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Reston Association proposes studying staff compensation in draft budget

Reston Association (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) Reston Association is considering a 10% increase in its annual membership assessment as part of a preliminary budget draft for fiscal year 2025.

The proposal — which is the first of what will likely be several drafts — was discussed at a Sept. 28 Board of Directors meeting. As previously reported, the budget would include new positions and cover membership recreational passes in the assessment fees.

Cummins said he plans to eliminate two positions in the budget — a staff accountant and a communications manager.

“These additions represent a more strategic approach to interdepartmental coordination, decision making and providing service for the membership,” Cummins wrote in a memo.

The fee would stand at $840 compared to $763 last year if RA uses $700,000 in cash to buy down the true cost of the membership fee. Without a cash infusion, the assessment would rise to $872.

New proposed positions could include a chief financial officer, land use planner, information technology director and business analyst.

Recreational passes would also be free for all RA members, returning the organization to a previous model that wrapped passes into the annual assessment paid by members. Some programs — like Totally Trucks — would also be included in the assessment. Nonmembers would still have to pay for passes and other events.

Cummins also hopes to increase lifeguard wages to bring them along with decreases in some recreation and Central Services Facility staff. The total increase amounts to $90,000.

“We are fairly behind in terms of the hourly pay rate,” Cummins said.

The budget also includes $30,000 in funding for a salary and compensation study and merit increases of up to 5%.

The proposal also included adding a convenience fee for credit card use, allowing RA to avoid absorbing $245,000 in annual charges from credit card companies. The convenience fee of $2.95 per credit card swipe would result in $25,000 in annual revenue.

A 20% “nominal” fee increase for boat permits is also proposed, Cummins said.

Final action on the budget is not expected until November.

“Tonight is just the beginning of the process,” RA board president John Farrell said at the Sept. 28 meeting.

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