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Welcome to the New Town Residential Association community web site. We are a walkable, landmark residential community located in James City County, Williamsburg, Virginia where commercial and residential buildings are integrated with public and cultural spaces. Life happens here!
 
Chesapeake Bay Management Company is the managing agent for the New Town Residential Association. 
 
NOTE: Chesapeake's offices are closed on Federal holidays.
SUMMER HOURS: Starting May 31, 2022:   Monday - Thursday  8:00 to 5:30PM.   Friday 8:00-1200. Office closes at noon.
 
Meetings are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY - please do not drop by without an appointment. 
 
For emergencies or to schedule an appointment, call 757 706-3019. (Chesapeake's office is located at 337 McLaws Circle in the Busch Corporate Center.)
 
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To navigate around the site, use the navigation links along the top.
 
If you are looking for the list of shops, restaurants, businesses, events, and services in New Town, click here. Welcome home!
 
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URGENT NOTICE
ROPER PARK STREET CLOSINGS - week of May 16th!!
Next week sewer repair work will begin in Roper Park near the intersection of Beverly Lane and Audrey Lane. Areas will be closed for excavation work.
 
See information from the contractor here. 
NEWS BULLETIN
NEW POOL PASSES FOR COMMUNITY POOL
 
There is a new electronic entry system for the New Town Community Pool that requires owners (or their tenants) to obtain new white proximity card passes.  ALL PASSES MUST BE SIGNED FOR IN PERSON, no passes will be mailed.
 
NTRA owners will receive a letter with instructions for how to obtain their passes. This information is also linked to the website Pool & Clubs page.  (Dates to pick up passes at the pool once your documents have been received are posted on the website calendar.)
 
Condo owners in the New Town Commercial Association should contact their property management company for information on how to obtain a new pass. 
 
All pool users are expected to follow the 2022 NTRA policies and rules for pool use.
 
The pool opens on May 28, 2022 and daily hours are posted on the website calendar.
Upcoming Events
Community Potluck
Friday, May 20th, 6:00 PM to 8:00PM at Chelsea Green
Meet your neighbors! Bring a dish to share and get ready for some lively conversation.
 
Let us know you are coming by registering at the tab above (Community Potluck) so that we can ensure there are enough hot dogs on the grill! 
Board Buzz/From the Chair
BOARD BUZZ - May 2022 by Jack Espinal, Vice-President
Posted on May 1st, 2022
 
April has been a busy month on the landscaping scene.
 
The Zoysia Grass Pilot Project
 
The NTRA Board has approved a project to resurface the grass in Lydias Park with Zoysia sod.  This species of grass is known for its ability to stand up to the summer heat and heavy foot traffic. It produces a dense, beautiful lawn that requires little or no water once it is established. Zoysia is so dense that it literally prevents weed growth. Seeds from weeds and other grasses simply cannot penetrate the turf to germinate in the soil and grow. This eliminates the need for future application of chemical herbicides in Lydias Park and eliminates a future Association expense.
 
A warm weather grasses pilot project has been in the works for a couple of years after members of the Landscape Advisory Committee (LAC) experimented with Zoysia in their yards. They were pleased with the results and recommended that the grass be installed elsewhere in New Town. If the Association is pleased with the results of this initial installation, consideration will be given to planting Zoysia grass in other New Town locations.
 
Lydias Park was chosen from several  locations for this installation because of the condition of the existing grass and the associated underground sprinkler system which has not operated for several years and would be costly to repair. It also allows us to remove the sprinkler system from our reserve study and saves our Association from having to fund future system maintenance. 
 
The downside of Zoysia grass is that it turns brown when it goes dormant in the winter or when there is a severe drought. However, warm weather and a little water brings the green grass right back. While brown grass in the winter is a disadvantage, it will eventually create a more consistent appearance and most likely look better than many of the “spotty” lawns in New Town.
 
Community Landscape Beautification Projects
 
The LAC has also identified four highly visible areas of New Town that, with additional landscaping, will create a positive visual impact for our community. They researched and identified multiple species of perennial plants and evergreens that will provide changing colors and stay beautiful throughout the year. These Gateway projects are located around the community - in the Village Walk Clock Tower area, a new garden in a mulched area along Roper Park, plantings around the swimming pool sign, and refurbishing of the dog walk area near the swimming pool.
 
