Archives for November 2013


Information Packet for December 2, 2013 BCA Board Meeting

Posted November 29, 2013 at 1:51 PM
The information packet for the upcoming BCA Board meeting is now available for downloading. Of particular interest at this meeting might be:
  1. Presentation by Brandermill resident Joni Roberts to seek BCA Board support of her County request to rezone her home to R-15 (conditional mixed use). Community Meeting is scheduled specifically on this topic for the following Wednesday, December 4, 6:30 p.m., Harbour Pointe Clubhouse. Plan to attend this Board meeting and the Community Meeting to learn if and how this type of rezoning may impact home values in Brandermill.
  2. The BCA Board is slated for a 45-minute discussion to consider the issuance of RFP regarding North Beach pool.
We encourage residents to attend BCA Board meetings to learn of Brandermill "happenings". For a quick snapshot of what the BCA Board will be discussing, please read the agenda located on the first page of the Board Packet.

Mark Your Calendars: NRC Rep Meeting

Posted November 29, 2013 at 1:49 PM
NRC Rep Meeting
Thursday, December 12, 2013
7:00 p.m.
Ivy Room, Brandermill Woods
At its November 2013 BCA Board meeting, Directors received a draft of the proposed change in BCA committee infrastructure. As Manager Bailey said, "The thought was to at least get something out there."

Under the proposed BCA Committee Policy (policy under which all BCA committees must operate) and proposed BCA Committees (charters for the proposed committees), the NRC will not exist as it presently does, as it has been proposed that the NRC be merged with the Marketing Committee into a newly formed Communications and Marketing Committee. The nature of this new committee will be an advisory one, and the maximum size of this committee is proposed to be seven.

Please plan to attend this meeting and share your thoughts on this NRC structural change.  A quorum is needed before any votes can be taken. The proposed date of Board action on the suggested committee infrastructure has been pushed to January 2014.

Highlights of November 18, 2013 Special BCA Board Meeting (2014 BCA Budget Approval)

Posted November 22, 2013 at 5:11 PM
Important Note: The below highlights are reported based on unofficial notes taken by NRC representatives who attended the above BCA meeting. Although we believe the below reporting is reliable and strive for accuracy, we cannot assure 100% accuracy. It is recommended to all readers that they read the approved BCA Board Meeting minutes when published.

Member Voice

Lester Stadig (McTyre's Cove) introduced himself to the BCA Board, noting that he and his wife have been Brandermill residents for the past 11 months. He reported an accident that occurred that same morning while he and his wife Carol were walking on the bike path near the canoe storage area at Commodore Pointe. He stated that his wife Carol slipped off the path and fell, he believes, because of hazardous conditions on the path as it drops sharply off at the edge. President O'Hanley thanked Stadig for bringing this hazard to the BCA Board's attention. She and Manager Bailey assured him that the hazard would be addressed.

Note: The following are "Member Voices" communicated to Manager Bailey via e-mail over this past month and were read into the BCA record by him. The following summaries are based on unofficial notes taken by NRC First Vice Chair Joe Herbst who attended the above BCA meeting. Manager Bailey added that some of the questions posed have since been answered.

John & Sidney Rideout (Huntgate Woods, via e-mail) noted that the draft budget proposed a 5% increase in BCA staff salaries for 2014, however, residents on fixed incomes are only projected to receive a 1.5% increase in their entitlements. They feel that salary increases for the staff should be in-line with those of the residents. While they also feel that there should be no contribution to the New Capital Fund by current homeowners, they did question the proposed increase of $16,000 toward "Community Cleanup" since this work is performed by volunteers. The Rideouts objected to the proposed expense of a new electronic message board to be installed in Harbour Pointe and suggested that the existing sign be moved, rather than installing a new one. They also commented that it is time to stop trying to maintain three pools at a cost to all members, suggesting that the pools be closed if membership fees could not cover the cost of maintaining them. It is their understanding that the membership had not been in favor of acquiring the pools, and the Rideouts feel that the pools should be closed if they cannot be maintained by pool memberships. The Rideouts noted they are not in favor of universal pool access and that the increase in cost of living expenses is outpacing the increase in retirement income for senior citizens.

