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Votes

RA Passes Budget

$10 million budget includes 5 percent increase.

With little fanfare, the Reston Association (RA) board of directors unanimously passed its 2004-2005 budget during its Nov. 13 meeting. The $10.1 million budget reflects a five percent increase in spending from RA's previous biannual budget.

Gerald "Jerry" Volloy, RA executive vice president, said the current document reflects a concerted effort to "balance fiscal responsibility against community and organizational needs."

During the just finished budget season, more than $2 million worth of requests for new initiatives came from RA members, RA committee, RA staff and the association's strategic plan, Volloy said. Work by the board and staff was able to trim the list to approximately $1.1 million. Of those $1.1 million in suggesting expenditures, Volloy announced that about 80 percent of the initiative were able to be funded. Some of the expenses approved include an update of the Reston recreation master plan in 2004 ($25,000), continued implementation of the watershed plan ($95,000), referendum on updating RA governance documents in 2004 ($70,000), and deck lights added to the Hunters Woods Pool ($10,000).

In his Nov. 13 letter to the RA members, Volloy said over the course of budgetary negotiations and review, it became clear that "concerns over the 'cap' are real."

"Without significant future increases in revenues to provide for the needs and desires of our community, the impact of the cap will limit our ability to continue to respond to the wishes of our members and the needs of the organization beyond the budget cycle," Volloy wrote. "Funding critical needs in this budget takes us anxiously close to the imposed cap."

The budget represents a five percent increase in total income from years 2003 to 2004 and another four percent from 2004 to 2005. The increase will be generated by the newly approved RA assessment. The assessment for 2004 will be $415 and are projected to bring in $8,295,953, while the $425 assessment for 2005 will add $8,572,731 to the operating fund, according to budget documents.

Assuming an inflation rate of 1.2 percent, the "cap," or maximum assessment per household, is $428 for 2004 and at a 2 percent rate, $436 in 2005, according to RA budget documents.

--Jeff Green