Residents of Hayden Lakes,
After much discussion and consideration, we have reached the difficult decision to raise dues for 2024. This necessary increase can be contributed to 4 primary factors – electricity, water, aesthetics, and repairs. Just as residential electricity has increased, so too has the cost for the Association. Not only has the CenterPoint delivery cost risen, but our multi-year contracts at 3.99 cents per kWh have increased to 6.6-8.0 cents per kWh. The past two years of intense heat and lack of rain during the summer have required extra irrigation. Our historical $80,000-90,000 budget has been far exceeded the past two years with $137,000 in 2022 and an anticipated $113,000 this year. This is too significant to be offset solely by reducing other expenses. One of the greatest features of our neighborhood is the amount of green space including lakes and sidewalks. We have needed to spend significant funds to keep these looking nice. This includes treatments for the algae in the lakes and landscaping replacements. Plants have died from disease and weather. We’re doing our best to replace these with hearty varieties that will last a long time and keep our neighborhood inviting. The last major consideration is repairs. As the neighborhood reaches its 9th year of existence in 2024, things have started to break down more often and this cycle has no end in sight. In 2023 alone, we have spent almost $15,000 in fountains repairs with the next closest year, 2022 being less than $5,000.
For 2023, our best estimates for remaining expenses anticipate finishing the year about $41,000 over budget. This means we will not save any money towards reserves and all capitalization fees that should be used towards additional features for residents have been used for month-to-month expenses. With both of these reserve incomes, we will still have a $9,900 deficit. While our reserve account is healthy, it should not be spent year after year on the operating budget, resulting in zero savings. The reserves are intended to cover larger expenses that occur infrequently such as pool replastering, sidewalk and parking lot repairs, or a new pool pavilion roof. Having reserves should alleviate the need for special assessments when a large project is required.
The Board has done our best efforts to reduce spending where feasible, make the money stretch further, and negotiate the most favorable contractor agreements that meet resident expectations. Last year we raised dues by 6.5% because we thought the budget could handle that. This was clearly not the case. This year we are taking a stronger approach to hopefully solidify a better budget for rising expenses. We do not take raising dues lightly and are not simply increasing the dues to increase our spending without thought. After two budget workshops and almost five hours of discussion, we have reached a unanimous agreement that a 10% increase is necessary to provide the amenities and appeal that Hayden Lakes is known for and residents expect. The result is 2024 dues being $1100.
Attached is the proposed budget for 2024. The Board invites all residents to review it and submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will hold an Open Board Meeting on Monday, Nov 27, at 7pm to formally consider and adopt the 2024 budget. Prior to that, we will accept and consider all input from the residents. We will address all concerns at the meeting and do our best to respond to individuals via email before that. All financial statements will be uploaded to the Sterling website for review. If there is anything further that a resident would like, please email us.
After the budget is adopted, it will take approximately 5-10 days to mail out the annual statements. The Board understands these will arrive in December and coincide with Christmas. Normally dues are considered late if not paid by January 31st. The Board will extend this deadline to February 29 to give all residents an additional month to pay. If a payment plan is necessary, please contact Sterling directly to set that up.
The Board understands that a dues increase is not favorable. We are making the best decisions in the interest of the neighborhood to preserve and enhance the amenities we have. As always, we continuously accept feedback year-round from residents to guide our decisions and invite all residents to join our open Board meetings to better understand what is going on, ask questions, and provide input.
Hayden Lakes Board of Directors