In April the Board approved these LAC recommended Gateway Projects. The LAC assisted by members of the newly established New Town Garden Club (also known as the Never-Ending Garden Party) will provide the labor for the installation, initial watering, and future maintenance of the four projects. These improvements will be made this spring.  If you would like to help with these beautification projects and/or join the New Town Garden Club, send an email to: neverendinggardenparty@gmail.com or call Kelly at 757.713.5755.
 
I thank the LAC for all of their hard work selecting sites for these projects, researching the perennial plants that will provide color throughout the year, and for volunteering their labor to perform the installation, watering, and maintenance. This effort will significantly improve the appearance of our community at a minimum cost to our Association.
 
New Meeting Space
 
The Board has also approved a conditional lease with Williamsburg Developers/Developers Realty, LLC for new space for Association meetings. This space provides two meeting areas - a large space for our Board meetings and a smaller conference area where Committees who do not have many members may choose to meet. Both rooms will be available for reservation. See related Town Crier article this month.
 
BOARD BUZZ - April 2022 - Laura Loda, Board Member
Posted on Apr 1st, 2022
 
Happy Spring!  Isn’t it great to be able to enjoy the weather and to be outdoors?  It won’t be that much longer before summer is upon us and there are things in progress now to prepare for that.
 
Community Pool
 
Those of you who frequent the pool will be happy to learn that at its March meeting, the Board approved the installation of a new entry system to replace the outdated and not-always-functional one currently in place.  The new system will be web-based so it will interface with a resident database.  So, for instance, if an owner were to sell their property (why would you want to leave New Town?) their pass would be inactivated.  The new system will also allow us to track usage of the facility by time and day.  That will help with planning future expenditures and maintenance items.  In addition, if there were to be inclement weather necessitating closure of the facility, this could be done remotely so no one’s pass would open the gate.  This would protect everyone who might not see emails or webpage notices.  Stay tuned for more information about distribution of new passes.  It will be done in conjunction with owner signing of the updated 2022 Pool Policies and Rules document. The Pool Committee is busy planning all of this with Chesapeake Bay Management as well as all of the other tasks that precede opening of the pool on Saturday, May 28.
 
Stormwater Management
 
A term you may have heard tossed around and not really known what it is — BMPs.  Stormwater Management Facilities or Best Management Practices (BMPs) are a key component in the effort to control stormwater runoff and protect our streams.  There are numerous BMPs throughout New Town, some of which are owned by the NTRA and some of which are owned by other parties.  BMPs owned by the NTRA have all been inspected, an activity planned for in this year’s budget.  Two locations need immediate repair and sediment cleaning.  The Board has approved contracts for this work at the Lydias playground detention basin and the Casey Boulevard BMP (the wet pond next to Abbey Commons).  
 
More significant non-routine maintenance is required at the Casey Blvd BMP and will include vegetation removal, debris excavation and site improvement to provide proper stormwater management.  This work would be replacement reserve funded.  Chesapeake Bay has proposed that the Association apply for a James City County Clean Water Heritage Grant (matching funds) for the work. The Board authorized our Managing Agent to pursue this grant application that is due at the end of September.  Additionally, the Board has requested a routine maintenance proposal to mitigate future significant repairs.
 
Casey Boulevard Traffic
 
I presented to Jim Icenhour, our Supervisor on the James City County Board of Supervisors, comments submitted from a number of residents expressing concerns about different traffic and parking issues on Casey Boulevard.  By far the largest number of comments concerned the intersection with Center Street where there is a school bus stop.  There is no means to slow or stop traffic at that intersection which poses safety issues for the children going to and from the bus stop.  Mr. Icenhour presented the issue at the March 8 Board of Supervisors meeting and has met with the local representative of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).  The VDOT representative contacted me to let us know that a traffic study of Casey Boulevard will be conducted by VDOT.  Unfortunately, I can’t give you an estimate of when this will happen.  Apparently, there is a queue of requests and we’re now in the queue.  I’ll follow up with VDOT regularly and let you know when I learn something more definite.  But, we’re on the list!   And patience is a virtue.
 
