Homeowners serving on the Board Advisory Group recently met to discuss a variety of neighborhood issues. One of the most important things to come from the meeting was a short list of recommendations to Victor Gardens’ Board of Directors. Below are excerpts of a November 15 letter sent to Board members and our Association’s management company, Community Development, Inc.
The Board Advisory Group also recommends a collaborative effort - increasing the level of homeowner, developer, and city involvement in solutions to our common problems.
Dear Members of the Board of Directors, and Community Management Inc.,
The Board Advisory Group met last Friday to discuss a few of our V.G. Community Association's challenges. The group has recommended two items for the Board's consideration, and one request from the City of Hugo for their advice and expertise.
Item 1: Cost saving measures for the current fiscal year
A. Many of the VG Community Association's expenses have already been spent or recorded as debts for this fiscal year (landscaping, pool maintenance, annual plantings, etc.). It seems that there isn't much more that can be trimmed from this fiscal year's budget except snowplowing expenses.
B. Saving money on snowplowing: It's very important that the Association receive "apples to apples" bids from multiple snowplowing contractors.
C. Saving money on snowplowing: Bid requests should be structured in a way to save as much as possible. Consider raising snow "trigger depths", frequency of service, reduce non-essential areas to be plowed, etc.
D. Holiday Lighting: Eliminate Holiday Lighting entirely from this year's budget. As unpleasant as this is, eliminating lighting installation expenses and utility charges will save money. Hopefully next year the Association will be in better financial shape and VG's retail businesses may be interested in participating.
Item 2: Plan next fiscal year's budget conservatively and request participation by builders.
A. The Board Advisory Group urges the Board to not authorize more spending that what is actually coming into the Association's accounts.
B. Request that Ryland Homes, Pratt Homes, David Bernard, etc. participate directly in funding the Association's amenities. These builders are currently marketing our neighborhood with its current amenities (pool,snowplowing,activity center,etc.). Those amenities may not be sustainable without "outside" help or contributions by the developer.
C. The Association must plan for a lean year, but be flexible enough to update the budget if M&I bank, CPDC, Ryland, Pratt, etc. can contribute financially.
Item 3: Request help from the City of Hugo
A. Until the Association can pay down it's debts (including the City of Hugo), plan for future spending, and assure residents that a robust Architectural Review Committee will be in place, the Board Advisory Group seeks the help, advice, and cooperation of City officials, and the developer, and builders.
B. Discuss the possibility of accelerating the turn-over of the Association to homeowner control.