Greg Pearson (McTyre's Cove, via e-mail) thanked the BCA Board and Manager Bailey for increased transparency into the BCA budget. He noted that there were more questions and comments during the October 19, 2013 Community Budget Meeting relative to the pools than to any other topic (see his complete letter in Letters to the Editor, November 11, 2013 issue of the Village Mill, page 4). He wondered if the reduction in the annual cost of a family pool membership to $220 is not a "compromise" between those who support universal pool access and those who believe we have too much pool capacity and not enough interest. He wrote that, despite a proposed investment of $229,139 on the pools between 2011 and 2014, membership continues to decline, adding that pool membership for the past 2013 season was the lowest in memory, and the reduced 2014 pool fee is projected to generate $24,000 less in revenue with the anticipation of memberships increasing to 800. He went on to summarize that over the 11 years in which Brandermill has owned the pools, the cost of membership continues to decline as does the number of members, noting that this is an "unsettling trend" since the original premise of BCA ownership was that the pools would pay for themselves. He closed by noting that the current BCA Board has been more transparent regarding the cost of the pools but asked for even more data to be shared via The Village Mill and BCA website. He suggested that the BCA post a chart showing the pool data back to 2002, to include data on membership numbers, annual fees, revenue, expenses and reserve funds spent.

Bill Poole (Harbour Bluff, via e-mail) suggested reducing the proposed $12,000 printing cost of the directory by reducing the number of copies printed. He suggested sending the directory via e-mail to all residents and businesses who have supplied the BCA with an e-mail address and only sending hard copies to those who have requested it. Poole also suggested eliminating the proposed $20,000 electronic message board at Harbour Pointe, noting that he has seen no support for this proposal in The Village Mill's Letters to the Editor, while he had seen several letters in opposition. He commented that he suspects this would be only the first such electronic message board in a campaign to install several more. He noted that the electronic message boards are "unnecessary" and doubted if they were even permissible under existing zoning regulations for the community. He urged the BCA to investigate the legality of electronic message boards in Brandermill before installing any.

Manager Bailey noted that the proposal for an electronic message board at the entrance to Harbour Pointe had already been dropped from the recommended budget for 2014.

Dee Pisciella (Planters Wood, via e-mail) suggested that since the BCA had surplus funds left over from projects funded in 2013 but not completed, that we finish those projects before taking on new projects. She also noted that the 2014 budget proposes a $5,000 increase for additional security at Sunday Park and that we currently spend $30,000 on security by hiring two off-duty Chesterfield County police officers at overtime rates. She asked that the BCA Board consider three things before approving the expenditure of $5,000 for additional security at Sunday Park.
(1) We should evaluate the return on investment for this expenditure. She suggested that we should possibly rely upon County police for security as does the rest of the county. She noted that, during an incident in which there were guns fired in Planter's Wood and Heritage Woods, the response by the County police was extremely strong with increased patrols and monitoring.
(2) She asked what the expenditure of $5,000 would buy in added security for the "boat owners" at Sunday Park and The Landing. She noted that this would only purchase 75 hours of security per year and asked how that would improve security, asking "What's the plan?"
(3) Pisciella understands the need for increased security at events such as the 4th of July celebration, however, she understands that we have already added additional funds for this in the event planning.
As a final suggestion, she urged that the BCA office be kept open 5-days a week until 6 p.m. year-round, asking that Manager Bailey adjust work schedules to make this possible. In conclusion, she shared her opinion that the 2014 budget should not include an assessment increase since we have no pressing budget needs and will have a surplus of funds from 2013.

Consideration of the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

President O'Hanley invited Manager Bailey to share recent information regarding a decrease in revenue for FY 2014. Manager Bailey commented that the BCA Directors would hear more about this expected decrease at its December Board Meeting but for the purpose of this 2014 budget discussion, it is noted that a commercial member has requested a change in its assessment status which may result in a reduction of $8,632 in 2014 revenues. With everything else in the recommended budget remaining the same, Manager Bailey noted that the net variance (revenue versus expenses) for the 2014 recommended budget is $76,575, adjusting for the revenue decrease. He advised the BCA Board that this decrease in revenue would require an increase in 2014 annual assessment per household of $17 (3.86% increase) versus the $16 (3.5% increase) as presented at the November 4, 2013 Board meeting.

Director Davis asked if the BCA would have a corresponding decrease in expenditures for the change in the commercial property's assessment status. Manager Bailey responded in the negative.

Director Leonard moved that the BCA Board approve a FY 2014 budget with income and operating expenses of $2,240,868 and set 2014 assessments for all membership categories at 2013 rates. The motion was seconded by Director Davis.

Director Davis added that he has "never been a fan of raising taxes and then deciding how to spend the money". He noted that at the last election, Brandermill voters supported the County's education and emergency communications bond initiatives but voted to not support the discretionary 2% meals tax to help fund these initiatives. This, he believes, sends a "fairly clear message" that the community does not support an assessment increase at this time.

Directors Hillman and Bettin expressed confusion over the total budget number of $2,240,868. Manager Bailey noted that this number represents the amount of the previous year's total revenue reduced by the expected decrease in revenues mentioned earlier. Director Leonard noted that the figure quoted in the motion is noted in the options that the Directors had received prior to the meeting.