PS 
In the last week from public information on the JCC website, the Board has learned about two possible developer projects that could impact our community (See related Crier article). Owners should pay attention to what is being proposed and as we learn more, we will update you.
BOARD BUZZ - March 2022 - Everett Lunsford, Treasurer
Posted on Mar 1st, 2022
 
Let me begin with all things financial…
 
At this time the Board has received the draft December 2021 financial statements from our new management company, Chesapeake Bay Management.  These draft statements are under review.  Several factors contributed to their delay:
  • Bank account transfers and reconciliation.
  • Individual homeowner account reconciliation due to the need for additional data from Town Management. 
  • Payments made by prior management in December that delayed the operating checking account reconciliation.
  • Chesapeake Bay Management worked with the association’s CPA firm to adjust the categorization of several transactions identified in our 2020 audit.  
Most issues, except the 2020 audit adjustments, have been fully resolved. December 2021 and January 2022 statements are expected to be released by mid-March. Slowly but surely we are closing our books and converting to new recordkeeping.
 
The Board recently hired Adams Jenkins and Cheatham to again do the New Town Residential Association's (NTRA’s) 2021 tax return and to prepare a financial statement compilation for 2021.
 
Landscaping Season
 
Spring landscaping is underway. Virginia Lawn and Landscape crews have methodically been mulching through each neighborhood. Mowing will begin this month.
 
For those who may still question the fenced yards landscaping decision, the Board is acting in the best interests of the entire community given our legal constraints.  The legal review of past practices initiated in response to owner comments on the 2021 budget resulted in 2 key guidance points:
  1. The Board had not followed the New Town Residential Association documents in past decisions and budgets;
  2. The Board has a legal obligation to follow the existing governing documents, regardless of past Board decisions and actions.
This “follow the documents” guidance was reinforced by the comments made by candidates during the search for a new managing agent, and by the consultant hired to assist the Board in addressing the turnover issues identified during 2021.
 
Solving this situation requires new Governing Documents, approved by 2/3rds of NTRA members.  At some future date, the Board will return to the draft documents presented in 2021, and update them based on comments and lessons learned in the managing agent transition. Unless and until 2/3rds of owners agree to changes, the existing documents remain in effect.
 
Familiarize yourself with these current Governing Documents available on the NTRA website page. (Use the links on the left side of the page.)
 
Village Walk Neighborhood Updates
  • The Board and Eagle Construction are currently discussing how to address the roof deficiencies identified by Eagle’s 2021 drone inspections and a subsequent NTRA authorized sample inspection of Village Walk roofs. This February roof inspection, where an inspector walked some roofs, found issues with 5 out of 5 homes sampled. A full independent engineering evaluation of the situation is planned to help us determine whether roof design deficiencies or only installation performance issues are causing these problems.  An engineering firm has been selected and is expected to begin work in mid-March. 
It is possible some Village Walk attics may need inspection as part of the engineering evaluation.  The Board requests your cooperation if you are contacted for attic access.
 
  • The Board of Directors recently approved a new chart developed by Chesapeake Bay Management that outlines who is responsible for what in terms of maintenance in Village Walk. It is available here. Chesapeake has used a similar matrix in other communities where the homeowners association has exterior maintenance and repair responsibilities. Please use this document to aid in determining whether you (Village Walk homeowner) or NTRA is responsible for a particular repair or replacement. Our thanks to Anne Ingram for her work in creating this valuable tool. 
BOARD BUZZ – February 2022 – Mary Cheston, President
Posted on Feb 1st, 2022
 
Welcome Jack Espinal (Abbey Commons), Laura Loda (Shirley Park), Everett Lunsford (Village Walk), and Glen Mitchell (Village Walk) to the NTRA Board of Directors! January has been a rebuilding and organizing month for the Board. With four new Directors, we have spent time getting to know each other and setting up our priorities for this year. Lots of information and history still to share.
 
Our association’s Annual Meeting on December 16th had a robust turnout. Besides announcing the results of our Board election, there were presentations on the 2022 final Budget by our Treasurer, Everett Lunsford; our legal counsel’s status report on maintenance obligations for the BMPs and other areas in Village Walk; remarks from our new community manager, Anne Ingram; a recap of 2021 accomplishments with a safety awareness briefing on sidewalks and tree roots, and Member comment period. Most questions involved the Board’s decision to enforce the limits to landscaping in fenced yards (see related notice in Town Crier), voting to change the Governing Documents, access to contracts, and concerns regarding speeding on New Town streets (also in the February Crier). 
 
