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WCA Draft Budget Keeps HOA Assessment at $322

In the days leading up to the WCA Budget Workshop on Aug. 19, the WCA released their draft budget. If approved without major changes, it would keep Westchase’s master HOA assessments the same.

Changes, however, could be made to the released draft at the Westchase Community Association’s (WCA) Budget Workshop on Aug. 19. The workshop will begin immediately following a short Westchase Voting Members meeting at 7 p.m. Residents are welcome to attend.

The draft budget can be viewed by clicking here. Coverage of the Aug 19 Budget Workshop and the draft budget that emerges from that session will also be available on WOW Online.

That latter draft will face further discussion and possible approval at the Sept. 4 WCA Board meeting. Following board approval, VMs have 10 days to reject it. If that time passes with no VM action, the budget becomes the official budget of the association.

The WCA assessment, which must be paid by homeowners in January, covers costs associated with staffing and maintaining the two Westchase swim and tennis centers as well as deed restriction enforcement within the community.

The proposed budget contains a number of increases and decreases. Some highlighted by the management team prior to the budget workshop included:

• A 20 percent increase in postage costs from $23,279 to 28,027 for an increase in violation notices mailed along with a slight increase in postage costs
• A 119 percent increase in Web site/e-mail hosting costs from $1,480 to $3,248 due to the association’s push for e-mail contact system for residents
• A 25 percent increase in audit fees, from $6,000 to $7,500
• A 30 percent increase in legal fees from $53,174 to $68,930
• While budget amounts for general liability insurance have declined approximately two percent ($920), property insurance coverage due to the new Tennis Cabana has increased 29 percent from $10,619 to 13,690.
• A 139 percent increase in pool equipment from $5,724 to 13,655 for the purchase of a chemical controller for the West Park Village pool and the purchase of new pool heater coils
• Due to a small 2014 overestimate for staffing needed for the West Park pools, 2015 payroll decreases 3.8 percent from $332,540 to $320,035.
• An 11 percent decrease in pool chemical costs from $57,520 to $50,960 due to the new chemical controller

Two additional items that budget workshop participants annually review closely are the lines for capital improvements and the lines for reserves. Capital improvements have been budgeted for a 13.8 percent increase, from $25,000 to $28,462. According to Association Manager Debbie Sainz, the capital improvement line consists of $10,462 in construction costs associated with the 2014 Tennis Cabana and tennis court work. That line also budgets $12,000 for an additional stationary pool awning and $6,000 for a shade awning over the children’s pool at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center. However, the draft contains a second capital improvements line, called “Future Capital Improvements,” on which an additional $7,500 is budgeted for structural repairs to the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center’s storage room. Totaled, budgeted capital improvements thus equal $39,562, an increase of 58.2 percent over amounts budgeted last year.

Also notable is a significant decrease made to the association’s reserves. Reserves are set aside each year to cover the replacement and maintenance of big ticket items, like parking lot repaving or re-roofing of the swim and tennis centers. By setting aside a portion of their replacement costs annually, reserves prevent special assessments and sudden, sharp increases in annual assessments. The draft budget proposed by the management team decreases reserved amounts by almost $28,000, or 18 percent, from $154,409 to $126,568. A handful of items, specifically the resurfacing of tennis courts every six years (the courts are being resurfaced in the fall of 2014), appear to have been zeroed out in 2015. While this eliminates over $8,000 from next year’s reserve amounts, it pushes those replacement costs into future years’ budgets.

Full coverage of the WCA Budget Workshop and the budget that emerges from that session will be available on WOW Online at http://www.WestchaseWOW.com

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By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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