Director Bettin asked for clarification if the motion represented the budget recommended by the Finance Committee (with a 4% assessment increase) or if it reflected a budget with 0% assessment increase for 2014. Manager Bailey stated that the motion reflected a no-increase in spending or assessments over the 2013 budget and therefore does not include the recommended increases proposed by the Finance Committee and the Community Manager.

Director Hillman stated that she was not in favor of keeping the budget the same in 2014. President O'Hanley asked for specifics, and Director Hillman stated that she agreed with the roughly $67,000 of increased assessment revenue recommended by the Manager and the Finance Committee. She also said that she favored giving the staff a salary increase of 5% as shown in the recommended budget (to offset the healthcare changes from BCA paying 100% of healthcare insurance to the 2014 80%/20% plan), plus an additional 2% so that employees received a net increase of 2% in compensation. She reminded the Directors that federal entitlements were expected to increase 1.9% in 2014, so she feels this 2% net increase for our employees is within reason. Director Hillman believes the BCA Staff has worked very hard and emphasized that by adopting the motion we will have not given the staff an increase in three out of the last four years.

Director Davis asked Director Hillman to clarify if she was proposing a 7% increase in employee salaries. She responded that it might be more as there are now discussions that the 5% increase would not neutralize the impact of employees paying 20% of their health insurance premium, and she feels strongly that the healthcare insurance change should not negatively impact existing employees' net pay.

Director Malek noted that he did not recall ever hearing the word "neutral" in reference to the 5% increase in salaries to balance the change in funding of employees' healthcare plan to 80%/20%. He recalls that this recommended 5% increase in salaries was to "help cover" the increase in employee healthcare costs. Director Malek stated that he supports a 5% increase in employee salaries to help cover increase healthcare costs with the change to 80%/20% funding. Director Hillman noted that she did not oppose the change to 80%/20% healthcare coverage but did not want to see employees take a loss in total net compensation.

Director Leonard clarified that nothing in the motion precludes the Manager from giving the employees a 5% increase in salaries. He clarified that the motion as called only set the total amount of the budget. He further stated that the Community Manager has the responsibility and authority to set the amount for all specific expenditures within the budget. He noted, "He's the manager, let's go home."

Director Hillman objected on the basis that the Community Manager had spent months crafting the budget and recommended an increase of approximately $67,000 in assessments to cover the recommended increase in expenses. Now, she said, "We are telling him to go back and do it all over again."

Manager Bailey confirmed that the motion as offered only "set the bottomline" for the total amount of the budget. He stated that the BCA Board could then either give him broad discretion to come up with a reduction of $76,000 or it could give him direction on individual line items within the budget by offering separate motions. For example, he noted if the BCA Board wanted to ensure that the Staff receive a net compensation increase of 2%, they could offer a separate motion to determine that. If they did not offer separate motions around individual expense items, then he would have broad discretion to balance the budget to the bottomline set by the current motion.

Director Malek then asked if the BCA's anticipated 2013 budget surplus ($50,000) could be applied to the 2014 budget. He also stated that there are a number of items in the recommended budget that the Association could do without. This, he noted, would allow Manager Bailey to give a 2% increase in compensation to the staff. Director Malek feels that we could put off funding a new Reserve Study in 2014 and pointed out that this would save $15,000 in spending. He also questioned if we needed to spend $3,000 to handle and tabulate the voting in the election. He pointed out that the recommended budget also included an increase of $8,000 for architectural support for the ARB and an increase of $10,000 toward the New Capital budget. He suggested that these are areas that might be cut.

Director Davis asked for an answer on Director Malek's question about applying the anticipated $50,000 surplus in the 2013 Operating budget to 2014. Manager Bailey replied that this could not be "rolled over" into the 2014 Operating budget and also commented that the anticipated surplus amount is decreasing. Manager Bailey stressed that this potential surplus could either be spent during this fiscal year for such line items as landscaping or tree management, or we could put the surplus into the Reserve Fund. In any case, we could not roll any existing Operating funds into the 2014 Operating budget.

Director Bettin noted that there is a philosophical difference among the Board members. He said that the Association could keep the budget the same and "survive" but stated that he wanted it to do more than survive, which was the philosophical basis for his run for the Board. He wanted Brandermill to be exciting and vibrant. President O'Hanley inserted that she believed all of the Directors wanted to see that but insisted that there is only so much money. Director Bettin went on to say that when he had moved to Brandermill, he had performed much needed maintenance to his home to make his home better than it was when he first purchased it. He noted that he wanted to see Brandermill be better than it is today. He argued that Brandermill has had a pattern of minimal or no-increase annual assessments for a number of years and felt that we need to get back to a pattern of minimal annual increases in the 4% range. He feels an increase of $18 annually as recommended by the Community Manager is minimal and would not make much difference to the membership; however, that the minimal increase was needed to make Brandermill more attractive. He noted that he wanted to spend time talking about how to spend a minimal increase more effectively to make Brandermill "pop". He concluded with a statement that he did not agree with the motion to have no assessment increase in the 2014 budget.

