Thank you to everyone who attended the cluster annual meeting on Saturday. We had a good turnout of both old timers and new neighbors. The minutes of the meeting will be posted on our website as soon as they are approved by the board, but here are a few highlights:
· It was decided that all future cluster communications will come through the website.
· The street light conversion to compact fluorescent lamps that was approved at last year’s annual meeting has resulted in significant savings in electricity and maintenance costs. We saved approximately $3,000 in 2015 and the project is on track to recoup the conversion cost within 3 years.
· Stan Beyderman volunteered to take over as Secretary from David Saunders for 2015/2016. Thank you to Stan, and to David for his 10 years of service. The 2015/16 board is as follows:
Kirstin Dolan – President
Mary Demick – Vice President
Crystal Stewart – Treasurer
Stan Beyderman – Secretary
Richard Padgett – Member-at-Large
· The board is still looking for volunteers to take on several smaller projects, including managing parking issues, managing exterior maintenance issues, reviewing and updating cluster standards, reviewing and revising our bylaws, and updating our cluster disclosure documents for new home owners. If you are interested, please let a board member know.
· The retaining wall replacement project was discussed and a design for engineered block walls was reviewed. Engineered block walls are the most attractive, economical, and long lasting option versus timber or stone. A geotechnical study conducted by an engineering firm in the summer of 2015 estimated that we have about 3 years left in the life span of the walls, so we are planning to replace the walls in 2018 at an estimated cost of approximately $100,000. The board will be pursuing approval of the engineered block walls with Reston Association in 2016 and will go out to bid for the work in 2017.
· The 2015 operating budget was reviewed. We are estimating a $5,000 surplus for 2015.
· The 2016 operating budget was presented at slightly higher than 2016 due to increasing costs in some areas, including trash removal, financial management, and insurance.
· Our current reserve account is $34,000. In order to have $100,000 for the retaining wall project in 2018 and maintain an operating budget at a slight increase from 2015, the board presented two options for discussion: increasing the quarterly dues $25 per quarter or $40 per quarter. The more we spread out the cost of the retaining wall replacement now, the less of a special assessment will be needed in 2018. Those in attendance voted for the $40 per quarter increase. Therefore, dues will be $400 per quarter starting on January 1, 2016. A copy of the 2016 budget is attached.