Budget Analysis – We are BROKE!

We haven’t had a budget that has balanced in over 10 years and once again we are planning on spending more than we are taking in.

We had to take money from a reserve account, probably the road fund, to make it to the next remittance! Scary!!

The Road Fund is no longer a part of our expenditures and is expected to fund itself.

Another dues increase heading your way, without explanation, again!

It is vital that we conduct a reserve study. Here is the reason why. Click Here https://www.reserveadvisors.com/resources/blog/what-is-a-reserve-study-and-why-is-it-important/

When Lambs become Lions…wake up!

WROA Maintenance Items in Priority

1 Remove boulders blocking north emergency exit on the west side of the river.

2. Forest – With decreasing rainfall, we must begin taking measures to thin our 40 acres of forest to deal with this weather phenomenon. This includes the removal of vegetation along our roadsides which is also preventing snowplows from maintaining maximum road width during the winter months.

3. Roadways – We need to take monies from our Road Fund to take care of shoulder gravel replacement and repairs to the severe bumps and dips in our roadway. Once the necessary repairs have been completed we then need to reassess our entire roadway so we can better understand the “how much and when?“ We need to survey our members on how much they would be willing to spend on an assessment. The last was $600 in 2006 for a $300,000 repave.

4. Fire Hydrants -Inspect, flush and certify our fire hydrants annually.

5. Perimeter Fence – Our perimeter fence is 10 years past its expiration date. Start at those various Nat’l Forest access points.

6. Mail Stations – What a cluster! For less than $200 per key, we can start over. An Assessment since we are broke!

7. Mail Station Lighting – Install different Kelvin rated lights set on motion detectors.

8. Invasive Weeds – Identify and eradication in the spring, before going to seed.

9. Log Jam -Remove log jam preventing full flow to our rivulets.

10. Road Markers – Remove road markers preventing the snowplows from maintaining the full road width during the winter months.

11. Pump Houses – Conduct a full assessment of the condition of our pumphouse buildings by gaining access through Avion.

12. Reroof pump houses – Replace 50 year old asphalt shingles with corrugated steel, similar to mail stations.

13. Signage – Remove all unnecessary signage beginning with the two large and obnoxious “Dog Park Rules” billboards in the pristine river delta habitat! This is a private development, not a public park. In the past the membership would drive any changes or additions to our signage. When WROA went with Becky’s sign recommendations in 2008, we reused the metal blanks rather than buying new ones. Some people do not have any regard for how other people’s monies are spent.

14. Road Cinder – Removal of the cinder on both sides of Burgess, before and after the bridge. The County won’t remove the excess cinder and the buildup will hamper snow removal and water drainage from the bridge, creating an ice skating rink during certain weather conditions.

Fix Our Budget!

Ray can’t even manage a simple budget and he condones bad behavior by our Secretary and Ethics Advisor, Olive Oil.

We should have 4 separate buckets for our expenditures:

  • The Operating Fund
  • The General Reserve Fund for the unexpected, e.g. border fencing replacement, mailboxes refresh, etc.
  • The Road Fund @ $30k a year.
  • Forest maintenance @ $10k a year.

We burned through our General Reserve Fund and now we will be burning through our Road Fund like if it was a General Reserve Account. Ray has not put together a balanced budget or properly maintained our Common Area since joining the WROA Board of Directors! As the ARC Chair he is approving construction that has the potential of burning down our development!

Ray’s 2023 – 2024 Budget Proposal

Once again Ray is proposing spending $17k more than what we are taking in! That money is taken from the “Road Fund”, meaning we will be only adding $13k to our reserve!

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Before the Ray

Here is the way we used to put together our budget forecast. It’s simple while providing a great history of expenditures.

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A Better Layout with Similar Results

Here is a proposed outline for our 2023 – 2024 Budgeting Forecast, based on Ray’s desire to spend WROA Money!

Once again, Ray is proposing that we spend $15k more than we are planning on taking in?

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Where to Begin

My goal even before joining the WROA Board has always been to share everything that I know about property management with anyone who wants to listen. The Boeing Company invested millions of dollars in me and I’ll gladly give everything I’ve learned away for free. Dr Joyce Brothers told me that there are two different ways to have the biggest house on the block, build yours up or tear everyone else’s down.

I’m the nicest guy that you will ever meet until you lie to me or conduct yourself in an unethical manner as the Board’s secretary continues to do. Why is it that anyone who knows her uses other real estate firms, especially our current and former board members? I’ve been instructed to contact Oregon Realtors Ethics Board on several occasions. It’s on my list. My current focus is to take care of our roads, mailboxes, forest, fire egress, border fencing, sign elimination, etc.

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WROA Roads

Here is what I know, along with assumptions about our roads.

First Assumption. 1. The first paving of Wild River Roads occurred in the mid 70s. The primary purpose was to keep the dust down in the sparsely occupied neighborhood.

