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Early Reston Association budget talks pitch 10 percent assessment increase

Reston Association (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Assessments for Reston Association members could increase by 10% over last year based on preliminary budget talks.

At an RA Board of Directors meeting Wednesday night (June 8), board treasurer Bob Petrine kicked off a preliminary discussion on the budget and a proposed increase.

Last year, the board voted to hold the line on major fee increases, keeping the assessment at $740 with the use of its good cash standing and existing funds. Fees still went up 3%, since RA’s budget has a built-in increase, but a 6% hike had been initially proposed.

However, Petrine said that method is not a “sustainable” way to manage RA assessments into the future.

RA operates on a biennial budget developed in the fall of every odd year. The organization often visits the budget annually between August and November and prior to the second year of the budget.

Board member and vice president Jennifer Jushchuk called the potential assessment increase “a little scary.”

“I think we’re going to have our work cut out for us in the next several months to get to something everyone can feel comfortable with,” she said, emphasizing that the 10% hike was considering “a bare bones” budget.

The proposed budget could include $145,000 for a long-anticipated website upgrade, $70,000 for an administrative assistance for the covenants department, and a $30,000 increase in credit card fees.

The association could also hire a data manager to handle member-facing applications — a roughly $70,000 ticket item.

But the budget is in the initial planning stages, so a proposal will not be formally considered for several weeks.

A vote on the budget is slated for Nov. 17 and will be proceeded by several meetings and opportunities for public comment. The board will formally review the first draft of the budget on Sept. 22.

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