CONGRATS TO OUR NEW LRP MEMBERS
The 2020-21 fiscal year is kicking off for Long Range Planning with the addition of some new members to our group. Gary Jann is returning after an earlier stint on planning and two terms on the Board. Tony Spata is new to SCG, but is stepping right up and getting involved as a member of the Tech subcommittee, CHAPS, and now on LRP. Eileen Brooks is joining us from the Drama Club where she has been very involved as President and many other roles. And finally, Amy Hunter, another fairly new resident, has recently retired and is joining us as her first foray into committee service here in Grand. We welcome all of them for their enthusiasm and expertise to help guide our community. We want to also thank Rod Rankin who has been leading our F&B team, and has been reappointed for a second two-year term. Barb Minick who was recently appointed to the BOD, Diane Hammann, and Don Love, are all leaving the committee. Roger Barry and Carol White are serving the second year of their two year terms. Earle Greenberg will be our Board liaison.
It has been an interesting spring and summer, to say the least. While we all are sheltering in place, making masks, and trying to keep from going completely stir crazy, your LRP committee has been very busy moving projects forward for the community. Even though our operating budget has suffered some setbacks in revenue and expenses, those funds (and their contingency fund) are separate from the monies that fund LRP projects. Because of this separation of funds, we feel comfortable continuing to work on forward-looking projects for the community that will be executed in the coming years. Just to give you some perspective, here are the available funds as of the end of May.
As you can see, your community is very well run and adequately prepared so that any special assessments can be avoided. Your annual operating budget is around $23,000,000. This is like running a small city with all the issues and contingencies to be considered. When the update of the CC&Rs was consented to by two-thirds of our residents, it allowed the board to de-couple the CARE fund amount from the annual dues. It had been an amount equal to one year’s dues. No exceptions. The board can now set the CARE fee amount taking into consideration market conditions, community needs, and other factors without impacting the annual dues. Our fee has been the lowest in the west valley, and it can be argued that we are the premier community in the west valley. At the last board meeting, the board voted to raise the CARE fee to $3,500, beginning July, 2020. This makes us competitive with other communities and allows us to more quickly accomplish our long list of projects to keep Grand attractive to our current residents and future buyers. By doing that, we can keep our homes attractively priced against the competition. As the CARE fund grows with the ongoing sale of homes, we will begin to allocate those funds to our future projects. If home sales slow, our project implementations will slow.
So what are we working on? The list is long, but here are the ones that have active project teams working on them.
Granite Falls Clubhouse – The first contract will be let shortly to begin the design and construction of the remodel when Coco’s vacates the property 12/31/20. We anticipate starting construction right away in 2021. Our new F&B company will have a large hand in this process, assuming that the project comes to fruition as expected.
Food & Beverage – This project has been going for nearly two years and is in the final selection process. The last details are being worked on for a contract. Look for lots of interesting and creative changes to food service here in Grand in the coming year. They will provide all food and beverage service throughout our campus with many new things planned like service on the golf courses and around our pools, improved snack bars, expanded Café, catering, delivery, and more.
Village Center – This is another project that has been on the project list for a couple of years, but has recently been moved up in priority as the irrigation under the entire center and water features is failing and has to be dug up and replaced. Fortunately, we had done some preliminary scope of design work with a local firm, conducted 2 town halls, and a resident survey, so we were ready to bring this project forward with some preliminary designs for the community to view in a third town hall this summer. Our design firm will take the new input and come back to us with a final look at the designs and we make a recommendation to the board to move ahead quickly to mesh with the reserve project for the irrigation. New water features, lighting, sound, more seating for events, more shade, and the ever-loved Ficus and palm trees will all be part of the renovation.
Technology – Our new general manager, David Twiggs, sees the value of data and having a system that can provide facts that will help guide our business and saves us money and mistakes. He has asked the technology subcommittee to work with him to interview potential companies to replace our current campus-wide system and provide new technologies that are common in active adult communities. The team has done over 40 interviews with clubs, interviewed key CAM staff, and conducted a community-wide survey in preparation for talking with the vendors. Look for some exciting changes, probably in the next year to eighteen months.
As you know, if you’ve been a reader of this newsletter for a while, there are many more projects to be tackled than we currently have on this short list. We talk about them and work on them every month. Nothing will get dropped or forgotten. There are a couple of things we always have to keep in mind: how much can we disrupt the community at any one time and how much capability to handle projects does our CAM staff have? These are limiting factors as much as the dollars.
The July, 2020 meeting has been cancelled as we have nothing to be decided right now and we have three subcommittees hard at work to begin projects for the new year. Stay tuned for more exciting news next month.