Assumption #2 In 2005 it was decided by the majority that our roads should be repaved.

The cost would be $300k (rounding up for simplification) which required an assessment of $600 (rounding up) per lot.

The agreement was that we would bank $10k a year into a “Road Fund” so that in 30 years we, those remaining, would have a better jump on the next “repave“.

The deposits into the road fund have ranged from $0 to $15k a year since 2007. We have also used road funds for road maintenance, appropriate in my book.

The premise that you could throw down a third layer of asphalt was severely flawed. Especially when starting with a poor repave.

In the summer of 2006 Vic Russell has at it, with zero oversight by anyone in WROA! The quality of asphalt was very inferior to commercial grade road asphalt that the county would use, using much less oil. That is why you see cracks every few feet as there is less flexibility without the oil. In many areas there is now a severe crown in the road making it impossible for a 3rd layer

In 2009 we funded the replacement of the road shoulder gravel. The 2006 complement had settled and where people cut the corners the gravel had blown out.

We, Brian and I, installed road markers to help reduce the blow outs, but it didn’t help whatsoever. Get rid of the road markers as it hampers snow removal and many have faded and are heeled over. Less is more.

So it’s been since 2009 on shoulder gravel and about 12 years since an expensive and wasteful seal. I have been asking for 10 years for a reserve study to be conducted to understand what are all of our future expenditures, especially road replacement.

On many occasions I’ve asked at our annual meeting, “Do we have enough in our road fund?” is it too much or not enough, only a professional paver can give you that answer!

Finally, under the cover of darkness, or maybe it was in a newsletter that I never received, a road study is conducted indicating that by 2036 WROA will need to spend $1M ($880,000) to completely replace our 2.5 miles of roadway.

A far cry from $300k! What a legacy to leave!

Early financial analysis indicates owners will need to pony up around $2k in an assessment charge! That assumes we neglect all other assets like forest, mail stations, the list of neglected assets is too long to list here.

First, the majority needs to agree on what is the right number for an assessment. Then we back into that number deciding what maintenance we aren’t including.

Once again, majority rules! After that information is sorted out we can then go about forecasting everyone’s dues for the next few years. It ain’t gonna be pretty!

Budget Analysis

Forest Health

With declining rainfall in our region it is time to take drastic steps to preserve our forest. We can either wait for our trees to begin dying due to draught and insect infestation or we can take action now to begin thinning and dead limbing.

Actual rainfall from 2010 through 2022 from my Davis Weather Station. The trendline indicates this is not going to get any better anytime soon.
  • All trees under six inches in diameter at chest height need to be removed.
  • Increase spacing between remaining trees as necessary
  • Remove all dead limbs
  • Removal of Bitter Brush below tree drip lines, leave the rest for the deer.

Oregon Drought Monitor

Before I was asked to join the Board in 2008, I’d listen to people bitch at our “monthly” meetings about exterior lighting and forest conditions with no one volunteering. Makes me gag! Whiners!

Having never shied away from an honest day’s work, I raised my hand and said, “I’ll do it!” “You’ll do what?” I’ll put together a plan for our exterior lights and a comprehensive forest plan.

Sticking to the forest plan, I met with the Oregon Department of Forestry, Fish & Wildlife, Wild & Scenic/Bend Parks and Recreation to understand their needs as much of our property is governed by Wild & Scenic. And since we live in the middle of a National Forest, fitting in is preferred.

After meeting with the experts, I put together a scope of work, breaking that scope into three bite sized chunks for budgetary considerations. I then got on the phone to see who was interested in bidding for the work. My background says get 3 bids but 2 bidders was the best that I could muster. I held a bidders’ conference and we walked the property me setting expectations along the way. Any questions asked later were shared with both parties.

By this time I’d walked the 40 acres 4 times, marking trees with surveyor ribbon based on Stuart Otto’s (ODoF) spacing recommendations. After marking all the trees to be removed I informed the residents that if they felt the plan was too radical that they could feel free to remove any ribbon of their choosing. Most ribbons were left remaining.

Once again, the intent was to perform this work statement over 3 years but after the first year “our membership” decided to fund the remaining 2 phases by moving money from our reserve account, which we no longer have, to our operating fund.

Having depleted a significant amount of our reserve funds, the board asked the membership to make a decision on increasing our dues by $25, $50 or $75 per year per lot. The membership agreed to increasing our annual dues by $50 a year with the understanding that those funds would be held in reserve for common area forest maintenance. Where’s the money?

Our secretary says that we hired a professional arborist and that arborist says our forest is in top notch condition. Get a Refund!

This is why I can’t stress enough hiring professionals and taking the personalities out of the formula!

I’ll be putting together a comprehensive budget plan shortly based on all of the shortfalls I’m aware of. All member input is imperative.