As published in The View, November 2022:
The Budget and 2023 Assessment
At this time of the year, a successful budget is on everyone’s mind. We have had two successful budget meetings attended by many homeowners who participated in the process with the Board, HOA management, and the Finance Advisory Committee. In this challenging economic time, we made a major effort to keep any necessary increase as low as possible and as manageable as possible consistent with preserving the assets and lifestyle that this community enjoys.
At the time of writing this article, the last budget meeting and final vote by the Board have not yet taken place. But the probable increase necessary will be in the neighborhood of $20 per month per homeowner, accounting for the increases in costs set out below. Unfortunately, your Board has little to no control over these increases and worked very hard to keep them as low as possible.
- Insurance: $10.00
- Security: $3.50
- Landscaping: $3.00
- Utilities: $3.50
- Total: $20.00
Our recent Townhall was so well attended that we practically ran out of chairs, and it was great to have so much community representation. Your Board always wants to hear from you. Many had responded to the survey sent out before the Townhall, and many chose to speak at the event. Please continue to stay involved and speak out. This is your community, so please use your voice. We are listening. You will soon receive follow-up surveys regarding the categories set out below. Be sure to let your Board know your thoughts to assist with future decision making.
- Five-acre lot development
- Montecito Café renovation
- Pickleball courts
- Don’t spend money on non-budgeted improvements
Looking Back at 2022 Accomplishments
As we approach year-end, I would like to recap and highlight some of the many changes, upgrades, and improvements that have been made in our community this year, in no particular order:
- Pond #1: Drained, cleaned, and removed all the reeds and vegetation that had overgrown the pond and installed a beautiful fountain that is lit up at night.
- Pond #2: Was drained and filled with free dirt, compacted, and is now covered with beautiful grass. This project was necessary to save having to make a very large investment to rebuild the pond.
- Landscaping: In our common areas, we are moving towards drought-resistant, desertscape landscaping with water conservation in mind. You can already see an example of this near the Montecito clocktower.
- Pavers: Replaced large areas of concrete walkways around the Montecito Clubhouse, the clocktower, and the fitness center. The pavers allow our maintenance department to repair only the areas that show wear or damage, allowing future savings.
- Montecito Pool Restoration: The pool was replastered and retiled, and pool furniture is being upgraded now.
- Santa Rosa Fitness Center: The walking track has been resurfaced.
- Gate: Jefferson gate cameras were updated. The much-awaited handheld tablets and printers have arrived. They are used to speed up guest/vendor entry and reports have been very positive.
- Indoor Pool: Humidity at the indoor pool is controlled by a custom dehumidifier. We have commissioned construction of a new one which is in progress but takes many months. This is a reserve expense for which we have saved over many years.
- Golf: Troon has hired a new General Manager and we welcome Phil Vigil. He has been in the Coachella Valley for 35 years. Stop and introduce yourself to Phil soon.
- Golf: Troon continues to work within our budget to improve our courses and the value of golf amenities to the community.
- Shadows and Other Food Services: Troon continues to work closely with your Board to keep the budget subsidy for these services as low as possible and to improve the quality of our food offerings and service. In your Board’s opinion, we are making substantial progress that we expect will continue.
- Shadows: Join us in welcoming our new chef, John Dutra. He has introduced a new menu. We hope you will visit Shadows to try one of the new well-received dishes and enjoy a specialty night.
- Santa Rosa Bistro: Has reopened with a new menu, be sure to stop in and enjoy the new offerings.
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