Director Blom responded that essentially he agreed with Director Bettin's comments. He noted that because of its size Brandermill is able to have one of the lowest assessments in the area and still raise substantial revenue. He noted that Brandermill is an older community and reminded the BCA Board of its desire to keep the community competitive with other neighborhoods in the area. He does not believe that that would be possible if we continue to keep assessments at same historic levels. He believes an increase of $17 annually was not prohibitive for residents and that we need to increase assessments at some point if we are going to really stay competitive as a community. He also believes the budget as presented at the November Board meeting had been thoroughly vetted and that he supports the budget as presented at the November meeting.

The motion to keep the 2014 budget at 2013 levels with no increases in assessments passed 4:3, with President O'Hanley and Directors Davis, Leonard and Malek voting in favor of the motion and Directors Bettin, Blom and Hillman voting against the motion. President O'Hanley asked the BCA Board to give specific direction to the Community Manager on the budget just passed. Director Davis offered his opinion that the BCA Board had just answered the "overarching question" by passing a flat budget with no increase in spending or assessment. He believes the Community Manager could make the necessary changes to the budget, further stating that he was not inclined to spend time talking about the details. He feels that Manager Bailey could make the changes to the budget and then the BCA Board could consider those changes on December 2, 2013 or prior, if necessary.

Director Blom then moved to apply any surplus from the 2013 Operating budget to the Reserve Fund, designating that amount as part of the 2014 contribution to the Reserve Fund. This motion was seconded by Director Bettin.

Director Davis asked for the significance of this motion on the budget. Director Blom responded that the practical effect would be to reduce the amount of adjustments that the Community Manager needed to make to balance the budget by roughly $26,000, the difference being the amount of the anticipated surplus. Director Davis asked how this differed from what the BCA Board had discussed earlier in the evening. Manager Bailey stated that the surplus can be applied to the 2014 Reserve Fund, but not to the Operating fund. Director Blom noted that it still “gets the Association to the same place".

President O'Hanley called this motion to a vote. It passed 5:1:1, with President O'Hanley and Directors Davis, Bettin, Blom and Hillman voting in support of the motion, Director Malek abstaining, and Director Leonard voting against the motion.

President O'Hanley summarized that the BCA Board was giving discretionary power to the Community Manager to adjust the line items in the recommended budget to the amount of the 2013 budget total as just approved. Manager Bailey clarified that the BCA Board was giving him the authority to make adjustments of approximately $76,000 in recommended budget items to decrease the total of the recommended budget by that amount.

Director Davis further clarified that the BCA Board had not reduced the budget by $76,000 but rather it had voted to not increase the budget by that amount. Therefore, in fact, he noted the BCA Board's actions had not caused a "shortage" of $76,000 but reduced the recommended rate of spending by that same amount.

Manager Bailey commented that he could "almost" tell the BCA Board where he would need to make the adjustments to the recommended budget:
  • $10,000 community contribution to the New Capital Reserve Fund
  • $25,000 Reserve Fund contribution
  • $15,000 cost of a new reserve study
  • $10,000 operating contingency
Manager Bailey noted that this would leave about $17,000 that he would need to find in cut in the recommended budget.

Director Davis asked if the BCA Board had addressed the $31,000 credit card charge (the fee paid by the BCA when it accepts credit card payments from the membership). Manager Bailey noted that the BCA Board would need to give him specific direction if they wanted this charge to be charged back to the residents who pay by credit card.

Director Malek noted that this would yield an additional $31,000 in revenue if the BCA could levy a charge of 2%-3% on residents who make payments to the BCA by credit card.

Director Davis asked what percentage of the residents pay their assessments by credit card. The response was that about 25% of residents currently pay by credit card. Director Davis commented that the other 75% of residents are therefore subsidizing those residents who pay by credit card.

Director Davis moved that the BCA implement a "realistic" surcharge to residents initiating credit card transactions with the BCA. Director Malek then seconded the motion.

Director Hillman noted that the law limits the amount that can be recovered via surcharge to 3%.

Director Blom asked Manager Bailey if he had any concerns regarding the motion. Manager Bailey responded that his only concern was the ability of the Association to implement the surcharge in time to affect the 2014 revenues. He noted that in order to pass along a surcharge to cover credit card fees, the Association would need to create a legal contract and establish a signed contract with every resident who pays using a credit card.

