Columbia Association Board of Directors passes budget for fiscal years 2017 and 2018

March 15, 2016

Post Date:   02/26/2016 4:25 PM

Columbia Association’s (CA) Board of Directors voted on Feb. 25 to pass the operating and capital budgets for fiscal year 2017 and the conditional budgets for fiscal year 2018. CA’s fiscal year runs from May 1 through April 30.

CA’s operating budget for fiscal year 2017 anticipates $69.8 million in revenue, with budgeted expenses of $66.0 million. The conditional budget for fiscal year 2018 anticipates $72.0 million in revenue, with budgeted expenses of $68.2 million. CA’s Board of Directors is scheduled to review the conditional budget for fiscal year 2018 later in 2016 before voting on it again in early 2017.

The approved capital budgets, which are separate from the operating budgets, call for $21 million in fiscal year 2017 and $17 million in fiscal year 2018. These are CA’s largest-ever capital budgets, reflecting a focus on ensuring that CA’s facilities and amenities are able to serve the community for many years to come. This includes funding for two significant projects — the construction of a new indoor tennis facility in Long Reach and a set of improvements for Columbia Swim Center — as well as other improvements.

The six indoor courts in Long Reach will be located off Old Dobbin Lane across the street from Long Reach High School’s ball fields and will replace the five indoor courts at the Owen Brown Tennis Club and Bubble. The bubble, which opened in the late 1990s, is reaching the end of its useful life. CA hopes to open the new tennis club in 2018. Owen Brown’s indoor courts would then be turned into outdoor courts, giving CA a total of 39 courts.

Columbia Swim Center, which opened in 1967, is due for a multi-year project that will keep it a fixture of the community. The work is being done in phases during summers to allow the indoor swim lanes to remain available during the rest of the year, when they are most in demand. The first phase will bring back the SplashDown water slides, with new flumes and a stair tower being constructed and a new piping system installed. The second phase will bring upgrades to the locker and changing rooms, improve the lobby and work toward making the facility compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The third phase will replace the wading pool. CA hopes to finish the last phase in 2018.

The budget for fiscal year 2017 increased the annual charge cap from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent to help pay for planned capital improvements to the amenities and facilities enjoyed by Columbia’s residents and guests. The annual charge rate of 68 cents per $100 of assessed value is staying the same. This cap increase would bring in an estimated $260,000 in additional annual charge revenue. CA believes that the average residential annual charge will increase by approximately $6.67 as a result of the cap increase. The actual increase will vary based on the factors that affect assessment values, which are provided to CA by the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation.

For more information on the cap increase, go to ColumbiaAssociation.org/budget and click on “FAQ on Increase to Annual Charge Cap.”

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