Many thanks to all the Board members who served during 2021 – Chuck Stetler, Mike Reilly, Dick Durst, Rick Fisher, Angela Lesnett, and Mark Burgess. Their dedication and hard work contributed to common area improvements as well as ten new or revised policies, draft Governing Documents, a new assessment methodology, and selection of a new management company. 2021 was a year that we certainly do not want to repeat, but despite upheavals the Board persevered and achieved many good things for our community. 
 
2022 promises to bring its own challenges. 
 
Before the holidays, Eagle Construction conducted a drone inspection of the roofs in Village Walk in response to NTRA data on roof leaks. Last week we were notified that the drone showed 30 homes with roof issues, largely exposed nails without caulking or shingle issues. Eagle offered to repair all items identified from the inspection at their expense, if done immediately. A Special Board meeting with Village Walk owners was held via Zoom on January 26th. The Board is evaluating proposals for an independent engineering evaluation of the situation and has advised Eagle that we will reply formally to their proposal at a later date, once we have this additional analysis. (See article in February Crier
 
In Charlotte Park, James City County reinspected the Phase 10 common areas (around Olive Drive and Christine Court) owned by Atlantic Homes in preparation for their turnover to the Association. (See related Crier article) Some locations, especially alley drainage, will require more remedial work. NTRA’s engineering firm Giles and Flythe accompanied the JCC team, and will be preparing a future report for the Board. Per our NTRA policy on “Turnover or Acceptance of Assets”, a homeowner meeting will be held when we have their findings and recommendations. 
 
The lease for the NTRA meeting space on Main Street has ended because the landlord found a new long-term tenant. The Board of Directors and most Committees will likely be moving their meetings back to a Zoom format. (Please check the website calendar for meeting locations.) Developers Realty has generously offered to find another location within the Shops at Main Street for our potential use. As we consider options for new space, we will keep you informed. 
 
Minor changes are coming in the landscape services schedule for 2022. Look for an article in next month’s Town Crier for more details. Meanwhile, I hope you have enjoyed the beauty of our recent snowfalls.
 
Chinese New Year – the year of the Tiger, symbol of bold actions - begins today, followed closely by the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Stay warm and settle in to watch the competition. As the traditional saying goes, “May this New Year bring immense joy and happiness.”  
BOARD BUZZ December 2021, Mary Cheston, President
Posted on Dec 1st, 2021
Today begins a new chapter in the history of the New Town Residential Association as we welcome our new management company, Chesapeake Bay Management (CBM). Our community manager, Anne Ingram, will begin work next week – operating out of Chesapeake’s 337 McLaws Circle office. Anne comes to us after 5 years as Community Manager for Colonial Heritage, another community that is still under development. As a Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM), she has broad understanding of a range of association issues and her experience with overseeing stormwater systems is bound to benefit us in New Town. Please warmly welcome her and all the supporting CBM team.
 
Three new faces will be joining the Board soon! Elections for the 2022-2023 Board of Directors will begin on Thursday, December 9th. Each candidate has submitted an application outlining their background and reason for running for the Board – these applications are posted on the website Board of Directors page. Please take some time to consider who you believe will best serve our community in this important function. Email links to vote electronically through EzVote will be distributed when the polls open. (To obtain a paper ballot, please contact Chesapeake Bay at 757 706-3019.)
 
An early Christmas present? In response to NTRA’s report of water intrusion problems in Village Walk, Eagle Construction has notified the Association that they will be conducting “an assessment of the current condition of all the roofs at Village Walk built by Eagle Construction during the month of December.” This will be a drone inspection. We do not have details or dates, but will share additional information with the Village Walk community as it becomes available. The Board is hopeful that this first step may alleviate the need for us to pursue forensic inspections of roofs in 2022.
 
The Board has approved the 2022 NTRA Budget. Thanks to those who participated in our virtual Zoom and those who submitted comments. The Neighborhood Assessment component is using the proportional use methodology. As a refresher, the Board presented a budget with two assessment options to bring us closer to the requirements in our current Governing Documents. Most owners who commented preferred the proportional use allocation for landscape services. A chart of the approved 2022 assessment figures has been added to the FAQ page of the website. (Replies to written comments will be posted later this week.)
 
Two articles in this month’s Town Crier mark a first – pieces written by Randy Casey-Rutland of Town Management and Larry Salzman, President of the New Town Commercial Association - providing some historical perspective on the NTRA and NTCA relationship.
 
