by Mike Conroy
Former Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Treasurer Beth-Ellen Berry attended her last MVF Board meeting on October 27, when new Treasurer Bob Carey was appointed. Berry noted earlier in the year that she was resigning the position, but would stay until a replacement was found. Village resident Bob Carey volunteered for the position and reviewed his qualifications with CFO Greg Snellings and the Board last month. Berry has served on the Board since September 2009.
To continue her service to the community in another capacity, Berry was appointed to serve on the Audit Committee, a role she is familiar with from her service as Treasurer. Additionally, Village resident Mario Salazar was appointed to the Committee on the Environment (COE), adding to that committee’s membership and dedication to the environmental aspects of the community.
Other Agenda Items
In other COE-related items, the Board voted not to act on recommendations from the committee at this time. The first recommendation from the COE was to send a letter to the county council opposing a two-lane highway option for M-83. The Board determined it would be in their best interest to wait for the study on this alternative—which should be released in the next month—before taking a position on the matter. The second COE recommendation asked that no pruning be done around the Lake Whetstone shoreline this fall.
Regarding financial matters, the Board adopted the 2017 MF Budget and 5-year Plan, as well as set the MVF and Designated User (DU) assessment rates for 2017. The MVF fee will see a slight increase at $.24/month and the DU fee will increase $1.40/month as expected in the draft budget. The Board also authorized the Executive Vice President (EVP) to negotiate and execute a contract for audit services with Draper & McGinley, per the Audit Committee’s recommendation.
The EVP was also authorized to negotiate a contract with Smartwebs for mobile violations software implementation. The Smartwebs platform will interface with the resident database Jenark and provide Architectural Standards and Community Management staff improved inspection reporting while in the field. Additionally, process efficiencies such as eliminating current manual processes and enhanced inspection and violation reports will help both departments’ staff get information to residents in a more timely manner.
In Recreation news, a bid to replace the Watkins Mill playground was awarded to Playground Specialists Inc. This decision was supported by community input and a recommendation from the Recreation Committee. Additionally, change orders were approved for the Apple Ridge Pool renovation project. Some adjustments like permit allowances and roofing costs were necessary, while others, including adding a slide to the wading pool were desired changes that will enhance the pool for residents.
Finally, the EVP was authorized to negotiate the Third Supplemental and Amended and Restated Declaration and Grant of Easements, Covenants and Restrictions of the Montgomery Village Professional Center. This negotiation will allow for uses of the Professional Center under the newly established zoning on the site.
MVF Board President Pete Young commented on the recent Great Pumpkin Race and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony at South Valley Park. He noted the time and effort that went into both projects, and thanked staff and elected officials for making both events a success.
EVP Dave Humpton noted that the focus of the Community Retail Forum scheduled for November 3 is to be about national, regional and local retail trends, and how they can impact the future of the Village. He also mentioned a county public hearing scheduled for November 1 to discuss bills that can help the Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Humpton said the bills propose additional tools that can help DHCA in dealing with foreclosed and vacant properties, which in turn could help the Village.
Humpton reminded the Board that the M-83 studies regarding the recent two-lane parkway option was scheduled to be completed in the near future, and that would be a good time to study and respond to any findings. He also noted that Governor Hogan took the Corridor Cities Transitway out of the consolidated transportation program; without funding for planning, this could mean major delays to the project.
Treasurer Beth-Ellen Berry gave the financial report for both the month of September and the year-to-date (YTD), noting the overall solid financial position of MVF.
Berry noted that Revenue was favorable to the budget for both September and YTD, with Investment Income being the primary driver; Assessments Fees and Advertising are running slightly unfavorable to the budget. Personnel Costs are favorable to the budget for both the month and YTD due to some unfilled positions and lower than expected seasonal employee costs.
Operating Expenses were also reported as favorable to the budget for September and YTD, with landscaping services as the only area running over budget; overall, MVF is approximately $200,000 favorable to the budget YTD.
Contributions to Reserves were made in accordance with the budget; $85,434 in September and $768,909 YTD. The Capital Contribution Fee garnered an additional $18,091 for the month and totals $118,668 YTD. To date, MVF has spent nearly $589,000 on Reserve Assets.
A Net Loss of $28,000 for the was unfavorable to the budget by $19,000, however, Net Income YTD is $879,000, which is favorable to the budget by approximately $450,000.
The Balance Sheet shows MVF holding $8.2 million in Cash and Investments, and maintaining a strong financial position. This includes $1.8 million in Undesignated Reserves and over $6 million in Designated Reserves. The Delinquency Rate is at 6.9%, which is the lowest rate in several years.
Berry reported that the Investment Committee met to review the investment portfolio, which is currently performing with a 4.9% Return on Investment (ROI), which is at the 5% ROI benchmark set in the Investment Policy.
Due to Thanksgiving, the next MVF Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road. The meeting begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. with Residents Time. Residents are invited and encouraged to attend. The meeting agenda and information packet will be available online at www.montgomeryvillage.com the week of the meeting.