Lochmere Homeowners Association’s Annual Income of $1,200,000 is split between the Annual Operating Budget ($956,000) and the Reserve Fund ($244,000).
The Annual Operating Budget, as the name implies, allocates money that will be spent that year to keep Lochmere running. Examples are Recreation Committee (swimming and tennis) programs, Landscape Committee maintenance of common grounds, etc.. Note: The Committees should spend all the money that year for the good of Lochmere’s residents.
The Reserve Fund, as that name implies, reserves money for maintenance or improvements that do not occur annually. These expenses tend to be large. Examples are re-roofing common area buildings, repaving parking lots, dredging lakes, replacing playgrounds, trails, tennis courts, etc.. Note: The Board should try to conserve the fund while making the most cost-effective maintenance and improvements.
The Reserve Funds are kept in separate bank accounts and not commingled with the operating fund. However, that one sum must be allocated for many projects that each have a unique timetable. For example, Lochmere’s fund is allocated to about a hundred projects each having a unique schedule. To manage this allocation complexity, Lochmere has a Reserve Study done by an independent consulting firm.
The Reserve Study identifies each project, its expenses, and timetable. The Reserve Study is a contingency plan, not a commitment to spend. It is guidance to prevent blindsiding by huge expenses that might require a special assessment on the membership.
|Annual Operating Budget
◦ Many projects
◦ Multi-year span
The Reserve Study must be prepared professionally and revised every five years or so. In 2021, the Lochmere board commissioned the engineering firm Giles & Flythe to update our Reserve Study. Their method is excellent. Their work is professional. The Reserve Study is ninety pages long.
The initial Reserve study was alarming in how much the assessments would have to be raised in order to adequately fund the Reserves. (If you hired a contractor to give you an analysis of your house, you would be alarmed too.). The board members individually and then collectively in four special meetings made a lot of changes. (To use the comparison to your home again, you would too!) Somehow, conservative preparedness has to match up with economic reality.
If you do not have the time to study the ninety-page Reserve Study, here is the quick summary:
- Adobe document page 36, Current Funding Analysis
◦ If we keep assessments the same as 2021, the Reserve Fund goes broke in 2027.
- Adobe document page 37, Funding Alternative 1
◦ If we increase assessments in the years 2022 through 2028, the Reserve Fund remains above prudent threshold.
- If the costs and schedules are accurate, our assessments must increase by 4.16% per year, each year, 2022 through 2028, then remain flat again.
- That increase covers only the Reserve Fund. It does not cover increases that might be required in the Annual Operating budget.
The Board can only increase the assessments by the percentage increase reflected in the CPI (Consumer Price Index). In recent years the CPI has been anywhere from 0.7% to 2.7%. Any increases in assessments above CPI would require a 2/3 vote of the membership at the annual meeting.
Lochmere Board of Directors
Please note that you must be logged in as a Lochmere resident to access the Reserve Study.