Director Leonard asked Manager Bailey to clarify his statement. Manager Bailey noted that this direction came from the Association's attorney who had advised that the only way for the BCA to recoup this cost of credit from an individual member in the form of a surcharge would be for the Association to establish a contract with each resident.

Director Davis then amended his motion to implement this surcharge "as soon as practical". Director Bettin asked if this measure would increase the amount of the Association's bad debt. Both Directors Davis and Malek responded that it should not increase bad debt, as it only pertains to 25% of residents and those residents are creditworthy since they hold credit cards. Director Bettin asked how much this measure will increase administrative work for the staff. Manager Bailey responded that it would depend on how many people continued to use credit cards, even with the surcharge, versus the number who might switch to paying by check.

President O'Hanley suggested that the Association try it for a year and find out. She then called the motion to a vote.

The motion passed 5:1:1, with Directors Davis, Malek, Blom, Leonard and President O'Hanley voting in support, Director Bettin voted against, and Director Hillman abstaining.

The BCA Board then accepted a question from Joe Herbst (Harbourwood) who asked if the BCA Board did not at some point need to approve the individual line items in the 2014 budget. Director Davis responded that, although the Community Manager had been given discretion to make the necessary adjustments in recommended expense items, he would not be doing that without the direction of the BCA Board, adding that Board Directors had already given direction to the Manager on several individual line items, and the BCA Board had approved the 2014 budget.


Special BCA Board Meeting

Posted November 15, 2013 at 4:42 PM
Monday, November 18, 2013
7:00 p.m.
Brandermill Woods


The BCA Board of Directors will be taking action on the BCA FY 2014 Recommended Budget at this meeting. Comments may be made during Member Voice at this meeting. We encourage all members to attend BCA Board meetings and voice their opinions.


Highlights of November 4, 2013 BCA Board Meeting

Posted November 8, 2013 at 11:26 PM
Important Note: The below highlights are reported based on unofficial notes taken by NRC representatives who attended the above BCA meeting. Although we believe the below reporting is reliable and strive for accuracy, we cannot assure 100% accuracy. It is recommended to all readers that they read the approved BCA Board Meeting minutes when published.

President's Report

President O'Hanley reported on a number of great events in Brandermill during October, including a Food Truck event, a camp-out at Sunday Park, a Halloween tot event and four great Saturdays at the Green Market. President O'Hanley gave special recognition and thanks to Brandermill Community Services Director, Jennifer Strader, who organized and attended every Green Market event from April through October. She also acknowledged all the help provided by volunteers and other Staff members.

Saturday, November 9 is the Great Brandermill Cleanup Day. President O'Hanley stated that there have been 170 requests for bagsters by the residents. Last year's bagster count was 111.

President O'Hanley reported on the planning for our upcoming 40th Anniversary. She reported that one of the events being considered is "40 Hands Across Brandermill". This idea was suggested by Judith Sydnor (Stoney Ridge) at the Marketing Committee's October meeting and is recommended in our Master Plan. Basics of this idea involve volunteers helping a deserving resident with exterior and landscape updates. Several residents have already volunteered for this project, and she hopes to get donations from other residents and local businesses. President O'Hanley commented that this event should generate good publicity for the community. If interested in participating in this project, please contact the BCA office (744-1035) or e-mail President O'Hanley at ohanleyj@brandermill.net.

Treasurer's Report

Director Hillman reported that expenses are still running behind revenues and projects that we will finish the year with an approximate $50,000 surplus in the operating budget. Director Bettin asked if this surplus could be carried over to next year's budget. Manager Bailey responded that it could not be carried over into next year's Operating budget but that it could be added to the Reserve Fund.

Directors' Reports

Director Hillman complimented Director Tom Leonard for attending all the ARB meetings. She noted Director Leonard is the first Board liaison (that she is aware of) to do this.

Director Hillman asked if the Standards Department had a plan to cite residents for not meeting the new mailbox standards in 2014. President O'Hanley stated that a letter will be sent to residents who still need to transition their mailboxes this year. Manager Bailey said that part of the focus of the two new part-time Standards employees will be to check on mailbox compliance in 2014.

Director Malek asked if the Board had decided that non-compliance of the new mailbox standards, effective January 1, 2014, would be handled as part of the normal covenant violation process. President O'Hanley responded affirmatively. Director Malek noted that all residents have already had a 3-year notice that they need to replace the mailbox to comply to the new standards and questioned giving them the extra time to comply. Manager Bailey responded that the BCA must follow the normal process on all violations, including the mailboxes.
Manager's Report (see pages 9-10 of November 4, 2013 Board Information Packet) Manager Bailey reported that he had received a number of phone calls regarding the work being done by VDOT. He asked residents to be patient and to understand that the current process of making repairs involved several stages. He indicated that VDOT often makes initial repairs on potholes and dips in the road surface and then returns at a later date to add the slurry seal coat. Again, he asked residents to be patient and to keep the BCA staff informed on VDOT's progress and their concerns. He noted that lots of our roads will see improvements by this spring.

