Archives for September 2015


Mark Your Calendars!

Posted September 25, 2015 at 4:25 PM
NRC Meeting
October 15, 2015
7 p.m.
Harbour Pointe Clubhouse

All members are invited! Mark your calendars now to attend this important meeting.

NRC Review of 2015 Budget Process

Posted September 25, 2015 at 4:25 PM
The following is a commentary of the 2015 BCA budgeting process based on notes taken by NRC Treasurer Mamie McNeal who has attended most of the 2015 Finance Committee meetings and the joint meeting of the BCA Board and the Finance Committee on the 2015 Reserve Study.

Brandermill's budget process this year has a lot of moving parts - more than normal - as approval of an amended Financial Policy and acceptance of a new Reserve Study need to be achieved by the BCA Board, prior to finalizing the 2016 budget.

To better understand Brandermill's budget process, one needs to consider the following in sequence:
  1. BCA Board approval of updated Financial Policy which broadly specifies how Association funds may be spent. This policy is the foundation upon which BCA budgets are built.
  2. BCA Board approval of the new 2015 Reserve Study. This study reflects how much money will be needed for maintenance and/or replacement of BCA assets.
  3. Various stages of the budget development: Draft budget, Proposed budget and Recommended budget.
  4. Final vote by the BCA Directors to approve 2016 budget.

BCA Board Approval of Updated Financial Policy

Regarding the August 2, 2015 amended Financial Policy, McNeal (speaking as a resident) offered suggestions regarding the New Capital Fund and Board Resolution in her Member Voice statement to the BCA Directors (September 8, 2015).

At its September 16 meeting, the Finance Committee appeared to agree with McNeal's suggestions regarding the New Capital Fund. Finance Committee member George Lawson offered additional amendments to the Financial Policy [comments added]. Due to the length of the meeting, Committee members only had brief discussions on these changes, and no vote was taken.

McNeal had also suggested during her Member Voice statement to the BCA Board that the resolution contained within the amended Financial Policy be updated to reflect current Virginia code references. She noted that Virginia Code 26-40 (Fiduciary Investments, The Legal List) is now denoted as Virginia Code 2.2-4519, and Virginia Code 26-40.01 ("Safe Harbor" Investments) is now denoted as Virginia Code 64.2-1502.

These two Virginia codes reflect the amount of investment risk to be taken by the BCA when investing BCA Reserve Funds. Director Friedel has asked that this topic be more fully discussed at the Finance Committee's September 28, 2015 meeting.

BCA Board Approval of 2015 Reserve Study

A presentation of the new Reserve Study was held on August 31, 2015 at a joint meeting of the BCA Board and the Finance Committee. During this meeting, Reserve Advisor Doug Greene of Design Management Associates, Inc. demonstrated the interactive feature of the new Reserve Study.

This new Level 1 Reserve Study expanded the details of the existing study from about 300 line items to over 1,000. This offers better identification of BCA capital assets and the cost of maintenance/replacement of each. The interactivity of this Reserve Study allows the Finance Committee to recommend and the BCA Board to approve (1) minimum threshold of the Replacement Reserve Fund, (2) a construction inflation factor, and (3) contribution to the Replacement Reserve Fund.

At its September 16 meeting, the Finance Committee recommended:
  1. The minimum threshold of the Replacement Reserve Fund remain at $1 million.
  2. The construction inflation factor should be the average of construction inflation factors of the past five years, based on a nationally recognized, published index. It is recommended that the inflation factor to be used in the 2016 budget be 2.39%.
  3. The Finance Committee recommends that the contribution to the Replacement Reserve Fund be increased by $86,495 for each of the next three fiscal years. In 2016, that amount will be $322,800 (a 4.5% assessment increase).
NRC Treasurer McNeal notes that the new Reserve Study has yet to be released for resident viewing. She understands that it is not presently being released because the Study is considered to be in draft form until the BCA Board accepts the Study.

Development of 2016 Budget

Despite the fact that the proposed August 2, 2015 Financial Policy and the 2015 Reserve Study have not been formally adopted, the budget process must move forward to meet the Virginia mandated deadline for implementing a new budget on January 1, 2016.

A summary of the Operating budget may best be represented in a memorandum distributed to meeting attendees by Manager Bailey. In it, he recommends for a 4.5% assessment increase ($20/year increase) be applied only to the Replacement Reserve Fund.

The memorandum also states that the BCA Board expressed its intent to "continue to seek additional independent data to pay rates and pay ranges. As part of the development of the budget, a 1.7% increase (equating to $19,450) in salaries was included. However, after gaining more input from the Board, the $19,450 has been moved to two line items in the payroll area – one for the desired independent pay study and another to fund possible pay adjustments and/or raises as a result of the completed pay study."

