It is the time of the year when the RORA updates our annual budget which includes an assessment of what is needed in our dues and fee structure. The process is very straight forward. The RORA Board approves a DRAFT budget for 2023 which happened on Oct. 8. That budget is then published in the Oct RORA Newsletter, and on our web site along with the video of the Board meeting and the minutes of that meeting. At the Nov. 12, Board meeting the membership has the opportunity to comment and / ask questions. If 2/3 of the total membership votes to request the board reconsider adjusting the budget the board must do that. At the Dec. 10 Board meeting the Board votes on the 2023 Budget. I would like to share with you some of the facts that informed this process to date this year.
Dues raised in 2022 only offset inflation since about 2012, the last time dues had increased.
Inflation in 2022 eliminated that catchup and moved us back to pre 2012 purchasing power.
To adjust Dues to only cover inflation from 2012 – 2027 we would have to pay $200 / Yr. to maintain our purchasing power from pre 2012.
For some perspective CORA residents currently pay $640-$888 per year in HOA dues.
Our current budget and costs are grossly unbalanced. Some facts that have created that condition are the following:
1) The rate we pay for our Trash and Porta-Pottys increased 5.5% in April 2022.
2) As you know our Propane and Gasoline costs have increased over 30% this year.
3) Our current budget did not provide for the replacement of the Mailboxes damaged by burglary. In addition the Post office advised us that we need to plan for life cycle replacement of all of our mail boxes and provide for additional boxes to cover growth.
4) Our current budget did not provide for the breakdown of the Trash Compactor this summer.
5) Our current budget did not provide for addressing any of the deferred maintenance of the Ranch Office and Ranch House. This includes structural, electrical, plumbing, and roofs just to name a few items. As a result the projected cost of doing so has increased in 2022 over $40,000 to correct these issues.
6) Our current budget did not provide for replacing designated funds to maintain our reservoir that was spent on other items in previous years.
7) Our current budget did not provide for funds to pay for the Repair or Replacement of our Ranch Truck.
Market Research was conducted to determine the current value of the amenities we try to provide our RORA Membership. The following are facts from that research:
1) Individual home trash pick up would cost $500/Year per household, if our only provider would consider providing this service. This is currently not available.
2) RV storage costs $35 – $100 / Month. The $35 / mth location has no openings now or for the past 3 years. The $100/mth location has some openings and is in Salida.
3) The Chaffee County Landfill allows No Brush from outside of Chaffee County; Fairplay charges $20 per pick up load and is only open from May 28- Sept 3.
4) Pasture costs (Adjusted for partial feed) $450 per horse per year. The range of costs in our region, if you can find an opening, is $480-$720 per horse per year.
Cost analysis was conduced and the attached budget created with Three Times the detail of our current budget. Every identified omission from the current budget was intentionally addressed.
Summary of recommended 2023 Dues, Fines, and Fee structures:
Have you bought more than 7 gallons of gas per month in the past year? (Cost $28+)
Then you have spent more than the recommended 2023 dues of $300 / year / lot.
None RORA members trash / burn pit $350 / year
Late Fees $100
RV Storage $35/month paid 1 year in advance ($420/Yr)
Pasture $250 per season in advance ($500/yr)
The proposed BALANCED budget is based on these recommended Rates for dues and amenities.
The proposed BALANCED budget provides the following:
$25,000 to fund required repair and maintenance on our Reservoir in 2023.
$45,232.50 to start rebuilding our Reservoir Liner Replacement Funds.
$36,000 to install an additional new Trash Compactor.
$13,000 to rebuild our funds to replace our Ranch Truck.
$19,466.15 to start building funds to replace our Mail boxes.
Additional funds too potentially allow for increased hours for our Administrator / Book keeper.
Additional funds too potentially allow for a pay increase for both employees addressing our inflationary times.
$114,000 to address deferred maintenance on the Ranch house.
$6,000 to address deferred maintenance on the Ranch Office.
In addition it provides for future improvements in infrastructure (Bathrooms, RV Dump Station, etc.).
This proposed budget is part of a five year plan to provide needed funds. Each year money is set aside to meet predicable future expenses. Money that is spent in one year that completes a project is then redirected in the following year or years to the next priority. At these projected income levels it will take 5+ years to correct the choices of the past 10+ years. Any income not received this year or in future years will only increase the cost and time to heal these financial wounds. This will be further complicated by the unanticipated events, which we all know from the past years experience, will happen. The fact is, this proposed increase in dues comes down to about $12 per month over the current rate. This budget and plan was created from scratch by months of volunteer research and work to design a way for us to get healthier now and continue that into the future.
Please take the time to carefully review the facts in this article and the details in the Draft 2023 Budget before you form your opinions about the needs that exist for our RORA community now and into the future.