by Mike Conroy
Following a joint meeting with the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors and Audit Committee on August 24, the MVF Board approved the 2018 Proposed Budget for publication (see pages 25 to 32). A 30-day comment period is now open for questions or comments on the draft budget.
Executive Vice President (EVP) Dave Humpton began the meeting, noting the work staff had done to prepare the draft budget. He said the focus for 2018 was keeping assessments as low as possible, and in line with the 5-Year Financial Plan. He noted that MVF makes every effort to look at and be sensitive to increases in taxes, HOA/COA fees and general cost of living increases when preparing a budget each year.
Humpton said the proposed 2018 Budget works to fund capital projects and reserves, new and current staff positions and current and future programs.
CFO Greg Snellings began the presentation noting some accomplishments of the last 10 years of financial history. He noted that 10 years ago, MVF was overcoming some financial hurdles—insufficient reserve funds, deficit budgets, inconsistent assessment increases/decreases—which took several years to re-earn the community’s trust. During that time, initiatives including the Capital Contribution Fee (CCF), the Long Range Facilities Planning Committee, the Pool Study and Vision 2030 (to name a few) were developed, showing the Board’s commitment to the community.
Over the last five years, nearly $860,000 has been generated by the CCF, which has funded projects like the South Valley Park restrooms and concession stand, Lake Whetstone Dock replacement, Theatre Pond fountain and more. Additionally, with proper reserve funding, the Whetstone and Apple Ridge pools have been renovated without debt or a special assessment.
Snellings presented the proposed budget summary, noting that there would be increases in both the MVF and DU funds, totaling $1.70 per unit, per month. He said the MVF Fund increase is $.55/unit/month, and he hoped that by the time the budget is ready for approval, an even lower amount could be approved (the Board will reevaluate the increase in October when more complete financials are available); the DU Fund increase is set at $1.15/unit/month. The MVF Fund increase is in conjunction with spending almost $372,000 from Undesignated Reserves.
Major Revenue drivers for 2018 were identified as increases in assessments, camps and after school programs and the CCF. Collections fee income is expected to drop due to the success of the Collections Policy and lower delinquency rate, and Advertising Revenue is also expected to be lower in 2018.
Proposed Capital Projects for 2018 include a digital entrance sign; new PA systems at Apple Ridge and the North Creek Board Room; and new chairs, lounges, picnic tables, umbrellas and a coolbrella for MVF pools.
To adequately compensate employees, Personnel costs include general merit and benefit assumptions for staff. The budget proposes a 3% merit increase pool and a continued 6% 401k match for staff. Due to increases in healthcare, a $25 per pay increase in flex benefit dollars is also proposed. Other personnel costs included keeping summer wages in line with minimum wage requirements by Montgomery County, as well as the addition of two new full-time Park and Facility Assistants in place of MVF’s current security contract.
Contributions to Reserves (CTR) increase slightly from 2017 to be in line with the Reserve Study, totaling $1,250,918 for the year. The MVF Fund will receive $333,731 and the DU Fund will receive $917,187, with contributions made monthly. The budget assumes a CTR on funding 75 percent of replacement costs over a 30-year period.
Reserve expenses for 2018 include: the Hurley Park play area replacement; MVF Office technology; community center repairs and maintenance; and other general pool repairs. This amounts to a necessary $424,105 and another potential $888,064 in reserve spending.
The MVF 2018 Proposed Budget and budget presentation can be viewed in their entirety and are available for download online at www.montgomeryvillage.com. A full copy of the budget may also be viewed at the MVF Office, 10120 Apple Ridge Road, during regular business hours. Residents are encouraged to review the budget.
For the next 30 days, comments or questions can be directed to CFO Greg Snellings via e-mail at email@example.com or in writing to Montgomery Village Foundation, Inc., ATTN: 2018 Proposed Budget, 10120 Apple Ridge Road, Montgomery Village, MD 20886.