2015 Budget Plan shows decrease in GRF assessments

By Jennifer Karmarkar, The Orange County Register
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

July 15--LAGUNA WOODS -- Business planning meetings to establish the 2015 budgets continued this week, with GRF's Version 2 meeting held Monday. After voting unanimously to slash the budget for Professional Services by $150,000, GRF's basic assessment for 2015 is proposed at $216.11 per manor per month -- a decrease of $7.77 from this year.

Significant changes from the 2014 budget include:

--Staff compensation increased by $512,892 because of a 3 percent wage adjustment and more hours required for gate ambassadors.

--Compensation expenses increased by $368,211 due to a change in the union-contracted pricing for medical insurance premiums.

--Electricity increased by $141,530 based on Southern California Edison rate increases of 5 percent this year and projected 4 percent in 2015.

--Water & Sewer increased by $329,545 because of higher costs to switch from reclaimed to tertiary water to irrigate the golf course.

--Trash decreased by $307,864 because of fewer pickups required.

--Taxes decreased by $161,975, primarily due to a revised estimated tax liability.

--Cable TV programming was decreased by $418,842 by the elimination of a price increase contingency for programming fees; lower subscription growth also contributed.

Basic assessments were further reduced by a recommendation made at the June Business Planning Meeting to include a Surplus Recovery amount of $10 per manor per month. Reserve Contributions are set at $33 per manor per month -- no change from 2014.

Financial Services Director Betty Parker noted a $362,262 increase for Interest will be reduced in the Version 3 Plan because the $10 million loan to fund the Recreation Master Plan has since been paid back. She added that assessments will not be affected because revenues transferred from the Trust Facilities Fee Fund will offset the decrease.

GRF has scheduled a special open meeting for 2 p.m. Friday in the Board Room to continue its Version 2 budget talks. A review of the Business Plan (Version 3) is set for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6.


(c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

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