Board Buzz

BOARD BUZZ - April 2024 by Sommer Wrona, Treasurer
Posted on Apr 1st, 2024

Hello, Neighbors! I like to start each activity with a bit of gratitude, so I’ll begin by thanking the NTRA Board of Directors for bringing me on as your new Treasurer. Also a big thanks to our previous Treasurer, Everett Lunsford, for remaining involved in NTRA finances as I learn the ins and outs. And finally, thanks to Dana Shotts-Neff, Chesapeake Bay Management (CBM) President and NTRA’s finance guru, for answering my endless stream of questions. My job is to be a good steward of our money, and I aim for simplicity and transparency. I’m happy to say that we’ve already been able to work together to modify some processes and move us in that direction.
We’ve tweaked formatting to make the layout of our financials and budget match more closely, which in turn makes comparisons of budgeted vs. actual income and spending easier to view. We’ve changed some processes for transferring money into our reserves to try to present a more accurate picture of available reserve balances each month, especially for our Village Walk neighborhood. We will reach out later this summer to our residents who may not use CBM’s online payment system and who have credits on their accounts. We want to be sure everyone who has a credit is aware of it and knows how to apply it.
Our 2023 financials were held open a few extra months so that we could capture all of the invoices for projects that were substantially or fully completed in 2023 but not billed until January, February or March 2024. That process is now complete, and 2023 financials are closed.
For NTRA, our 2023 operating income was slightly more than budgeted, and our operating expenses were under budget in most categories and under budget overall. Our NTRA Operating Reserve and Replacement Reserve both showed net increases. Major expenses from those funds were for pool maintenance/repairs, pool furniture and amenities, and work on our parks, trails, bridges and BMPs.
For Village Walk-specific items, our 2023 operating income was slightly more than budgeted, and our operating expenses were under budget in most categories and under budget overall. Our VW Operating Reserve showed a net loss, and our VW Replacement Reserve showed a smaller net loss. These net losses were due to painting and other exterior maintenance expenses of the VW neighborhood.
As we enter 2024, there are big projects on the horizon. We will be addressing the repair of community street lights, the repair and maintenance of NTRA-owned streets and alleys, the repair and maintenance of our community fences and, of course, for our Village Walk residents, the ongoing maintenance of exteriors in that neighborhood. In addition, some smaller projects have already been completed throughout our neighborhoods, and many more are yet to come.
I can’t end without a plea for our Finance Committee. If you are at all interested in general finance or the financial operations of NTRA, please consider joining our Finance Committee, which is in need of members. You will have the opportunity to be involved in investment strategy, budgeting, and making financial recommendations to the NTRA Board of Directors. We welcome your input.
If, when reviewing monthly financial reports on the NTRA website or CBM portal, you are concerned about specific financial transactions that you see, please reach out to CBM through the portal. They will share with you the process for requesting records and provide the relevant documents for your review in accordance with our policies.
Thank you all for your continued support of New Town. Together, we make this shared community a great place to live!
Comment By: Tom Dawkins
Posted on Apr 2, 2024

Sommer, couldn't CBM just send any homeowner with a credit balance a check? Also, for recurring auto-payments that have been overpaid (like my own), can't CBM simply ensure their assessment amount is correct in the payment system?

Tom, why CBM can't send a check to owners with a credit balance: 1) Some owners intentionally overpay at various times of the year, and sending a refund check would interfere with that. Some pay for the full year, for example, and some overpay during certain months to reduce or eliminate a later payment. 2) It’s safest to have owners request a check if they want one to be sure they know one is coming and have the opportunity to provide a different mailing address if they reside elsewhere at the time. Since we don’t know why or when people intend to overpay, having the owner request a check addresses both of these issues.

Similarly autopayments need to be actively managed by the owner, preferably using

Last Edited: 04/03/2024 at 05:44 PM