Manager Bailey commented that the walkabouts, due to shortened day light hours, have been completed for this year. About 30% of neighborhoods have been visited so far, including all neighborhoods along Millridge and those west of Brandermill Parkway to Genito. He indicated that walkabouts in the remaining neighborhoods would resume in the spring.

Manager Bailey gave a brief summary of the work by the ARB, noting that 28 applications were approved in October. He also reported that two applications were denied, and two more were pending (ARB requesting additional information). He also noted that 43 violations were issued in October, 31 violations were resolved, and six violation cases have gone to court. He stated 16 tree removal requests were handled as well as a number of disclosures.

Manager Bailey also informed the residents that the Staff has been in communication with Verizon and has requested that Verizon stop their door-to-door solicitations.

Manager Bailey discussed a proposed reorganization of the BCA committees and indicated that new draft charters have also been proposed for the BCA Board's consideration. He advised that this proposal was developed as a result of a strategic planning session held by the BCA Board earlier this year and that Directors Blom and Hillman had been working on this proposal with him. He said that the draft proposed BCA committee infrastructure is available for anyone wanting to review it by contacting the BCA office (744-1035).

Director Hillman asked the manager to clarify the purpose of the proposed committee reorganization. Manager Bailey indicated that there are two main reasons: (1) to provide direction to the departments and (2) to provide prioritization to the departments regarding the expenditure of budgeted funds. As an example, Manager Bailey cited communications in The Village Mill, stating that there is no standing committee which supported that department. He stated that the same was also true for the Community Services and Maintenance Departments. As another example, the 7-member BCA Maintenance Department which cares for the BCA's buildings, trees, open spaces, trails, etc., presently does not have any committee helping them analyze and prioritize their time and money.

Director Hillman stated that the Brandermill membership needs to understand the "why" behind the proposed reorganization of the standing committees. Manager Bailey again reiterated that the purpose is to create an infrastructure to support the BCA's departments. He stated that presently there are 12 standing committees which will be reduced to 10 under this proposal: Planning, Finance, Elections, Safety and Security, Community Services, Communications and Marketing, Architectural Review Board, Hearing Panel, Commercial Property Development, and Maintenance and Ecology.

Director Leonard asked where the NRC would to be located in the proposed committee infrastructure. Manager Bailey indicated that the NRC would become part of a newly formed Communications and Marketing Committee.

Director Blom added that the BCA Board would invite many of the people currently serving on existing committees to continue serving on the newly structured committees.

Manager Bailey indicated that another reason for the new structure was in response to the fact that the BCA currently has no established processes to either receive applications from volunteers to serve on committees or to vet the volunteers. This reorganization would establish those processes.

Director Davis asked specifically if Staff couldn't "ride bicycles along the trails" to determine how to spend the $44,000 in the annual budget for maintenance of the walking paths (as specified by the Reserve Study). Manager Bailey responded that this was, in fact, a good example of the need for committee restructuring, as the Maintenance Department currently does not have a committee supporting where or how this money would best be used on the trails nor is it presently staffed to create such a plan.

Manager Bailey briefed the BCA Board on the Request for Proposal ("RFP") regarding maintenance of North Beach pool that was prepared by Douglas Aquatics (see pages 12-19 of November 4, 2013 Board Information Packet). Board Directors will be discussing this draft of the RFP at its December meeting.

Manager Bailey noted that, in addition to the RFP, there is an additional Douglas Aquatics document regarding the possible upgrades to the North Beach pool (see pages 20-23 of November 4, 2013 Board Information Packet), which are not covered by the RFP.

In addition to the suggestions presented by Douglas Aquatic, Manager Bailey himself has compiled additional maintenance and improvement items for the three pool areas that are not specific to the pools and not affected by the RFP. As an example, he mentioned his suggestions for the North Beach pool area, which included cutting back the understory along the entrance to the pool, replacing the gate and North Beach pool signage, and maintenance of the parking lot. Director Blom asked if this list of items assembled by the Manager were to be funded from the Reserve Fund. Manager Bailey responded that some funding would come from the Reserve Fund and others from the Operating budget.

Manager Bailey clarified last month's "inSite" RFP proposal which included comprehensive plans for upgrading all three pools (see pages 40-42 of October 9, 2013 Board Information Packet). He indicated that, in response to the BCA Board's concerns regarding that proposal, the current RFP from Douglas Aquatics addresses only the pool portion of the North Beach property.

