General Manager — Long-Term Sustainability Planning
Community Sustainability has been a subject for the Board and the Planning Committee for some time. About 9 months ago, a Work Group was endorsed by the Board to look into identifying new revenue streams and efficiencies that would mitigate severe increases to the annual HOA and other special assessments. This group has presented their progress to the Board on three occasions. These presentations are available on the LWW website.
The most recent review with the Board recommended looking in more depth with projects in five specific areas. These projects resulted from hundreds of comments generated in more than a dozen focus groups made up of active committee participants. Four additional issues resulted from a summary of the focus group comments. These will be summarized toward the end of this article.
The following is a summary of the five major projects. Please know that none of the subjects have pre-determined answers or recommendations. It is the objective of each group to investigate the issues, develop long-term strategies, present advantages and disadvantages for the community and potential revenue or efficiencies. After extensive review with the community, recommendations will be made to the Board for their approval.
1. Optimizing the use of LWW facilities and amenities: The most talked about suggestion from the focus groups related to opening some or all of our community facilities to the public outside of LWW gates. While this subject seems easy to discuss and forward an opinion, there are many complexities and related issues to consider. The team addressing this subject will look at all of these issues and identify the implications to the members of the community.
2. Food and Beverage strategy: The next most popular topic among focus group participants suggested looking into the food and beverage delivery in the future. Specifically, given the needs and desires of our community, how should we best use the available facilities for dining, banquets, events and other special occasions? The team will develop and present a strategic plan. They will not address immediate operational issues.
3. Best use of LWW owned properties: With the acquisition of the Minnow Way property, it is apparent that a plan for its best use is in the interest of the membership. As this issue is considered there are implications and decisions that need to be made with respect to other properties, e.g. campground, maintenance area and so on. An overall plan must be developed to optimize the use of all LWWA owned properties. This team will develop and present this plan.
4. Funding Reserves: Financial Reserves set aside for the care and maintenance have been under funded and unfunded for the life of Lake Wildwood. At the same time, there are increased demands to fund such things a fire-safe clearing, dam maintenance and so on to protect the value of our property. To minimize the increase of association dues, fees and special assessments, we must find a way to replenish Reserve funds at an accelerated rate. This team will look into alternatives, test legality and develop a plan for implementation. This will be presented to the community and the Board for approval.
5. Reduce Utility costs: Utility costs represent a large part of the Association’s operating budget. There may be alternatives to how gas, electricity and water are deliv
ered to LWW administration and residents. This team will look at these alternatives and will focus most immediately on the viability of solar power for LWW administration.
Other initiatives resulting from focus group discussions…
• Marketing LWW to potential home buyers as well as marketing LWW amenities to residents of our community was a well discussed topic. The CRC has this responsibility and has implemented a very extensive initiative.
• Landlord and tenant issues were frequently mentioned. The Planning Committee is recommending the Board initiate a study to clearly define the issues and develop recommendations.
• Administrative best practices are being addressed by the General Manager and staff so that process improvements are implemented with best use of technology and other methods.
• Fees and Assessments were also frequently commented on by focus group participants. It was felt that there was sufficient attention given to these by the Board, Committees and staff.
The Sustainability Work Group will select team members who have background and experience in one of the five key projects and have the time, energy and enthusiasm to follow through with analysis and recommendations to the Board. Again, an open mind and experience is the criteria. Pre-determined opinions can be offered later in other venues. To this end, the Sustainability Work Group is entirely committed to engaging the community in the discussion of these issues and developing new ideas addressing revenue streams and efficiencies. Café groups and Town Hall meetings will be scheduled soon where everyone will have a chance to provide input and comment. In the meantime, if you have suggestions, questions or comments, please send an email to email@example.com. — Bob Mariani, GM
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