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Master Association Board Considering $3 Per Month Dues Increase

At its Nov. 14 meeting, the Ken-Caryl Ranch Master Association Board discussed the 2018 Draft Budget. After a thorough review and discussion of the budget, the Board is considering a $3 per month increase in dues. There are several one-time projects planned for 2018:

  • Bond Project Expenses: $162,000 for unexpected expenses with the bond projects primarily due to asbestos testing and abatement, permitting, and legal fees.
  • Supplemental Funding for the Ranch House Pool Replacement: $200,000 toward construction costs for a new pool at the Ranch House. This money will help supplement the funding from the Plains Metro District lawsuit.
  • Shared Water Expenses: $100,000 toward the water bill
  • Docmann Trail Construction: $76,000 (Trail Club will pay the remaining $12,000)
  • Stallion Pointe Trail Improvements: $16,000
  • Phase 2 of a Fence Along the North Border: $5,000
  • Trail Construction Supplies for the East Plum Thicket/Manzanita Social Trail Conversion: $15,000
  • Open Space Picnic Tables: $5,000
  • Easement/Right-of-Way Review: $7,000
  • Docmann Fence/Gates: $5,000
  • Electrical Box Upgrade at the Equestrian Center Main Barn: $3,500
  • Ranch House Wading Pool Repairs: $5,000
  • Tie Wall and Fence Replacement on Portion of Valley Parkway: $68,000
  • Upgraded Bathrooms at the Bradford Pool: $11,000
  • Noxious Weed Spraying in the Open Space Near the Manor House: $5,000

The Draft Budget is available for review here: Draft Budget. The Board is planning to adopt the 2018 Budget at its Dec. 12 meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Ranch House. The public is welcome to attend and provide feedback. If you have any questions, please contact Master Association Executive Director Chris Pacetti at chrisp@kcranch.org or 303-979-1876, ext. 116.

20 Comments

  1. Jim Pierce

    I am very disappointed in the proposed plan to increase the Master Association dues. After struggling with a bond issue approval, apparently the Board did not uphold their fiduciary responsibilities since the work exceeded the bond limit. Now the Board believes they just raise dues to meet any needs where the residents do not have any approval/disapproval voice.

    1. J. Shelton

      You win a lawsuit and a bond — and now you want more from us? You spend unnecessary money on things like signage. You charge for swimming and horses (apparently not enough) — and now you want more from us? Some of us just live here on fixed retirement incomes. Some of us are non-family people. Some of us have not used the amenities or the trails or the activities. That is our choice, but again — now you want more from us? So does everybody else! Taxes and insurance and groceries and everybody’s fees. Enough!

      1. Greg

        MA is requesting the dues increase. The Lawsuit and bond were from the Metro District, they are two separate entities. MD is ran from the collection of taxes and MA is from Dues. Maybe that will help clear things up. Every amenity in this community is what makes it such a great place to live. I don’t play tennis or use the pools anymore, but I realize we need it. We are still much cheaper than most other HOA’s out there.

  2. S. Boyle

    I am in agreement with Jim Pierce. Additionally, I am seeing very little support for Docmann trail. In discussions about the trail, as well as seeing opposition to environmental impact, this is the first I’ve seen of financial impact to residents.

    1. Victoria DeSair

      Katie, the Master Association Board decided to contribute $100,000 toward the shared water expenses with the Metropolitan District. They determine each year how much, if any, they will contribute toward the bill.

  3. Danny Macaskill

    No support for Docmann / other trails? Did you not see the results of the recent community survey? I agree the raise in dues is very disappointing but trails is the last place funding should be cut based on the survey results (and my opinion).

    1. Lisa P.

      There’s lots of supports for trails. That doesn’t mean we should be adding new trails when there is a budget shortfall. Maintaining the existing trails should take preference.

  4. Chuck Kopelson

    I’m in agreement with Pierce, Shelton and Boyle. While we love the trails will there be no end? We’re creating a maintenance nightmare.

    Is the stable self funding? For some reason I don’t think so. We should raise the rates at the stable so that it covers all the expenses. The stables serve a very small minority of the Ken Caryl home owners.

    1. HorseLover

      The Equestrian Center actually serves quite a few non-residents. The amount they charge for boarding for anyone is lower than anywhere else on the Front Range. Non-residents only pay $20/month more (as opposed to MD programs where non-residents a minimum of 20% more). In 2017, the Riding School Barn was redone as a one-time expense of $100K and the footing was redone and a decision to have it redone more frequently on an ongoing basis for around $80K. There was talk of their boarding dues going up, but it did not/has not happened. Seems like a subsidy is being given to no residents that the rest of us pay for.

  5. Ann

    I thought the stables served not only KC homeowners, but also people who are not Ken Caryl homeowners. Why do the residents have to support the stables with our dues when outsiders don’t have to pay dues here?

