Fi­nan­cial per­spec­tive

The Weekly Vista - - Opinion -

Trails: The NWA Trail­blaz­ers, with fi­nan­cial sup­port from the Wal­ton Fam­ily Foun­da­tion, have spent, and con­tinue to spend, mil­lions to build a trail sys­tem through North­west Ar­kan­sas, in­clud­ing Bella Vista. They ad­here to the high­est qual­ity of con­struc­tion and re­spect to en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact. The cost to prop­erty own­ers has been and con­tin­ues to be zero. The costs for our POA to main­tain the Bella Vista trails is cur­rently $35,000 per year. That’s 8 cents per prop­erty per month, from as­sess­ments. When the Back 40 is com­pleted, this will in­crease to 16 cents. This is our to­tal cost to have an amenity broadly rec­og­nized as the finest of its kind in the world.

Gen­eral Eco­nom­ics: Our POA is a not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that ex­ists to as­sure qual­ity ameni­ties for the value and en­joy­ment of prop­erty own­ers and guests. It should not be viewed from the same fi­nan­cial per­spec­tive as a for-profit busi­ness. Over the past few years, the board felt it made lit­tle sense to main­tain large fi­nan­cial re­serves while our ameni­ties were de­te­ri­o­rat­ing or closed, our ser­vice qual­ity was lack­lus­ter, and our over­all im­age and at­trac­tive­ness was in re­lent­less de­cline. We hired the most skilled man­ager we could find to re­ju­ve­nate our fa­cil­i­ties, to re­ju­ve­nate our ser­vice cul­ture and qual­ity, and to ad­here to the high­est level of cost man­age­ment. At the spe­cific di­rec­tion of the board, Tom and his staff have ex­e­cuted bril­liantly in all as­pects.

The board traded a bank bal­ance that was pro­vid­ing no ben­e­fit to prop­erty own­ers for re­ju­ve­nated and re­opened fa­cil­i­ties that en­hance the value of

our com­mu­nity and pro­vide en­joy­ment for us and our guests. If those fa­cil­i­ties gen­er­ate rev­enue that even ap­proaches the costs of their op­er­a­tion, they will be fi­nan­cially su­pe­rior to any amenity we main­tain.

Our POA is fi­nan­cially sound and ap­pro­pri­ate for an or­ga­ni­za­tion of its pur­pose. How­ever, there is no longer a fi­nan­cial re­serve avail­able to be traded for fur­ther sub­stan­tial re­ju­ve­na­tion. Such work in the fu­ture will re­quire an as­sess­ment in­crease above our cur­rent level, which re­mains sub­stan­tially lower than any com­mu­nity that even re­motely ap­proaches the qual­ity, va­ri­ety and beauty of what we en­joy.

Go­ing for­ward, it’s the board’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to clearly de­scribe spe­cific en­hance­ments pro­posed, the value to us, the costs to con­struct and main­tain them and match that amount to the pro­posed in­crease. It will then be up to the mem­bers, through their votes, to de­cide if they agree.

Ron Strat­ton Bella Vista

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