by Mike Conroy
At the April Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Director meeting, previous director Ricardo Camacho announced his resignation from the Board and the Board enacted the procedures to fill the vacancy. Brandon Coffee-Borden, a candidate from the 2021 MVF election, resubmitted his application to fill Camacho’s term which ends in March 2023.
Coffee-Borden reaffirmed his desire to serve the larger community, in addition to his position on the Patton Ridge Homes Corporation Board of Directors. The Board was impressed with his credentials and appointed him to the vacancy at the May 27 meeting. Coffee-Borden will be officially installed at the Thursday, June 24 MVF Board meeting.
In other community service and volunteer news, Alex Artcher was appointed to the MVF Nominating Committee. Also in April, long-time committee member Jeff McCloskey resigned, causing a seat to become available. Artcher answered a call for volunteers and expressed the desire to become involved in community affairs.
Other Agenda Items
The Board approved the annual expense of replacing computers for MVF employees. This request is fulfilled from the technology reserves and is a budgeted item each year. For 2021, 8 computers and 2 monitors were approved at a cost of $15,043.63 from the Dresner Group, MVF’s IT Contractor.
Changes to the MVF Reserve Fund Investment Policy Statement were approved according to the Investment Committee and Investment Advisor Wilmington Trust’s suggestion. The committee was concerned with the historically low portfolio performance compared to the equities market and asked Wilmington Trust (WT) to propose changes to the asset allocations that better reflected the committee’s objectives. Based on funds needed for reserve expenses and comfortability levels in each asset class, WT proposed adjusting the asset targets and ranges. The MVF Board agreed and approved the Equity target to 63% (range 45% to 70%); Fixed Income target to 31% (range 15% to 50%); Real Assets target to 4% (range 0% to 15%); and no change to the Cash target at 2% (range 0% to 10%).
The Board also approved a 2% mid-year increase for MVF employees at the meeting. When the 2021 budget was developed and adopted, a conservative approach was taken, not knowing the full extent the COVID-19 pandemic would have on finances. Fortunately, MVF was able to maintain a high level of services and some programming and a better-than-expected delinquency rate. The increase was proposed by EVP Dave Humpton and supported by the Personnel Committee to both retain employees and reward them for continuing MVF’s mission through the pandemic.
Director of Recreation and Parks Duncan Mullis gave a brief update on the North Creek Pool renovation and the updated summer offerings. He said the pool project is moving along, with the installation of the water slide now complete. Bathhouse renovations were also moving quickly, but an expected opening date is still yet to be determined.
Mullis explained that with COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, MVF was able to begin bringing back programming and events to a regular level. He was pleased to announce the summer concert series and Kidjam would run as planned, as well as Summer Camps, the MV Farmers’ Market, Touch-A-Truck, Fishing Rodeo and a number of classes. He said although there would be no community parade this year, the other aspects of the Independence Day Celebration would be held. On Sunday, July 4, the 5k Race and Fun Run were scheduled at Lake Marion Community Center, as well as an evening concert by In Too Deep at the Music Pavilion in South Valley Park. On Monday, July 5, a family festival featuring music, games, rides and food would be held at Apple Ridge Recreation Area. All event details can be found online at www.montgomeryvillage.com.
EVP Humpton noted that as county and state Executive Orders regarding COVID-19 were lifted, individual businesses were allowed to put their own policies in place. He said MVF will require all unvaccinated employees and visitors to the office (and any facility) to wear a mask indoors. With the lift on restrictions, MVF will be re-opening community centers and bringing back events and programs in June. Humpton also noted all teleworking employees will transition back to the office, returning full time on Tuesday, July 6.
Humpton said the county will be reviewing its general plan (2050 plan) which carries some good news for continued opposition to M-83. He said that there is no mention of—or funding for—the roadway in the budget; no councilmembers advocating for it; and no support for it at this time. The general plan notes no plans to build any new large roadways or major highways, instead favoring intersection and roadway improvements, along with other transit options. Humpton also noted the county recently approved it’s $6 billion budget.
CFO Daniel Salazar presented the Treasurer’s Report for the year-to-date and the month ending April 30, noting overall, MVF is ahead of budget; Net Income was reported favorable by $452,000 primarily from investments which are up $201,000 (a 3.1% ROI). The Capital Contribution Fees were also favorable to the budget by $20,000. Personnel expenses were reported favorable to the budget by $90,000, and Operating Expenses were favorable by $83,000 mainly due to lower utilities and water costs.
Salazar said the Balance Sheet continues to show MVF’s strong financial position, with Cash and Investments at 45%. He noted a 13% growth from this time last year, with the balance up $1.3 million. MVF is currently carrying $2.6 million in Undesignated Reserves.
He also noted that Accounts Receivable had grown $120,000, mostly due to the lawsuit with the condominiums. Salazar said that from May through September, MVF would need to transfer $350,000 each month ($1.4 million in total) from MVF Reserve Investments to Operating to cover the costs of renovating the North Creek Pool.
Delinquencies increased by 9.3% from last month (this is a normal fluctuation for the beginning of the quarter), ending at 17.3%. Salazar said that even though the rate had increased, it was still better than both the 5-year average and last year.
Because of COVID-19, 2020 lawsuits have not been filed with Montgomery County. He said MVF will soon be in scenario where homeowners may owe 2020 and 2021 assessments, and MVF would need to file multiple lawsuits. Currently, the Jenark software cannot handle recording multiple lawsuits on the same property, so it is being modified at a cost of $9,360.
The next MVF Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 24, as a conference call. Residents are invited to join the call; full meeting details, the meeting packet and/or participation instructions will be posted online at www.montgomeryvillage.com the week before the meeting.