News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Not-So-Great Compromise: RA Dues Up $16

In a stellar barrage of statesmanship and deal-making sure to be analyzed by students of political science for centuries to come, the Reston Association came to an awesome compromise over 9 lousy bucks per household in assessment dues.

More than a year ago, when the Reston Association set its budget for 2008 and 2009, the annual "assessment" due from residents was to rise from $475 in 2008 to $483 this year. However, with a budget shortfall projected due to the current economic downturn, the rate would have had to rise to $500 to keep all other expectations on track.

After long debate at a meeting on Dec. 18, the Reston Association Board voted to compromise, and raised the assessment to $491. A two-thirds vote was required and the motion passed, with a 6-3 vote.

THE ASSOCIATION is anticipating revenue losses on a number of fronts, president Robin Smyers explained in a later interview. Subsidies from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Hunters Woods and Lake Anne Fellowship Houses and the Tall Oaks assisted living facility are to fall by $57,300. The association is anticipating less of a payoff from its investments than it expected a year ago. Also, falling real estate assessments mean more households will qualify for the Reston Association’s reduced rate, and a rising number of foreclosures could impact collection of the dues.

IN THE END, the $491 assessment was passed and the "R&R" reserve funds will take the hit.

"It’s not the full boat, but it’s a compromise," Mark Watts (At Large) said, agreeing that some increase was needed in order to keep the association functioning while still being sensitive to its members’ financial situations. "If we’re going to sacrifice something, it’s got to be the R&R, though that pains me to the 10th degree."
Guess we should be happy that the compromise didn't include a South Reston house counting as 3/5th of a North Reston one.

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