Don’t forget our Annual Members Meeting on December 16th in Legacy Hall at 6:30PM.  All homeowners are invited to meet Chesapeake’s representatives and celebrate with our newly elected Board of Directors who will be announced at the meeting. Mask up and visit with neighbors.
 
Wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday season – our Association has much to look forward to in 2022.
 
Remember that the Communications team also takes a short holiday at this time of year. The Town Crier’s next issue is February 1, 2022.
 
 
BOARD BUZZ November 2021, Mary Cheston, President
Posted on Nov 1st, 2021
 
And then there were two…
 
This month Mark Burgess and I are focused on finalizing the Association’s 2022 budget for presentation to the community with the able assistance of our Finance Committee. It is clear that there needs to be a much-needed change of mindset from what we’ve employed in the past on the part of all of us homeowners. 
 
We can no longer seek the best deal/lowest possible HOA dues or expect to artificially link the NTRA budget to inflation or CPI. Underfunding our Association does long term damage both to our physical plant and our reserves. This year with professional advice, we have critically evaluated what it costs to operate and maintain our community and save for the future. For many homeowners there will be a big assessment increase in 2022. Because we are following our documents, assessments will look somewhat different as well (except for the Village Walk neighborhood). To further understand why an increased assessment is needed, be sure to read Treasurer Everett Lunsford’s article this month on our “2022 Budget Challenges.”
 
Exciting news! We will soon welcome a new management company to serve our Association. Effective December 1, Chesapeake Bay Management Inc. will take over as the NTRA management company. Chesapeake Bay manages nearly 100 communities in Southeastern Virginia, has strong technological capabilities, and is committed to making positive change in our community. During the selection process, Chesapeake impressed the Board with its commitment to customer service, “can do” attitude, frankness, and overall expertise. Chesapeake also provides value for the money because their management fee is all inclusive, saving us the myriad fees and pass-through costs of our current contract. Best of all, the NTRA will have a full-time dedicated manager.
 
In the meantime, there is a massive amount of Association data and history to share. This records transition work will consume much of Town Management’s attention this month, so please be patient with your requests. We want as smooth a turnover as possible, especially given the imminent beginning of a new fiscal year. There will be a learning curve for everyone involved.
 
In mid-November homeowners will be officially notified by Chesapeake with information about how to set up your dues accounts. A different bank will be involved in handling NTRA’s accounts, so expect to change your automatic assessment payments for January 1, 2022. Keep an eye out for this important communication. 
 
November is America’s traditional month of sharing and Thanksgiving. In that spirit, I would like to thank my colleagues who beginning in June 2020 served on the homeowner Board of Directors. Despite the roller coaster ride to get here, your ideas and involvement helped us accomplish several important projects to improve New Town’s common areas and operations.
 
Thanks also to Town Management, which at the end of the month will conclude 15 years as the management company for the NTRA. From dirt piles to developed neighborhoods, Town Management has watched and lived the transformation of our community and all of its growing pains. 
 
The volunteers who staff our NTRA Committees also deserve a big thank you. The Board especially appreciates the recent work of our Management Company Search Committee - Bill Voliva, Mike Reilly and Everett Lunsford - who expeditiously screened applicants to fill the critical role of our management company. A big shout out to our expanded Communications team who stepped up to assist me - our new Crier editor, writers, and all those who contributed clear and compelling messages on the need to change our documents. That said, we are always in the market for additional help.
 
A final note of personal thanks to my support system – my unflappable husband Ric and dear Charlotte Park neighbors/friends who have shared a kind word or a laugh (often with a glass of wine) and constantly remind me that the Board is only volunteers, doing the best we can with the cards we were dealt by the Developer Board. New Town is a great community to live in, and these moments rally me.
 
It is so important for all of us to keep working towards having the Association on sound footing-both legally and financially. We look forward to seeing all of you via Zoom at the November 19th 2022 Budget presentation. We are at the start of the holiday season and embarking on a new chapter in our community’s history. Let’s make it an exciting, memorable beginning.
BOARD BUZZ October 2021, Mark Burgess, Director
Posted on Oct 1st, 2021
 
Hi! My name is Mark Burgess and I’m what one of our New Town residents called the “new guy” on the New Town Residential Association (NTRA) Board of Directors, having only joined the Board this past July. I’m also a relatively recent resident of New Town. My wife and I purchased a Village Walk townhouse in November 2018. 
 
