“The Treasure Trove
Hi, folks, this is your WCC501 Treasurer and I’d love to share some good news with you and give you perhaps a better feel for where your condo fees go instead of looking at a dry Budget Sheet.
So, where does my $190.08 go every month anyway? I’ve even been asked on the street recently if we shouldn’t all be getting a rebate because we can’t use the clubhouse. The Clubhouse has been closed by our provincial health rules, not our Board. As an aside, I’ll add that your Board is anticipating some form of reopening as soon as we get the go ahead and guidelines from the Provincial Health Inspector.
You can see from your monthly email from Brydges that $16.91 goes towards our Reserve Fund which we are also governmentally obligated to grow. As a non profit Condominium we can only invest safely, in GICs (Guaranteed Income Certificates) and so we do invest our Reserve Funds. We have a plan that allows us to ladder, or stagger, these investments so that each year some of the investments “mature” and are available for either reinvestment or to purchase a big item that we need to replace; think the kitchen cooler, for example, as it will be the next thing to go, I’m sure. That will be around $4000.00. Over this coming winter, we will need to pay for a new Reserve Fund Study, at approximately $5000.00, as it has to be redone once every five years as per government regulations. The study lists each item that we own and its life expectancy so that we can look at the study and foresee when something will likely need to be replaced. It also gives us guidelines on how much money we should have in our Reserve Fund at any given time. Our Reserve Fund covers things like the Clubhouse roof, paving and repairing our streets, water and sewer systems, gym equipment, air conditioning units, and so on. You can view our existing Reserve Fund Study 2016 on the Meadowbrook website under Condo Docs. Our Reserve Fund is very close to being on schedule as you hear each year from the Independent Auditor at our Annual General Meeting.
So that leaves $173.17 for Common Element Fees. It costs us, on the average, $18,000.00 to $25000.00 each and every month to run Meadowbrook. What the heck is a Common Element? I’m sure we all understand that to be our streets that we see getting plowed and sanded in the winter and cleaned in the spring and all the grassy areas that we see Guy mowing all summer long. It’s also the property tax we pay to the municipality and the mortgage on the clubhouse, along with the hydro, gas, and general maintenance. Its the trees along Blythefield and the path where we have to first purchase, and then annually replace some trees each year. It’s the fees that we pay Brydges to be our Property Manager. It’s the insurance we have to buy each year. It’s our garbage collection. It’s our water, and, as you know by now, that is a huge expense. Here’s why the Board strongly recommends “grasscycling” which saves both on garbage and water.
That’s where all the money goes. So, just because the Clubhouse is temporarily closed, the expenses don’t stop! Same as at your house. Even if you happen to be gone for the winter, you still have all those same expenses of maintaining it.
Now, just so you know, I am not an accountant, that’s one of the functions we pay Brydges to do for us. I am a bookkeeper so I have a layman’s view of where our money goes. I hope my view has helped your understanding of where our money goes. It’s not cheap to run a condominium and over and above all that, when we are able to use the clubhouse again, we’ll have a free library, a free gym, a free meeting room for all of our beloved functions. Meanwhile we still have our beautiful flower beds and flower pots and the great garden area, walking paths and clean, fresh air. We have a wonderful neighbourhood where everyone takes pride in their homes and we have great friends with whom we can still chit chat and count on to look out for and be there for each other. See you on the street! Be well.