‘State of Association’ will include reserve study
Long range planning? What does that mean?
In our world, things move so fast that it can be hard to plan 10, five or even two years out. Who would have guessed 10 years ago that Boomers and Pickleball clubs would have a combined membership of 3,000? I admit, 10 years ago I had never heard of pickleball.
These clubs represent the changing demographics of Sun City West. None of us can predict what clubs will emerge (or decline) in the next decade.
But there are some issues coming to us that are intergenerational, don’t depend on trends and can be planned for to hopefully avoid costs that would require a special assessment and/or larger dues increase if not addressed properly. Two of these are water and capital reserves. Because these issues are critical, we are planning a meeting in the near future to educate and update our members.
Last year at the association’s June annual meeting, a resident suggested we have a “mid-year” meeting to bring seasonal residents up to speed. Our bylaws dictate that the annual meeting be in June, at the end of fiscal year. However, the rec centers is aware of concerns like that voiced at last year’s meeting that our seasonal residents are not able to attend the annual meeting.
Toward that end, we are taking this opportunity to present at 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17 in the Summit Hall at Palm Ridge Recreation Center, 13800 W. Deer Valley Drive, a mid-year report to the community on two major issues facing our future: water and our capital reserves.
We live in the desert. There are no new sources of water available to us, and if we listen to reports, water is becoming a world issue.
It is critical for our region and our community to manage water effectively. Several years ago, we purchased water rights to irrigate our seven golf courses. Presently, each of our seven courses uses 1 million gallons of water per day. We pay to pump that water from the aquifer below us to keep our golf courses green and, as a result, we are a big user of water and electricity.
If you follow these things you know that Lake Mead is not filling enough to ensure the region’s future needs. At this mid-year report, we will hear from state and regional officials and water experts. We will learn about plans being proposed regionally and what our community should expect as a result of those plans.
Recreation Centers of Sun City West General Manager Bill Schwind and staff will present a plan to reduce turf on our courses. If you own one of the 2,400 homes on golf courses (as Barbara and I do), this could very well affect you. There will be opportunities to ask questions of the experts.
The second topic for the day is about money and determining how much we need.
Much of our infrastructure was put in place 40 years ago. The association staff prepared a detailed plan (our reserve study) that determines when and how much to set aside to replace capital items like irrigation, equipment and holdings.
The association in 2000 initiated our Asset Preservation Fee, which requires new home buyers to share the cost of maintaining our community’s assets. For several years the association put money into the reserve fund to handle those needs. I’m told that originally the intent was to protect us against loss due to natural disaster. Since that time the fund has grown significantly (currently $26 million). Decisions were made to invest conservatively and the fund has done very well.
We will hear about the reserve study, what is involved and how the amounts were determined. We also will hear a recommendation of how much is enough to have in the reserve, given our association’s size, condition and debt-free status.
I encourage you to attend the event. Both issues would affect our dues, not and in the future. Watching the preparation for the topics, I think the report is a measure of the commitment level of the Governing Board and the staff to Sun City West.
See you there!
Editor’s Note: Jim Sloan is Recreation Centers of Sun City West Governing Board president.