membership office to get more information.

Non-resident members contributed 44% of membership fees.  This was significant.  Non-residents are those who do not live on property subject to the annual charge.   CA membership costs are way under market prices.  This is very difficult now because many are not ready to return to the gyms yet.   Some say they will not ever return.  Others will wait to return once there is a vaccine.  So it is very difficult to plan in such an uncertain climate.

Discussion re:  Parameters for a new Reserve Fund

CA is now considering putting money aside to prepare for the unknown going forward. CA has improved its financial situation greatly over the past 22 years. In the past, there was $83 million debt.  Now the debt is greatly reduced.  Currently there is a loan of $20 million to help with the downturn in the economy.

Generally it is advised that the reserve cover three to six months of expense.  That would vary from $17 million to $34 million respectively.  A $3 million reserve must be kept for liability insurance.   It is hoped that the reserve can start with $2 million In FY2022.   $1 million will be returned to the reserve in the liability fund.  This money will be invested very conservatively.  The returns are very low but they are secure.

Fall is in the air.  I wish you all good health and lovely days.



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