Being so new to New Town and the Board has meant, of course, that I’ve had a lot of catching up to do. So while other Board members have been reviewing and revising our Association’s governing documents with the able assistance of several homeowner association (HOA) professionals, I’ve been concentrating on simply reading and trying to better understand both our current and our proposed documents while at the same time paying close attention to what the others are saying about how these documents came to be in the first place and where they need to be in order to better serve our community in the years to come. Here is some of what I’ve learned. 
 
First, our current documents really are old and showing their age. They describe a community that essentially no longer exists. I recently saw a photograph of New Town, for instance, that showed Charlotte Park before it was built out; all you could see were empty lots being readied for development and, off in the distance, a few commercial buildings scattered along Discovery Park Boulevard. Obviously, a lot has happened since. New Town has grown up and with that growth has come the need for our governing documents to take into account the changes that have occurred. So there is no doubt in my mind that our association needs a new set of documents carefully crafted under the aegis of HOA professionals like those we have had the privilege to work with. 
 
But rewriting governing documents is one thing; forming a new community is something else. Documents, responsibly drafted, can describe a community, they can help define a community, they can even assist in laying the groundwork for how a community may function within the bounds of federal, state, and local statutes, but they cannot in and of themselves establish community. People make communities, and the best communities, in my experience, are those where neighbors care for and about one another, where they respect each another, and where they share a vision of what they would like their communities to be. 
 
Creating new communities therefore takes patience, a LOT of patience. I can’t emphasize that enough. Living so near to Jamestown and Williamsburg has given me an entirely new insight into just how MUCH patience might be required. Think of the long years of hardship those early colonists endured before their lives became settled! So, yes, it may be just a wee bit longer before New Town is complete and all the pieces of a new community are finally put in place. 
 
In the meantime, as a Board member, I shall continue my study of our governing documents and work with you as well as other members of the Board to make sure we make as smooth a transition as possible to a new management company and continue to progress as a homeowner-controlled association.
Message to the Community from Rick Fisher, NTRA Treasurer
Posted on Sep 17th, 2021
For personal reasons I have resigned from the Board of Directors and will not be continuing as Treasurer.
 
We moved into New Town in August of 2011.  I have enjoyed providing continuous service to the Community for a period of ten (10) years.  I recall an early meeting in 2011 with Bob Keith and John Wright.  At that time, the existing RAB felt it was time to have a Finance Committee and I was asked to be the first Chair.  We worked closely with Town Management to construct a new Budget Process. We also began the process of investing replacement reserve funds into CD’s based on a laddering approach. There were numerous other finance related accomplishments throughout the years. 
 
I have worked closely with the new Board members to ensure that the Association remains strong and is a “first class” place to live.  The challenges are great, but with strong Community involvement and support we will meet them.
BOARD BUZZ September 2021, Angela Lesnett, President
Posted on Aug 31st, 2021
September always holds that “back to school” feeling for me - - a time of change and new beginnings. And so it goes for our Association.
 
Last week we announced that Dick Durst, resigned from the Board of Directors for health reasons. Dick joined the Board in September of 2020, and was elected President of New Town Residential Association (NTRA) in January 2021. He served as President during an extremely challenging time for NTRA and we will miss his energy, engagement, and 6:00 a.m. emails. We offer Dick our heartfelt thanks for his expertise and hard work on behalf of NTRA and our sincere best wishes for the future.
 
Last week brought another change: it has been decided that NTRA and its current managing agent, Town Management, will part ways effective late this fall. The Board has undertaken a search for a new managing agent to partner with the Association as we take the next steps as a homeowner-controlled HOA. Engaging a new managing agent will be a new beginning for the NTRA.
 
In another new beginning, the Board has been working diligently to revise NTRA’s governing documents. A draft of the revised documents will be published today and a virtual Town Hall meeting is scheduled for September 22, during which the Association’s attorney, Sue Tarley, will provide an overview of the documents and will be available to answer Members’ questions. [Please submit your questions in advance if possible: amendments@ntrawilliamsburg.org.] Due to the need to devote resources to the search for a new managing agent, however, the Board is delaying the Member vote on the documents until the new Board is in place.
 
