Post Dispatch Center | Baca Grande property owners discuss budget

BACA GRANDE SUBDIVISIONS — Baca Grande Property Owners Association members met with the board on Sept. 20 for an “informational exchange” about finances.

The proposed 2023 budget for the POA includes six categories of income sources listed at the beginning on the first page, followed by three more pages of expenses subdivided into 29 categories. A 30th category for Reserve Expense is offset by a budgeted reserved income budget sparked by a $100,000 transfer from the operating budget.

The proposed budget includes figures from 2021 and 2022 when the assessment amount per lot rose from $426 to $493. Assessment collections are the backbone of the 2023 budget, bulked up to $640.90 under a formula that splits the check equally among lot owners. The 2023 assessment amount, if fully collected, accounts for $2,293,140 of all projected income. Other sources add a hopeful $673,649.

Throughout the country, POAs and Homeowners Associations suffer a 3-percent delinquency rate from owners who don’t pay their assessments. An HOA with a 6-percent delinquency rate is considered high.

The Baca Grande POA is far out of line with national averages. In 2019, 49.7 percent of the POA members did not pay. In 2020, this number dropped to 39.8 percent. Declines to 29.8 and 24.4 percent followed in 2021 and 2022.

Of the POA’s total water expenses budgeted for 2023 ($83,964.36), nearly half is diverted to the golf course, a $40,000 price tag. Other expenses related to golf course operation include $1,428.50 for building maintenance, $7,957 for electricity, $6,000 for grounds maintenance, and another $2,500 for propane and heating on top of $2,000 for vehicle fuel and oil as well as $377.25 for reserve expenses.

Debits to credits, the golf course income comes to $3,361.50 with a projected $2,000 from facility rental fees and possibly $1,361.50 from greens fees. Golf course expenses total $60,262.75. On paper, the golf course appears to be $56,901.25 underwater.

A foursome strolled the course with their clubs at the start of the POA meeting on Sept. 15, smiling as they covered the green fairway. Frisbee players walk the same course, a benefit of POA membership. Others enjoyed the lush, green course before the Sept. 20 meetings as members entered the POA Hall.

Completely defunding and shutting down the golf facility without increasing other income or cutting other POA expenses would drop the projected 2023 assessment from $640.90 to $624.05.

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