November 15, 2019
Dear SHMHA Members:
Here we are again, with another year end in view, and it’s time to talk about next year’s SHMHA budget. It will come as no surprise that putting together a budget plan gets more difficult with each passing year. A good economy is great for all of us, but record-low unemployment makes hiring seasonal workers more difficult, and escalating material costs affect our reserve account balances as well as our operating budget.
As we carefully examine our reserve accounts, it’s clear that the deck and roof accounts need a good boost to keep up with rising costs. At the same time, we took a couple of important steps. In the past we’ve had difficulty procuring competitive deck bids. This year we sent out a large number of invitations to bid and still only received two; however, we were fortunate to connect with a new contractor with a favorable bid. We also have a new roofing contractor who will begin work on one building yet this year, and we’re hopeful this can be a long-term solution. In the meantime, we enlisted help from our engineering firm to take a look at all the roofs, and, based on their recommendations, we have some positive flexibility with the roof replacement schedule going forward. Another helpful piece of the puzzle is the potential to reallocate some of the equipment reserve fund to roofs and decks – please read more about this below in the information about the budget meeting. All of these contributed to a little breathing room for our reserves but make no mistake: these accounts will need to be consistently funded over time to be sure our long-term maintenance work is properly covered. Please know that these financial decisions are not easy to make, and the Board doesn’t make them lightly. We are all residents, too, and are affected just like all homeowners.
I am so very grateful to our SHMHA finance committee: Chair, Judy Haluka, Cathy Cartieri, Elisa Cavalier, Len Kinter, and Clayton Steup, who reviewed worksheets and bids, looked at countless line items, and asked good questions. Staff members Susan Moran and Bob Merriman helped us considerably by providing up-to-date information and doing a lot of the legwork to put together the beginning elements for the finance committee’s work. After looking carefully at various operating items and reserve contributions, assessments for the Manor will increase by 6.5% in 2020, mostly due to the critical reserve funding. The Ridge, due largely to landscaping/tree removal issues, will have a 10% increase for 2020.
We will review the proposed budget at a meeting with interested residents December 3, at 7 PM, at the Aleppo Township Building, 100 North Drive. PRIOR TO THE BUDGET MEETING, at 6:30 PM, there will be a brief meeting of our membership to consider and approve the transfer of $45,000 from equipment reserves (not so critical at this time due to equipment replacement as a result of last year’s fire insurance settlement) to the deck ($15,000) and roof ($30,000) reserve funds. If you are unable to attend the reserve fund adjustment meeting and want to assign your voting proxy to someone who will attend the meeting, please print the proxy form, complete, and return it to the Manor office at least 24 hours before the December 3 meeting. After the budget meeting with residents, the Board will hold their regular monthly business meeting, at which time they will adopt the final budget. Copies of the proposed budget are available in the Manor office and by clicking the links above.
Our governing documents state that our assessments are due in full on January 1st; for the convenience of our members, we’ve always allowed for quarterly payments. Assessments are by far our most significant source of SHMHA income, and our ability to meet daily operating expenses depends upon their timely collection. Late payments affect all our neighbors.
Thank you for your interest in our community, and thanks for being good neighbors,
December 3, 2019
Aleppo Township Municipal Building
100 North Drive
The SHMHA Finance Committee and Board of Directors invites the Membership to a meeting to discuss the proposed 2019 Budget, Tuesday, December 3, at 7:00 PM.
A meeting of the membership will be held on Tuesday, December 3 at 6:30 P.M. (prior to the budget meeting) at the Aleppo Township Building. The purpose of the meeting is to obtain approval to transfer of $45,000 from the equipment reserve account. The transferred money will be split with $30,000 to roof reserves and $15,000 to deck reserves. Our equipment was all replaced after the fire, so equipment reserve needs are less this year; the transfer will help to ensure the stability of the two reserves accounts, decks and roofs.
SAVE THE DATE
March 16, 2020
Osborne Elementary School
SHMHA Annual Meeting and Election
We will elect four directors.