Director Hillman asked if this was the RFP (see pages 20-23 of November 4, 2013 Board Information Packet) to be used. Manager Bailey stated that this RFP was for BCA Board consideration, could be amended and to be voted upon at its December meeting. Director Hillman suggested that the ARB review the RFP to be sure that it was in compliance with BCA standards.

Director Bettin noted that the RFP appeared to be okay to him, indicating that he didn't see anything, such as brand or technology specificity recommendations, in the RFP that would give Douglas an unfair advantage in the bidding.

Director Leonard called to the Board's attention the last sentence of the closing paragraph on the RFP: "Selection of the successful bidder will be at the Owner's sole discretion and may be based on criteria other than price."

Director Hillman noted that BCA financial policy requires the Board to accept the "lowest, responsible bid". Director Davis responded that this does not necessarily mean "lowest" bid. Director Hillman stated that if the bidders' experience and qualifications are equal, then "lowest" is indeed the deciding factor. Director Hillman also noted that BCA financial policy requires that if a Brandermill business bids on the RFP, they have a right to come back to re-bid if the lowest price offered is within 15% of the Brandermill business' bid.

Manager Bailey stated that major landscaping is currently being done at Harbour Pointe in the entryways. He also stated that several projects are in need of completion before the end of December, including RFPs for landscape maintenance contracts, upgrades to the Sunday Park boat landing, updates to the Brandermill storage area, and development of additional guidelines for the BCA buffer zones. He noted, as an example, electrical lines running across Brandermill open space and receptacles which do not have ground-fault circuit interrupters ("GFCI") and which do not have County permits. He noted that this is a liability for Brandermill and needs to be addressed in a strategic fashion by developing community guidelines.

Manager Bailey noted that the Brandermill Inn has been sold for $2 million to Wexwater Properties. He said that he and the BCA Board would continue to hold discussions with Wexwater about obtaining a permanent deeded easement to the marina.

Director Hillman asked when the discussion on how to apply this year's surplus would be handled. Manager Bailey said that he had anticipated presenting the estimated surplus amount to the BCA Board in January 2014 and that the surplus would go into either the Replacement Reserve Fund or the New Capital Reserve Fund on December 31, 2013.

Member Voice

Jim Watwood (Birnam Woods) stated that he is a new resident and an avid boater. He said that he is appalled by the number of junk boats blocking his access to the lake. He noted that there are boats at The Landing with torn canvas, trees growing in the hulls, flat tires on the trailers, etc. He stated that his boat is currently in the Brandermill storage area and that he can't keep it at the lake because of the junk boats presently being stored there. He said that there are instructions in the current Brandermill Boating Rules which might assist in cleaning up the junk boats, whereby he might be able to keep his boat at the lake. He also noted that power boats are not allowed on Swift Creek Reservoir, however, there are a number of power boats are stored at The Landing. He requested that Brandermill create a new rule requiring that only boats allowed on the lake be stored at the lake. He volunteered to take photos of junk boats at The Landing to illustrate his findings.

Director Davis asked if the power boats stored at the lake have trolling motors which would make it legal to use them on the lake. Watwood responded that the power boats he saw did not have trolling motors on them and suggested that the power boats be kept at the storage area.

Warren Ragsdale (Huntsbridge) noted that the number of residents attending BCA Board meetings is lacking. He noted that the October 9, 2013 BCA Board meeting was adjourned at 10:15 p.m. He indicated that Board meetings have been running too late and need to be run according to Robert's Rules of Order. He asked that the BCA Directors come to Board meetings prepared. He urged President O'Hanley to "take control of the meetings" and limit discussion to pertinent issues. He commented that meetings should be adjourned by 8:15 p.m.

Greg Pearson (McTyre's Cove), in response to Mr. Ragsdale's comments above, noted that BCA Board meetings used to be worse. He addressed two concerns regarding the proposed budget. First, he noted that he believes $7,500 is a high price for website maintenance. He said that his newspaper (Chesterfield Observer) has a website with as much content as the BCA website and that he pays less for maintenance for all three of his business websites than $7,500. Second, he expressed concern about the $20,000 which was originally proposed for the first electronic sign to be installed at Harbour Pointe. He noted that we should look at the time it would require for the sign to pay for itself in reducing costs.

Presentation of 2014 Recommended Budget

NOTE: The Manager's PowerPoint presentation slides for the DRAFT budget as presented at the October 19, 2013 Community Meeting may be downloaded from the NRC website: www.brandermillnrc.com/?id=7138.

