Hat Island Community Newsletter, July 2008
The financial future of our Island is now on the table. Following nearly a year's discussion, and taking into account your comments on the web site, the finance committee has presented the Board with its recommendations for ensuring the long-tenn financial stability of our Island.
In 1981 our annual assessment was $156. It stayed that way for 21 years until it was finally raised to $255. While that represented an average annual increase of 3%, during that same 21 years the cost of living increased at an average annual rate of 5.5% and we operated for 20 years on the same level of operational funding. That put the organization behind the "8" ball. Fortunately in 1995 the community passed the $84 designated assessment, it has been our saving grace as without it our infrastrncture would have deteriorated even more than it has over the years. Unfortunately previous Boards could not have foreseen the exact percentages of money needed in each of the five funds into which the designated monies go. So we have developed imbalances. Our cmTent needs are in vessels and equipment, yet most of our designated money is in the water and marina accounts. Two years ago our needs were in the water system, but they no longer are. Your Board needs the ability and flexibility to utilize available capital funds to maintain and improve our assets.
The Board has approved three recommendations from the finance committee, they are:
- To formally establish a Cash Reserve account with an annual goal equal to 3 months of fixed expenses. This money would only be used in the unlikely event that the island would face an interruption in its cash intake or a significant and unforeseen r:ion-capital expense.
- To formally establish a Capital Reserve account for the planned acquisition, scheduled overhauls,. and replacements of major capital items and equipment. This account will be initially funded with the balance from our ex isting1 designated assessment accounts and in the future with 15% of the cash received through regular assessments. This will be presented to the membership in a community vote.
- To do away with tile current two part annual assessment ($225 and $84) and make one assessment of $339 which should be raised to $375. This will be presented to the membership in a community vote.
Additionally the board discussed placing a tempora1y fuel surcharge onto the cost of an adult ferry fare. This must be approved by the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission before it can go into effect. When it does it will cost all adults extra, even if you have a ticket. Youth, infants and pets are exempt from the surcharge. The Board tabled this issue for one month while the staff researches the UTC rules.
These actions will set us up for long-te1m financial security, but if it takes us another 21 years or even five years to raise our assessments again we will simply fall behind again, om assessments simply must keep pace with the cost of living. Therefore the Governance Committee will soon present proposed changes to our by laws, one of which will provide the Board with the ability to adjust the annual assessment based on the annual change in the Consumer Price Index for the greater Seattle/Everett area. This too will be presented to the com munity to vote on.
The only reason that we now own our new ferry, and were able to overhaul the Elsie M II without a. special assessment, is because recent Boards saw the importance of saving and we had the cash on hand to act quickly when the opportunity presented itself. The only way to have reserves is to collect more money than you spend and force yourself to save it. These actions will do that for us and position us to buy quality equipment, maintain it on a regular schedule, and replace it when it wears out. These increases will allow us to retain and re ward the quality employees that we now have, and hire quality employees when the need does a1ise. These changes will position us to protect and enhance the infrastructure of our island and in doing so protect and enhance the values of our own homes and prope11ies.
The details of these actions am in the minutes and you should watch your View Point and mail boxes and email for more detailed information.
Ginger Harmon President
Hat Island Trustees
VEHICLE REGISTRATION FORMS went out with 1st quarter statements and were due back by May 1st. Please take care of this requirement. Beginning 1 July we will not sell fuel to an un-registered vehicle.
On Monday, June 23rd, Larry Bender and Bill Townsend applied Durasoil on twenty lots along Saratoga Dr. and Snohomish Way. Each tote will cover 1000 feet of road 15 feet wide. Cost is $200 per lot and if you have a neighbor across the street it could be shared. They covered empty lots rather than leave spaces along the road at their cost for more uniform dust control. They recommend large sections of the road need Durasoil rather than one lot here and there because of the way the dust floats and is carried along with the cars. Come on over and take a drive and give the roads commit- tee or Board your thoughts if heavy used portions of the road system could benefit from this application.
Ginger Harmon reminds those homeowners that would like to purchase Durasoil for their road, should contact the following homeowners that purchased the Durasoil for resale to other homeowners in their Divisions: Greg Harmon - M Division – 206-851-5943, Sharron Meadows – A Division – 444-6634, Larry Bender – A Division – 206-412-3890, Cindy Gregory – N Division – 444-66-46. The manufacturer recommends that each gallon of Durasoil covers 25 sq. feet of road. The cost $8.00 per gallon.
Our golf course was re-rated by the WSGA as part of our ongoing membership. The manager was the same person that rated our course 10 years ago. He is on every course in the state and was extremely complimentary of our courses over- all condition and especially complimentary on our maintenance personnel effort.
A note from our course superintendent is please repair your ball marks on the greens, please remain 30 feet from the greens with carts and please use the designated new cart paths around all tee box areas.
Golf course committee and adopt a hole volunteers will have a meeting in July to discuss progress and water issues. Hit em straight, the trees are in play