One has to wonder if the entire assessment increase is applied to the Replacement Reserve Fund, how can the salaries in the Operating budget be increased by 1.7%? If one looks at the draft budget as published in the September 18, 2015 issue of the BCA Compass, one notices that the major sources of this $19,450 are increases in income (other than assessments) and decreases in expenses (including Association services). So, the Operating budget does not necessarily reflect an increase but rather, a juggling of how monies are spent.

Below is the chart of the various stages of budget development. Various phases of budget development are indicated by budget titles: Draft budget, Proposed budget, and Recommended budget.

The Finance Committee meeting on Monday, September 28 at 6 p.m., Harbour Pointe Clubhouse indicates we are at Step 2 of the budget process. Although a community meeting is scheduled for the week of October 12, this is one of THE meetings that residents should attend to possibly implement budget changes.

BCA Board Approval of 2016 Budget

Now you have an overview of where we are in the budget process.

The Operating Budget has been drafted and is open for discussion at Finance Committee meeting on September 28.

Residents should be able to review the new Reserve Study after BCA Board approval and learn why it was felt that a 4.5% assessment increase over the next three years is recommended.

What are your thoughts? Plan to attend one of the meetings indicated below and let your thoughts be known. Remember, the sooner you express your opinion, the better your chances to affect budget changes.

As mandated by Virginia law, the 2016 budget must be published to Association members by December 1 for its implementation on January 1, 2016.

IMPORTANT DATES:

  • Monday, September 28, 2015, 6 p.m., Harbour Pointe Clubhouse
    Community Manager will present 2016 draft budget to Finance Committee
  • Monday, October 5, 2015, 7 p.m., Brandermill Church
    BCA Board meeting
  • Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 6 p.m., Harbour Pointe Clubhouse
    Community Manager and Finance Committee will discuss line items on the draft budget
  • Monday, October 19, 2015, 6 p.m., Harbour Pointe Clubhouse
    Community meeting held to present new Reserve Study
  • Monday, October 26, 2015, 6 p.m., Harbour Pointe Clubhouse
    Community Manager and Finance Committee host community meeting to present and garner feedback on Proposed Budget
  • Monday, November 2, 2015, 7 p.m., Harbour Pointe Clubhouse
    BCA Board hosts community meeting to present and garner feedback on Recommended Budget
  • Monday, November 23, 2015, 7 p.m. Brandermill Church
    BCA Board votes to set 2016 assessments and FY 2016 budget
REMEMBER, this is YOUR Association and YOUR dollars they are obtaining and spending. If you care about how much money you're giving to the BCA and, more importantly, how that money is being spent, plan on attending at least one of the meetings cited above. See you there!


Highlights of September 8, 2015 BCA Board Meeting

Posted September 11, 2015 at 1:41 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

Mamie McNeal (Planter's Wood) and NRC Treasurer recommended changes to the proposed Amendments to the Financial Policy. She distributed written copies of these proposed changes to the BCA Board and explained her recommendations. She hopes the suggested changes will clarify policy related to the New Capital Reserve Fund and will help to ensure that the amendments are consistent with Brandermill’s governing documents.

Director Hillman noted that she thought the recommendations from McNeal were good. Finance Committee Chair Bob Gregory received a copy of the proposed changes to the Amendments and after a quick review noted that he also thought the proposed changes were good.

It was decided to strike the Financial Policy review from this agenda to give the Directors and the Finance Committee time to thoroughly review McNeal’s recommendations. President Davis therefore stated that consideration of the Amendments to the Financial Policy will be carried over to the October BCA Board meeting.

President’s Report

President Charlie Davis commented on a recent article in Common Ground, a publication of the Community Associations Institute. This article praised Brandermill’s efforts to address the issue of abandoned properties.

President Davis noted that Manager Bailey and the Maintenance Department are working with Dominion Virginia Power to discuss replacement of the lamp post globes in Brandermill. The BCA is seeking a solution to replace the current old globes at a reasonable cost. The current available replacement globes are not the same dimension as the existing post.

President Davis commented that the BCA is working out a process for cleaning street signs in Brandermill. This work will begin shortly.

President Davis also alerted the members that a revitalization of The Landing will begin soon and should take 30-45 days to complete. He noted that boats stored at The Landing will need to be removed during the planned work, and only those boats with current Association and County registrations may be returned to The Landing.