The recommended budget was presented by Manager Bailey. Highlights of his presentation are as follows.
  • The budget has three portions: Operating Budget, the New Capital Budget and the Replacement Budget.
  • Bailey noted that 75% of total revenue comes from member assessments and 25% (e.g., pool membership fees, rental of Harbour Pointe clubhouse, and pavilion and storage area rentals) from other revenue sources.
  • He noted that employee expenses has been reduced in the 2014 budget (approximately $61,450) to comprise 49.2% of the total budget.
  • Manager Bailey reported that the budget recommended a 5% increase in employee payroll which will offset the changing of the current 100%-sponsored healthcare plan to a 80%/20% healthcare plan. The intent of this is to keep employee salaries at current levels.
  • Manager Bailey reported the breakdown of the total budget by department. This breakdown is available on page 19 of the summary presentation mentioned above.
  • Some increases in 2014 expenditures include an approximate $40,000 increase in liability insurance, request for $15,000 to generate an updated Reserve Study, increase architectural services fee by $8,000, increase landscaping and mowing by $10,250, website maintenance for $7,500, Brandermill 40th Anniversary celebration for $10,000, and increase Brandermill community cleanup by $23,000.
  • It is anticipated that 2014 income for the Operating budget will be reduced from the 2013 budgeted income by approximately $51,313. Some of this anticipated revenue loss is caused by reductions in The Village Mill and directory advertising sales ($20,000), community contribution to the New Capital Reserve Fund ($10,000) and reduction in pool memberships and guest passes ($9,000).

Manager Bailey concluded that the recommended budget now reflects a 3.5% increase in 2014 assessments, or approximately $15 per residential household for the year.

He reported that the Finance Committee offered an additional recommendation: Increase employee salaries by 2%, bringing the total employee increase to 7% (5% to offset the cost of healthcare plan change and a 2% salary increase for 2014). If the BCA Board elects to grant the 2% salary increase, 2014 assessments would be increased by 4% or approximately $18 per residential household for the year.

Manager Bailey noted that the two New Capital/MPOC projects (off-road trail and electronic messaging board) has now been removed from the 2014 recommended budget. Removal of these two projects at this time is due to the lack of details to execute them.

Manager Bailey noted that the New Capital Reserve Fund (also referenced as the Capital Fee Fund) currently totals $125,000. The recommended budget would add $38,000 to this reserve (approximately $28,000 from capital fee income and $10,000 from assessments); no allocations from this Fund has been designated for 2014.

The Replacement Reserve Fund presently has approximately $1.3 million. If the BCA Board agrees to have all items designated in the Reserve Study to be done, the balance would fall to about $900,000. Contribution to that Fund in 2014 would bring the balance to $1.1 million by 2014 year-end.

Manager Bailey also answered the question asked by many residents: "What does my assessment pay for?" To get the answer to this, please refer to page 43 of his PowerPoint presentation found at the bottom of NRC web page http://www.brandermillnrc.com/?id=7138.

Member Voice on the Recommended Budget
Mamie McNeal (Planter's Wood) asked about the two separate items that are each labeled as "Printing" (see page 3 of recommended budget). Bailey responded that one (cell A87 of recommended budget) is for the printing of The Village Mill and the second (cell A88 of recommended budget) for the printing of the directory.

McNeal also stated that some residents in her neighborhood asked: "Why are there increases to line items in the 2014 budget when we haven't spent the money budgeted for those line items in the current budget?" Manager Bailey responded that he would need specifics on the line items, since the answer varies by each item.

Warren Ragsdale (Huntsbridge) congratulated the BCA, commenting that he feels the BCA Board and Staff are headed in the right direction.

Director Comments on Recommended Budget
Director Bettin asked if the budget PowerPoint was available on the web. NRC Chair Mamie McNeal responded that the PowerPoint for the draft budget can be downloaded from the NRC web page: www.brandermillnrc.com/?id=7138. Director Bettin suggested that the pie chart from the budget PowerPoint labeled "What Do I Get for My Assessments?" be published in The Village Mill.

Another resident asked if we could audit the Board of Director election results using volunteers to save on this expense. Bailey responded affirmatively, but we would also need to develop the process and guidelines to do so.

Director Malek noted that the recommended budget could change since it still needs to be discussed by the BCA Directors.

NOTE: There is a special BCA Board meeting scheduled for Monday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m. to approve a 2014 budget.


Information Packet for November 4, 2013 BCA Board Meeting

Posted November 2, 2013 at 11:35 AM
The information packet for the November 4, 2013 BCA Board meeting is now available for downloading. You might be interested in reviewing Manager Bailey's "Agenda Highlights" shown on pages 10 and 11.

We encourage residents to attend BCA Board meetings to learn of Brandermill "happenings". For a quick snapshot of what the BCA Board will be discussing, please read the agenda located on the first page of the Board Packet.