Annual Budget Meeting
Meeting Start: 6:35pm
Board Members in Attendance: J.J. Gentry, Jan Talkish, Jeremy Catoe, David Bergeron, John Wallace
Attendees: several residents and David Peterson, CEO of Halcyon Services
Purpose: To discuss the overall budget for the community and expectations for the coming year. Copies of the final budget were handed out to all in attendance – additional copies may be acquired from the Halcyon Office (401 Western Ln Suite 8B, Irmo, SC).
Board of Directors Introduction: Members of the Board introduced themselves and briefly discussed how long they had lived in CHP as well as their years of involvement on the HOA Board:
J.J Gentry – J.J. has been a Board member for 21 years and Board President for 20 years. He has lived in Chestnut Hill over 20 years, almost since the beginning of the neighborhood.
Jan Talkish – Jan has been a Board member for 18 years, and is the Clubhouse Chair
Jeremy Catoe – Jeremy was a Board member in 2018 and 2019, and was asked to step in for a few months in 2020 when the Board lost its chair O’Neil (who moved out of the neighborhood). This will be his last BHOA meeting.
David Bergeron – David has been a Board member since 2019, and is also a member of the Communications and Social Committees. He will be taking over the Chair for 2021.
John Wallace – John joined the board this year. He has lived in the neighborhood for several years.
David gave an overview of what the Board has accomplished in 2020. Unfortunately the circumstances of this year have not allowed us to accomplish as much as we had planned. Unexpected expenses took up a lot of the discretionary budget. We spent money repairing pumps and plumbing to keep the irrigation going and the ponds full. We repaired and repainted some of the neighborhood signs. We replaced some of the furniture in the clubhouse, and did some repairs. We’re keeping up with the official Facebook page, we made some improvements to the web site, and our communications committee has done a better job keeping the sign boards up to date.
We weren’t able to finish projects like the overlook and the sun shades on the playground, because we chose to keep the pool open. Other HOAs kept pools and clubhouses closed this year. Based on what we knew at the time and DHEC guidelines, we put some restrictions on use, but we opened the pool and the clubhouse.
However, that cost money. Because of the restrictions as well as people generally staying home, clubhouse rentals were way down. Also, the additional pool attendant ended up costing A LOT of money.
But we did manage to have two social events, thanks to our dedicated and resourceful Social Committee. We just finished Sing-Along with Santa, which we held outside with distance, and in the Fall we had an Autumn Celebration, also outside. The good news is, we could shift some of the entertainment budget to cover the clubhouse shortfall. The bad news is, the extra pool attendant cost A LOT of money.
So we hope to do a lot better in 2021. We know a lot more about the virus now, so we should be able to open the pool with fewer restrictions and within budget. The rules for the clubhouse will remain the same until the pandemic is over. We’ve budget for special projects again, and barring more unforeseen expenses, we are looking at the sun shade for the playground, a repair on the playground equipment, and added safety for the overlook. The tennis courts need maintenance, but we can’t afford a full resurfacing right now so we’re going to have to explore other options.
More good news is that we don’t have to raise fees this year. In the past, the expansion of the neighborhood has added revenue each year as more houses are built. This has kept up with inflation and allowed us to keep dues pretty much steady. In the 20 year history of this HOA, we’ve only had to raise dues twice. But new development has slowed in the past few years as most lots have been developed. Soon we’ll have to raise dues on a regular basis just to keep up with inflation. We’re putting it off as long as we can but the time is coming.
David reminded those in attendance that the HOA Board is made up of residents who volunteer their time and energy on top of their full-time jobs, and do so because of their love of the neighborhood.
Budget Presentation by David Peterson, CEO of Halcyon Residential Services:
All attendees to tonight’s meeting were given a copy of the balance sheet and budget. The budget will also be posted to the CHP website. Any resident who would like to have a hard copy of the budget sheets may obtain copies from the Halcyon office.
Every year, the HOA Board reviews the prior year’s budget, and uses it as a working template for the upcoming year. The Board met for 4 to 5 hours in October to go over all of the accounts, discuss needs, money, etc. The first thing they did was write up a list of needed items and repairs, then a wish list. The major goals of the HOA Board were to:
- Make sure that there is a balanced budget going into 2021.
- Avoid, if possible, increasing HOA dues.
- Make sure that there are reserve funds for emergencies.
The community is getting older (25+ years) and the Board has to make contingency plans for the long run. This year we were again able to move money into Reserves in case of emergencies. We intend to continue doing that in 2021.
David went over the balance sheet and the budget, explaining each expenditure and any changes.
Meeting End: 8:15pm