CA Budget Breakdown: Capital Budget Moves Forward

November 13, 2020

Columbia Association’s FY 2022 Capital Budget Plan Moves Forward


The Board of Directors has moved forward with a capital budget plan for Columbia Association, the next step toward an approved FY2022 budget for the organization. But what does that mean?


Understanding a capital budget


Capital projects are typically ones focused on repairing or replacing CA’s physical facilities and infrastructure. Often, that includes things like building upgrades, Pathway improvements, tot lot renovations and watershed investments. 


These allocations do not repeat from year to year. For example, making necessary repairs on a dam in FY2022 will not be a planned expenditure in FY2023. Usually, capital projects involve investing in something that will provide long-standing benefits to the community. That’s kept separate from ongoing, annual operational costs.


FY2022 proposed capital projects


The limit on CA’s capital spending for FY2022 is $8 million, down from $15 to $20 million prior to the pandemic. The majority of the capital improvements that will appear in the FY2022 draft budget are in line with CA’s commitment to environmental stewardship and maintaining Open Space and community resources. That includes projects like: 


  • Tot lot and Pathway renovations* (approx. $850,000)
  • Bridge and boardwalk replacements  (approx. $430,000)
  • Essential dam improvements at Lake Elkhorn and Wilde Lake (approx. $400,000)
  • Owen Brown Community Center roof replacement (approx. $195,000)


Outside of some of the large-scale improvements and initiatives, there is more than $4.3 million allocated for more routine maintenance at CA facilities and for Open Space. That includes more than $550,000 for outdoor pool repairs and upkeep and more than $600,000 for village community buildings and neighborhood centers. Those continue to be important investments for CA.


Water quality and watershed improvements

(approx. $305,000)


When it comes to water quality and watershed improvements, some of the work budgeted for must happen to comply with state and county regulations. That includes things like pond upgrades, bioretention improvements and storm drain outfall upgrades across Columbia. It also involves erosion repairs to reduce runoff going into our streams.


Other projects are designed to save money down the line. Work to proactively reduce the amount of sediment that’s going into ponds and lakes that CA maintains will decrease the need to dredge those waterways in the future. In FY2022, CA is looking to design and construct a bioretention facility in Long Reach, rebuild a bioretention facility treating part of the Dorsey Hall Neighborhood Pool parking lot and build another bioretention facility to relieve flooding in Harper’s Choice.


Energy retrofits and Going Green efforts

(approx. $263,000)


CA is committed to an ongoing effort to decrease the organization’s energy consumption and carbon footprint. This is directly tied to our mission of environmental stewardship and sustainability in this community. FY2022 projects would include economizer replacements, high efficiency water heaters and mechanical system upgrades and controls. These projects will not only provide numerous benefits for the environment, but will also reduce maintenance costs and improve quality of service.


Additionally, CA’s Open Space team is looking to continue a multi-year Going Green program aimed at increasing energy efficiency, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and moving forward with overall sustainability efforts. This includes things like LED lighting retrofits, solar hot water systems, solar photovoltaic systems and electric vehicle charging stations. These projects result in reductions in operating costs and simultaneously improve the quality and resiliency of CA services to the community.


What’s next for the budget?


The Board of Directors’ decision on November 12 does not mean the capital budget is approved. That decision does allow staff to plan around those projects when mapping out the operating budget for FY2022. CA staff will present the overall budget proposal to the Board in early January. The Board will approve the budget by the end of February. 

budget timeline


There will be a number of opportunities to voice your opinion on the budget.


*Specific locations will be finalized at a later date.

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