Rules and Policies
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why are personnel costs such a large percentage of our budget?
Personnel costs are he largest percentage of any business budget because most of what gets done is done by people. We do annual surveys of comparable markets for the type of work and the skills we require. The fact that money is placed in our Payroll budget does not mean it will be paid; that depends on performance.
Many companies are cutting back on overtime, but I notice overtime is a factor in our budget.
The only overtime we pay is for emergency repairs. In 2008 we had a heavy snowfall in the early months which required a lot of overtime keeping our roads plowed. Later in the year we had water runoff from an uphill property that washed out one of our roads, requiring overtime to repair it. During the year we had a number of events requiring emergency repairs to our water system.
Why is there a factor for Bad Debts? Why should those of us who pay have to also pay for those who do not?
Our budget is based on the amount of money we require to operate in the coming year. Our expenses are not reduced because a few do not pay. Those who do pay must pick up the slack, but it doesn’t end there.
We employ several collection methods which are put into action when an account becomes overdue: First, we call the account to try to arrange a satisfactory payment schedule. If that is not successful, we file a lien against the property; when the property is sold we receive our money. In the extreme, we foreclose; if our bad debt wins the auction we get the property; if someone outbids our bad debt, we get our money.
During the past due period we add to the debt rebilling fees, accumulating interest and any costs we incur to collect.
Do we have a “rainy day” fund?
We have two: One is the “Maintenance & Operations Reserve Fund” which is used to cover unexpected expenses and errors in predicting the annual budget. This fund may be used by the Board without prior member approval. Each year 10% of the predicted expenses is added to the budget for this fund. Any unspent money at year-end is returned to the members as a credit on the following year’s budget.
The second is the “Capital Improvements Reserve Fund” which is used only to cover the costs of capital improvements. This fund may not be used without the approval of the members, and once approved, must be set aside and accounted for separately. Each year 10% of the predicted expenses is added to the budget for this fund, but it is allowed to grow each year in anticipation of replacement of deteriorating assets.
What is the separate $100 assessment on my bill for?
In 2003 we took out a 20-year low cost loan (1% interest) from the State in order to make substantial repairs/replacements to our wells and pumps. A Special Assessment of $100/lot for was approved by the members to cover the 10 year project. The final $100/lot assessment will be collected in 2010.
This Special Assessment has been invested at a higher interest rate than the loan rate. The Water Account will continue to be used to repay the loan (approximately $24,000/year) until 2013 when the final payment is due to the State on the 20-year loan.
I own two lots in Ponderosa and pay Dues and Assessments on both. Why am I limited to one vote?
Our governing documents placed this limitation on voting to prevent any individual or group from acquiring enough votes to take over our Board and run the Ponderosa as their personal kingdom. The principle is nearly the same in other voting venues: You may own multiple lots in Washington, but you are limited to one vote for, say, governor. The main difference is that Ponderosa’s governing documents define “membership” and limit the vote to one per membership while the State law limits the vote to one per person.
Since full-timers use more of our facilities, why do they pay the same Dues and Assessments as part-timers?
Historically, full-timers fill more of our volunteer positions and do more of the upkeep of Ponderosa facilities than part-timers. In addition, full-timers keep an eye on things day-to-day, which provides a measure of security and control to all of us. If per-capita statistics could actually be kept on usage, it is likely that part-timers actually use more of our facilities, there being so many more of them.
My lot does not have water on it/ My family does not use the pool (and other variations), why do I have to pay for these facilities?
The costs of operating Ponderosa facilities are spread among all members because there is no practical way of determining and assessing an individual’s usage. This method of “taxation” is no different than in any other municipality: You may not use the city’s (parks, bike paths, emergency medical services, schools) but you are requried to pay for them as a community necessity.
What can I do about “un-neighborly” behavior (e.g. Trashy yards, Dogs running loose, Loud parties, Illegal fires, Criminal activity)?
Illegal fires should be reported immediately to a Fire Commissioner. Their phone numbers are posted at the Fire Station.
Criminal activity should be reported immediately to the County Sheriff.
For all other complaints we have an Ombudsman whose job it is to try to reason with the offending member to comply with the norms of our community. In order to trigger the Ombudsman’s involvement you must file a written complaint on a form which can be obtained from the Office or downloaded from our website (www.ponderosacommunityclub.org).
If the offending member refuses to comply, it is the complainant’s obligation to report the infraction to Chelan County which has ordinances governing animal control, offensive noise, intrusive lighting, etc. The Ombudsman can help with this.