First Vice-President’s Report

First Vice President Greg Pearson also commented on the Common Ground article which discussed efforts in both Brandermill and Woodlake to address the issue of abandoned properties. He noted that Brandermill is larger than Woodlake, and the article, reporting 10 abandoned properties in Brandermill and six in Woodlake, indicate the number of abandoned homes in each community is proportional to their relative sizes.

Director Pearson emphasized the BCA Board is committed to dealing with abandoned properties and briefly explained some of the difficulties and limitations in doing so, including legal limitations in a property rights state such as Virginia. He noted that some owners of abandoned properties are living out-of-state and locating them is extremely difficult. He stated that Brandermill does not want to purchase abandoned properties in order to solve the issue.

Director Pearson discussed the results of efforts to conduct a review of Brandermill staff salaries and pay rates. A 7-page report on this topic will be discussed in executive session at the end of the night’s public Board meeting. He noted that 16 comparable Virginia community associations had been contacted: 10 had declined to share information on salaries and six had confidentially shared information on salaries and pay rates. He reported that three of these associations are large with annual operating budgets between $3 and $7 million. Director Pearson reported that, based upon this recent survey information, our employees are well compensated.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Friedel stated that there will be a Finance Committee Meeting on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 6 p.m., BCA Conference Room.

Community Manager’s Report

Manager John Bailey summarized the activities of the ARB and the Hearing Panel as contained in the September 8, 2015 BCA Board packet (page 24). He reported that the Property Management Department is now fully staffed.

The BCA is working to select a contractor for tree removal when the County begins work along Genito Road in 2016.

Brandermill is working with VDOT to obtain a perpetual maintenance agreement relative to the landscaping of the roundabout on Old Hundred Road.

Manager Bailey reported that pool operations have now ceased for the year and operational data will be summarized at a later date.

Manager Bailey expanded on President Davis’s comments concerning the landscaping and maintenance work that is planned for The Landing in October. This work will include tree trimming, mulching and cleanup. The community will work up new regulations governing the storage of boats returning to The Landing after the cleanup. Boats stored at The Landing will need to be removed for the cleanup and may be stored at private residences in Brandermill for the estimated six weeks during cleanup activities. The work is expected to be completed by mid-November.

The new walking path along Millridge Parkway is scheduled for completion by the end of next week.

Manager Bailey outlined the planned meeting schedule around the new Reserve Study:
  • September 16, 2015: Finance Committee will meet to follow up on issues related to the new Reserve Study.
  • September 18, 2015: Finance Committee will make a recommendation to the BCA Board regarding the Reserve Study.
  • October 5, 2015: The BCA Board will make a decision regarding input to the Reserve Study.
  • October 19, 2015: Community Meeting will be held on the Reserve Study. Food and refreshments will be served since broad attendance in important.
  • November 2, 2015: The Board will adopt the final report of the Reserve Study report.
He also reported that budget planning meetings will be occurring from September through October. The Finance Committee and Community Manager will host a community hearing on Monday, October 26. The BCA Board will then conduct a community hearing on the recommended budget on November 2, and will adopt the 2016 budget and set the 2016 assessments on November 23. Information regarding the new budget and assessments will then be sent to the members no later than December 2.

Lastly, Manager Bailey announced that the Reservoir Hydrilla Management Group will meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 10 at the Harbour Pointe Clubhouse to discuss the County’s plans to address the worsening hydrilla problems.

Committee Membership Approvals

The BCA Board approved John Cardea (Winterberry Ridge) and Heidi Brandecker (Harborwood) as members of the Finance Committee.

Maria Slowe (Crosstimbers) was approved by the BCA Board to serve as a member of the Finance Committee’s Corporate Investment Committee.

Executive Session

The BCA Board then retired to enter executive session to discuss contractual, personnel and legal matters.

 

Information Packet for September 8, 2015 BCA Board Meeting

Posted September 4, 2015 at 3:28 PM
The information packet for the upcoming BCA Board meeting is now available for downloading.

Only one agenda item is delineated from routine Board reports: "Consideration of Amendments to the Financial Policy." For a summary of the Finance Committee's recommended changes, read page 2 of the August 28, 2015 BCA Compass.

Note: Based on the "Amendments to the Financial Policy" presented in the August 10, 2015 Board Packet, the NRC offers a red-lined version of this amended policy based on the last BCA Board-adopted version of the Financial Policy dated July 9, 2012, with the budget process amended on June 10, 2013. Formatting in the NRC red-line version was made for ease of readability. Any discrepancies between this version and the one shown in the Board packet are accidental, and the version in the Board packet should be considered correct.

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.