Yes, the “new Board.” The terms of some Directors will end in December and Members will have the opportunity to elect 3 new Directors. Think about running for one of these positions. Being an NTRA Board member is challenging, but serving on the Board is an opportunity to shape our Association in important ways.
 
How about a change and new beginning for you?  If you haven’t volunteered on a Committee, I encourage you to do it now. NTRA’s committees do a lot work for our community - - re-writing the pool rules (Pool Committee), inspecting the Association’s physical assets (Asset Maintenance Committee), publishing the Town Crier and maintaining NTRA’s website (Communications Committee), and planning social events (Activities Committee) - - just to name a few. The time and location of each committee meeting is listed on the website calendar and all committee meetings are open to Members so you can see how the group operates. In addition to supporting your community you will meet new people with whom you already share a common interest - - the success of New Town.
 
The Board, with the assistance of the Finance Committee, has also been working on developing NTRA’s 2022 budget. In last month’s Board Buzz, Rick Fisher, NTRA’s Treasurer, described a number of projects the Association has undertaken in 2021. Of course, each of those projects affected the Association’s finances. From managing our own household budgets we all know that prices are going up, so you will not be surprised that in 2022 we expect to see substantial increases in costs in every area. Some of these are due to increases in labor and material costs. Some increases may occur as contracts that have been in place for several years with no increase are now being renewed at 2022 prices.
 
As NTRA’s costs increase, its assessments must also increase to cover those expenses, including a reasonable contribution to NTRA’s Replacement Reserves. The Replacement Reserves are funds put into specially designated accounts that are used for expenses related to specified assets such as NTRA’s streets, pool, retention ponds, fences and other assets that have a long useful life. Allocating funds to the Replacement Reserves requires balancing short-term needs with long-term needs.
Having adequate reserves on hand to meet expenses is a sign of a well-run HOA and is a factor in keeping property values stable. As we did last year, the Board plans to hold two Town Halls in November to explain the 2022 budget and assessments.
 
The last couple of weeks brought a change for me, when I was elected President of NTRA. I’m happy to serve the good folks of New Town, and will do my best. NTRA is lucky to have the services of board members Mary Cheston (Vice-president), Rick Fisher (Treasurer), and Mark Burgess, and of Phil Casey (Secretary).
 
There are many changes for NTRA in the next few months. The Board will keep you informed of developments. I look forward to seeing you around New Town.
 
BOARD BUZZ August 2021 - Rick Fisher, Treasurer
Posted on Aug 1st, 2021
Update on Our 2021 Budget Challenge
We began the year knowing that it would be very challenging financially. In the 2021 Budget Town Hall Meeting in November, we discussed the following:
  • Managing Agent Financial Audit
  • Capital Contributions and Administrative Fees
  • Village Walk Irrigation
We have made excellent progress in each of these areas.  
 
The Managing Agent Financial Audit began on May 17th and will conclude at the end of August. At that point in time, the Board of Directors (BOD) will receive an Audit Report which will be posted on the website.  
 
Capital Contributions and Administrative Fees collected at closings for new sales and resales have been deposited in our Operating Savings Account.  This has allowed us maximum flexibility to address incremental expenses not identified in the Adopted Budget.  In the first six months of the year, a number of unbudgeted expenditures have been required (Note: some projects have been approved for completion but are not yet started):
  • Legal expenses associated with the rewrite/revision of our Governing Documents (originally anticipated to begin in late 2021/early 2022)
  • Need for two pool lifeguards to address Covid-19 Requirements
  • Consulting Services to assist the BOD in formulating the 2022 Budget 
  • Playground Site improvements to address drainage, landscape screening for slide
  • Tree removal in Roper Park
  • Employment of an Independent Engineering Firm to inspect assets planned to be transferred from the Developer to the Association
The Village Walk irrigation system is being mapped with the direct involvement of the builder Eagle Construction and significant progress has been made. We are currently spending less in this area than Budgeted. 
 
Major Association Assets identified in the 2019 Replacement Reserve Study, will require repair and replacement earlier than planned. Major items that have already been or must be addressed are:
  • Refurbishment of the pool pergola which was completed before the pool opening.  
  • A complete resurfacing of the pool  as well as caulking, filter recharging and skimmer replacements. The resurfacing is set to begin in the September/October time frame.  This is two years earlier than planned.
  As you can see, the BOD has been very busy addressing a large number of issues, all of which have a financial impact.