Reston Association begins early budget talks for next year

Reston Association (file photo)

Reston Association has begun the planning phase for the next fiscal year’s budget.

Possible changes to the structure of the yearly assessment and changes to some capital projects may be on the horizon. A joint work session between RA’s Board of Directors and fiscal committee is planned for Wednesday (Aug. 16).

In an early draft, RA CEO Mac Cummins said staff have proposed pushing several major projects out from 2024 to 2025 or later, including the renovation of the tennis facilities at Newport and improvements at Golf Course Island Pool.

Cummins said the changes were driven by a recent community survey that “will have a large impact” on facility renovation and improvement decisions and by delays associated with improvements at the Barton Hill and Glade tennis facilities.

“Staff is concerned about too many facilities being under construction at one time during peak seasons next year will affect membership,” Cummins wrote.

The draft capital improvements plan is about $2 million less than what RA typically budgets. An updated reserve study and an evaluation of a recent community survey will determine next steps, Cummins said.

The association is also considering adding the cost of using of its recreational facilities to the annual assessment charged for members. So far, Cummins and staff support the proposal.

It’s unclear what direction the assessment will go this year based on the presented draft proposal.

Cummins said that if the board wishes to freeze the assessment rate at $763 per year, reductions in staff and services to members may be needed.

“The primary reasons for this conclusion are that we are a service driven organization and as such our primary expenses are people related; and specifically, to provide service to the membership,” he said.

Cummins also said using surplus cash to effectively buy down the assessment, as the RA board did in 2022, may not be a sustainable solution in the future.

“A ‘no increase’ assessment budget will not be accomplishable without considering reduction or elimination of some services to the membership,” Cummins said.

Cummins is expected to present a complete version of the budget at the board’s September meeting.