Why did the assessment increase?
The assessment hasn’t increased for several years. Just as your costs at home have increased so have ours. Greenbelt maintenance has been chronically underfunded for years requiring a large investment to try to start getting caught up. We have a backlog of maintenance that needs to be done this year including replacing our floating docks (arriving soon), substantial repairs to our fixed dock (out for bid), repaving and chip sealing roads among other projects (working on getting scheduled).
Who approved this increase?
WTMC members voted to accept this budget by a wide margin. This summer a budget committee made up of WTMC residents proposed a budget to the board who discussed it and voted at an open meeting to submit it to the membership for approval. All members where mailed a ballot in October\November to vote to accept the budget and elect board members.
What is the capital assessment and why are you doing it?
A capital assessment is used to raise funds or a specific purpose. After watching and listening to members in 2022 it was clear that some specific improvements needed to take place to allow members to better utilize the parks. Along with the budget members voted to approve a one-time $100 capital assessment in 2023 to fund the following projects:
- Jenks Park: Widening the boat launch to remove the bottleneck at the top of the hill allowing bi-directional traffic. This will allow launching boats to queue further down the hill, so they don’t block the upper parking lot and reduce the need to pay staff to direct traffic.
- Lakeridge Park: There is currently no off-street parking at Lakeridge Park. Funds would be used to install a gravel parking lot between the shed and the current access gate and fund other park improvements
- Bankers Spit Park: This is the only park without power and keycards. Funds would be used to bring in power, expand the parking lot, clean up the stump pile, install new motorized keycard operated gates for both foot and car traffic, a small shed to house the needed gate electronics and new fencing as needed around the expanded lot. Often during the year there isn’t enough parking for residents, especially during the summer when park usage changes and we have problems with non-residents parking there in the summer and attempting to use the park for a party spot. This project has been discussed by the board for years and would remove the need to pay staff to unlock and lock the park each day and staff it during the summer to check key cards and try to keep unauthorized people out of the parking lot and park.
We are in the process of getting bids and are doing our best to have a large part of the work done before summer.
Why are payment plans no longer offered?
The Board is responsible for enforcing the association by-laws as written. According to Article 2 Section 6 facilities can only be used by members in good standing (paid-up). Previously any member making payments didn’t have their dues paid up by the due date (April 1st) so they should have been assessed a late fee and had their access removed. This wasn’t happening as it should have been. Following the by-laws now means members would be subject to a $50 late fee, interest and lose park access if they were making payments. You can however pre-pay. Once you have paid for 2023 you can set up an automatic bill pay to pay a little each month to go against the following years assessment.
Why did the late fee increase?
Its important that we have assessments paid by the due date so we will have the funds we need to operate throughout the year. A $10 late fee isn’t the incentive to pay that it once was years ago, so the board voted to increase it to $50. There is a 30 day grace period from the time assessments are due until this is applied.
What are you doing to keep costs down?
The Budget Committee worked very hard to right-size the budget, cutting and saving where we could and increasing where we needed to. We heard you last year on labor costs. Despite inflation and a huge jump in the minimum wage to $15.74, we cut overall labor costs by 11% in this budget. We are in the process of converting our streetlights to LED which will save $5000. We audited our phone and internet costs which produced a savings of $4800/ year.
Where can I see the budget?
A copy of the budget was included with the annual letter and ballot. You can find links to the approved 2023 budget and the completed reserve study.