IHCA Budget, Two Stories for 2019

IHCA 2019-20 Annual Budget Development Underway

By Kristyn McKinnon, IHCA Accounting Manager

As published in January Connections News

The Issaquah Highlands Community Association (IHCA) and Finance Committee will be preparing the IHCA 2019-20 budget. The budget will be presented to Board of Directors (BOD) for approval in late February, published in the April issue of Connections, and ratified at a scheduled community meeting in late April.

Finance Committee members are comprised of Issaquah Highland’s homeowners who volunteer their time to serve on the committee. This committee is appointed by the IHCA BOD and works directly with the IHCA staff to develop a budget recommendation to the BOD. Using their financial expertise, knowledge of community and legal requirements, and a commitment to maintaining the community wide standards, the budget is developed using a proactive group effort.

Once the budget is reviewed and approved by the Finance Committee, the committee will present the budget to the IHCA BOD for approval.  After the Board approves it, an open  meeting is scheduled to publicly ratify the budget. In accordance with state law and the IHCA Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs), ratification is automatic unless 75% of all members (not just those in attendance) vote to reject the budget.

There are many factors that the Finance Committee must consider when developing the community budget.  These driving factors include:

  • Protecting the integrity of the investment of every homeowner within Issaquah Highlands.
  • Maintaining the standard of care and safety of community property and common areas.
  • Ensuring efficient planning for future community needs.

The Finance Committee reviews the funds needed for daily operation of the community, such as common electricity and irrigation water, grounds maintenance, management, insurance and general maintenance. These expenses are either contractual or can be reasonably estimated based on experience. The Finance Committee also reviews the income needed to maintain the reserve fund at sufficient levels.  Reserve funds provide money for the repair and replacement of the community’s assets — such as playground equipment, drainage infrastructure, and irrigation equipment.

Armed with this knowledge, the committee will estimate total expenses for the coming year and compare that sum to the association’s potential revenue (assessments, interest on investments and shared costs revenue). The committee will look for ways to lower expenses without compromising service, and address areas where operating efficiencies may be realized.

The annual budget must also meet all Federal, State & County legal requirements regarding  operating a nonprofit association and addresses any economical and operational challenges that may lie ahead.

Also in January Connections:

IHCA Fiscal Mid-Year Recap

by Sarah Hoey, IHCA Executive Director 

Happy New Year! I wanted to start the year with a quick look back at the last six months of IHCA work and give you a glimpse into what is coming in 2019.

We ended the 2017/2018 fiscal year on June 30, 2018 with a $102,188 cash surplus which has been reallocated to bring the Master reserves fund from 80% to 100% funded.  Only 1% of HOA’s in the nation have a 100% funded master reserve fund. This is a huge accomplishment by the Board of Directors, Finance Committee and the IHCA administration. Additional reallocations were approved for irrigation and pond telemetry upgrades, additional tree service, and additional funding for the pedestrian safety program.

The new maintenance facility is nearing completion, waiting only for Puget Sound Energy to hook up the power and a few remaining finishing touches. This facility will be used for the maintenance and landscaping department’s operations that service this community.  We thank you for your patience as we trenched the utility lines along the BPA trail this past fall.

Last year the board considered building an office building at Park Drive and 10th Ave for the IHCA administrative office. Ultimately, the site was deemed unbuildable and the project was canceled. The building fund has been reallocated to increase efficiency of the IHCA maintenance and landscape departments by purchasing a hill side mower, a dump truck, and a tractor.

This fall we finished the Summit Park slide repair. We hope you are enjoying the new ground surface surrounding the slides. The completion delay was caused by broken slide pieces that required custom fabrication to replace. We apologize for the delay; however, safety is our main priority and I wanted to make sure it was done correctly.

In an effort to end the perpetual state of construction, the IHCA has been working diligently with the Custom Architectural Review Committee to enforce the timeline requirements for construction completion of lots purchased in the Grand Ridge Drive and Harrison Streets neighborhoods.

The horizon is changing daily in the Westridge neighborhood as home construction is in full swing.  The Builder Architectural Review Committee architects and I are working very closely with the City of Issaquah and Polygon to ensure that construction is completed consistent with the building permit. The Westridge neighborhood is scheduled to continue construction in phases over the next several years.  This neighborhood will feature single family homes, townhomes, affordable housing, parks, trails, playgrounds, a small splash park, and additional community garden patches.

Projects for 2019/2020 include upgrades and fence repair at the dog park, upgrades to lighting and landscaping in the Village Green Park, maintenance for the community garden program, and community event activities. The IHCA is committed to continued improvements of landscape and maintenance service as well as overall customer service.

As we closed 2018 and wrap up the 20-year celebration of the Issaquah Highlands Community, I reflect back to the planning and forethought that was taken by Port Blakley to create this beautiful community.    I feel honored to lead the team that are the stewards of this community’s maintenance and governance administration alongside Highlands Council and HFN. I look forward to the future and what this amazing community has in store for itself.  The IHCA team appreciates all of you and wishes you all the best in 2019!

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