10/11/17 – Association News

The 2018 final budget is working its way through the process of approval by the Board of Directors.  Once approved by the board, we will send out ballots for the entire membership to vote on it at the full membership meeting on November 14th.  Once again, we expect there to be three ballots.  One is for the Annual Budget.  After maintaining the current dues structure for the last three years, the Budget Committee has determined that it is once again time for a small increase of 5% in the annual assessment.  Our last increase was in 2015 and costs in most categories have risen each year. There will be another ballot for the Capital Improvement Fund Special Assessment.  This fund will go towards much needed repairs and improvements to the spillway, the dam bridge and the boat ramp.  The third ballot will be for another attempt at establishing a transfer fee.  At last year’s meeting the transfer fee ballot failed to pass by a very narrow margin (33 votes.)  Many HOAs require a transfer fee for new members.  One residential lake community in our area requires new members to pay as much as $20,000 when purchasing a home.  These funds will go into one of our reserve funds either Roads or Capital Improvement to help pay for future projects.  If approved by the BOD, we will be asking the membership to vote on a transfer fee schedule of $500 for a home and $250 for a vacant lot.  Last year’s ballot was for a schedule of $1000 for a home and $250 for a lot.  Had it passed it would have raised an additional $79,000.  Those funds could have reduced the Capital Improvement Fund Special Assessment request (that we all pay) this year from $500 to $450.  We are not asking for any additional increases in registration fees for docks, boats or trailers or any other additional fees this year.

We have often talked about the financial strength of the Association, and I still believe we are in good shape.  Good management practices and sound financial decisions by the Board and staff have served us well.  However, we are currently at a crossroads.  Maintaining a 450-acre lake, (with a dam, spillway and dredging program) along with 14 miles of roadway is a big responsibility.  Not a day goes by when we don’t get a request for additional member services.  More frequent mowing, expanding our dredging capability, more tree removal and a cleaner/safer lake along with the memberships desire for more and bigger boats and docks all require additional expenses.  Our truck and equipment fleet is getting older every day.  Our newest truck is 10 years old and our oldest is 17 years old.  We have always prided ourselves on being able to save money by servicing and maintaining our own facilities and equipment.  This is getting more difficult (and expensive) as it ages.  It’s always difficult asking the members for more money.  Even more difficult to have to pay more.  But life on the Lake is pretty doggone good.  We’re just asking for the opportunity to keep it that way.

Submitted by:  Jan T. Olson – Executive Director

If you need to reach me for anything, please email me at janolson@lakelotawana.net or call the office at 578-4272.