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Budget committee reviews November figures

Pines advisory group takes look at revenues compared to expenses for fiscal year

(Jan. 9, 2020) With a multi-day fiscal year 2020/2021 meeting pending the following week, the OPA Budget and Finance Committee examined preview materials and reviewed final numbers through November 2019 during its meeting on Friday.

Acknowledging the importance of preparation, committee Chairman Dick Keiling expressed gratitude that fiscal 2020 draft budget binders were prepared ahead of schedule and distributed before next week’s meetings.

Keiling said the preview period would prove vital to new committee members who will be diving into departmental breakdowns for the first time.

“It’s useful to have a high level overview prior [to be in] the best position to hit the ground running,” he said.

Finance Director Steve Phillips focused on the current fiscal year and reported final figures for November left the association with a $36,000 positive variance for the month.

“That brings our year-to-date variance to $587,000,” he said.

Looking at departmental breakdowns, Phillips said spending on public relations, general administration, IT and finance was favorable for the month.

“The big favorable variances on year to date and on monthly is general maintenance [and] public works,” he said.

Phillips ascribed part of that to a number of openings in public works that will likely be filled and have already been included in year-end budget estimates.

Recreation and parks financials were down for November, but have maintained favorability for the year, Phillips said.

“A lot of that is leveraging payroll costs for the summer months,” he said.

Golf financials also rolled slightly downhill with a $35,000 unfavorable variance for November.

“We’ve been trending pretty well, but we had an off-month in golf,” he said.

Phillips said the yacht club also broke financial form in November.

“The yacht club, we haven’t seen them be unfavorable in a long time but did have a small $10,000 variance versus last year,” he said.

Still, as the current fiscal year winds through the second half, the final totals for the yacht club should beat the budget by up to $190,000.

“It’s obviously a moving target each month,” he said.

Turning to capital reserve accounts, Phillips said the overall fund balance has grown from about $8.8 million at the start of the current fiscal year in May to about $9.4 million currently. But that trend would be reversed soon, he advised.

“You’re going to see a couple million dollars come off of that in the next 4-6 months,” he said.

With significant expenses looming for construction of a new clubhouse and cart barn replacement at the golf course, along with an expansion of the police building, the reserve balance is projected to dip to about $3 million, Phillips said.

General Manager John Viola, while acknowledging that final figure would drop replacement reserves below the minimum 22 percent previously recommended by the budget committee, said multi-year projections are being monitored to assure the balance returns to optimal within three years.

OPA Treasurer

With fiscal 2020/2021 budget review sessions set for the following week, during its regularly scheduled meeting on Friday the OPA Budget and Finance Committee contemplated future balance sheets while also reviewing financial figures from this November.

agreed the association would again reach the advised range of 22 to 28 percent within a few years.

“We don’t anticipate any real major projects now because everything’s being done now,” he said. “That number should be built up in three years to 22 percent.”