  6. Lisa P.

    I am extremely disappointed in the proposed HOA fee increase. The focus on new trails and the cost that comes with them seems to be serving special interests and not the whole community. There are multiple trails already established in this neighborhood and there is absolutely no need to add another one at the cost of over $90,000. The $12,000 being contributed from the Trail Club is money that comes from their budget that is provided by dues from the neighborhood, which I don’t think is clearly explained. We all enjoy the trail system available in the neighborhood, but to increase dues in part to add another trail is short-sighted. We need fiscal prudence and to slow down on extra spending. I am unable to make the meeting on December 12th to discuss the budget with the MD/MA, but I hope that this comment is considered, along with the numerous other dissenters above.

    1. Jen Crotty

      The trail club actually only receives $1,000 per year from the MA. It is for volunteer support during trail construction activities. The $12,000 provided by the trail club for the new trail is funded by donations from trail club members.

  7. Marlo Hughen

    I support an increase in our monthly dues, because I want to live in the most beautiful and amenity rich neighborhood as possible. HOWEVER, I find it very hard to support an increase in dues when you are not financially responsible enough to balance our budget, and to be able to spend the predicted amount without going over, or having the money to cover the extra. This to me seems irresponsible, and you want us to pay for your lack of responsibility. Additionally, while I understand there are meetings that happen regularly, they do not happen at a time I can attend them, and therefore I cannot voice my opinion on the matters in my neighborhood. It is unfair and antiquated that you continue to run things this way. From my perspective, to get something from me, you need to give me something back: a voice. I want to vote on things that cross and expenditure amount. Maybe $50,000, maybe more, maybe less. I want a voting box at Dakota Lodge and Community Center, or an electronic voting button on the website. I want a PROPOSAL of what is being proposed and how much it will cost within a margin. Take for example the docmann trail. Sure, I support trails – I use them every day. I love them. But, how much did this thing really cost? How much was the biological study? What other study was done? What does the proposed $81,000 above cover? (equipment that helps build future trails? a company to build only this one trail?) and not only that, but what else did this trail come at the expense of? Improving the playground in Bradford park? Planting more trees which are desperately needed by the existing playgrounds? It’s not right – one person got the ear of another and this project moved forward when no one had the opportunity to discuss where the money might be (better) spent. And why on earth aren’t problems addressed? Why can’t we get an end to the problem of dogs running around off leash, and their excrement everywhere? This is a problem people complain about constantly. Is there any visibility into addressing these issues? What about the stables? Why hasn’t that budget been addressed? Create a proposal, and let people vote on it. Let people be heard. When we need to spend money, decide based on what the reserves are, the issues that are important being addressed in order of importance, and making sure we have a residual savings for emergencies.

    1. Lisa P.

      Well said Marlo! The process NEEDS to change. Board meetings cannot be the only option for voices to be heard. Proposals should be made and mutually agreed upon. Budgets should be balanced before additional expenses are added. I am very concerned with what seems to be the special interests of a few drowning out the needs of the many.

  8. Mark

    Having reviewed all of these comments above, one thing seems to be clear. Most residents still don’t appreciate the difference between what is run by the Metro District and what is run by the “HOA” aka the Master Association (MA).

    The MA (our monthly dues) has been well funded and well run. There are always competing interests each year, but on balance that board (all volunteer and NOT paid) does a great job weighing those tough decisions. We bring in over $3MM annually and most always spend less than that, adding to the reserve.

    The MD too is run as well as it can be, but suffers from budget shortfalls that are inherent in tax revenues (a portion of our property taxes and program revenues) that were constricted during the housing declines in 2006-2010 – and still haven’t recovered. Their budget is just over $5MM and has to pay for things like watering non-private areas of our community and maintenance of the trees along the parkway.

    So when we see a one-time expense in the MA budget of $200,000 for the ranch house pool, that is actually a private – public partnership of sorts that helps out the MD. These budget issues are also why the MA has been increasingly asked to help with the water bills for the MD ($100,000 on the one-time sheet). So right there 50% of the MA’s “overspending” as some have called it here is actually a financial transfer from one entity to the other (MD).

    There are no special interests, in the end there are just interests. Docmann is but one of many things the MA tackles each year. It’s costing the MA several hundred thousand to fix the drainage and ice issues at Brannon Gearheart, we spend a lot for private watering each year, weed management, sidewalk conversion to concrete, and the list goes on.

    Contrary to some comments here, the Board is not paid, and increasing dues does not fund their salaries because they have none. $3/mo is less than half of what most people pay for one cup of coffee – and in this case we’re getting tremendous value over time with our ability to help fund things like the ranch house pool re-do, increased patrols by seasonal staff, rising costs of water, insurance and replacement of capital assets.

    I think the best way to get our thoughts and suggestions across is to continue to converse in forums like this, but also write the Board directly and encourage those with similar views as you to do the same. While not everyone can get things the way they want, we can get closer by staying involved and expressing consistent and reasonable concerns.

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