The following is the latest in a series of monthly messages from the RVR Master Association Board, called “A View From the Board.” The messages summarize recent Board decisions and discussions, and are designed to bring RVR homeowners up to date on issues important to the community.
Dear RVR Homeowners,
One of RVR’s annual highlights this time of year is our festive holiday party at the Ranch House. It’s a standing-room only event we all look forward to with delight. No one goes home hungry. Or thirsty.
Unfortunately, because of Covid restrictions and with a strong emphasis on safety, it’s just not possible to have our traditional holiday event this year. Instead, on Saturday, December 19, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm, we’re hosting “A Day of Holiday Magic,” a family event at the Ranch House designed to keep the holiday season front and center in a safe, social-distanced way.
Covid has dominated life at the Ranch House since mid-March, when we first closed the building that’s the hub of our community. Our goal, then as now, was to protect the safety, health and well-being of both staff and the RVR community.
Our management team, led by Sterling Page and Kendra Ford, have closely followed public health guidelines to develop plans that allowed the Ranch House to incrementally and safely re-open. Just last week, they worked overtime to adjust Ranch House restrictions when Garfield County’s Covid-19 designation moved to Level Red. It’s a success story, and a tribute to their efforts, that the community seems to feel comfortable using the Ranch House.
While 2020 has been a most unusual year, and for many of us, it can’t end soon enough – there are some highlights and accomplishments in the RVR world worth sharing as we begin the countdown to 2021.
2021 RVRMA Budget Formally Ratified: We’re pleased to announce that the 2021 RVRMA budget was formally ratified last night, and will go into effect when the new year begins. As we’ve communicated to you previously, the Board approved the proposed Budget at its November 18 meeting. And, at the Board’s December 16 monthly meeting, the budget was ratified by homeowners because so few of you opposed it. By Colorado law, for the budget not to be ratified, 67 percent of property owners would have to vote against it. Of RVR’s 550 property owners, 107 submitted ballots on the 2021 budget; 102 were in favor of it, and 5 opposed it.
RVRMA on Solid Financial Footing: In what we believe was a first for RVR, accountant James Maguire led us through a formal audit of our financial processes and 2019 finances. We contracted to have the audit done by Porter & Lasiewicz, a California CPA firm that specializes in homeowner association tax law. The purpose of the audit was twofold: to ensure we are applying best accounting practices, and to confirm that the financial statements accurately and fully reflect the health of the Master Association’s operations. The audit found no irregularities. Kudos to James for working closely with the auditors to provide the mountain of financial data they required.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan: In the early days of Covid, with much uncertainty about staffing and the length of the Ranch House shutdown, we applied for – and received – a PPP loan of $155,800. The loan, part of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, was designed to ensure continuity of the Ranch House staff after Colorado issued its “Safer at Home” guidance. The loan is fully forgivable if we meet certain conditions, which we believe we have met. The RVRMA has formally applied for loan forgiveness, which would turn the loan into a grant. We’ll let you know in a future “View from the Board” when the forgiveness is granted.
Zooming in to RVR Board Meetings: As a result of social distancing restrictions imposed by Covid-19, the Board has been meeting by Zoom since spring, and will likely be in Zoom meeting mode for the foreseeable future. As you might expect, we miss the personal, face-to-face interaction of meetings at the Ranch House. But if there’s a silver lining to our Zoom existence, it’s that homeowner participation in our Board meetings is now far greater than it’s been in many years. Who knew? We continue to encourage and welcome your involvement.
Another Unintended Pandemic Benefit: Through the process of re-opening the Ranch House following the March shutdown, we inadvertently discovered another benefit of the pandemic: the reservation system. At one time, our RVR reservation system was only used for tennis, but now, as a part of our Social Distancing Business Plan, we are required to know who is using our facilities, in part to facilitate contact tracing if needed. It turns out the reservation system, which now covers the pool, the lap pool, the large hot tub, the gym, the fitness classroom, and the Ranch House Great Room, helps us do a much better job of tracking usage at the Ranch House. We’re likely to continue with the reservation system, even in a post-pandemic world. It’s a fabulous management tool.
Modernized Governance Processes: This year, for the first time, we introduced electronic voting, as allowed by Colorado state law and our governing documents. The new process streamlines the balloting effort, moves us into the 21st century, and saves time and money. Our first electronic vote came in June with our annual Board election. You also voted electronically this month on the 2021 RVRMA budget.
Building Boom at RVR: One area that has been unaffected by our new normal is home building. RVR is experiencing the continuation of an unprecedented building boom that’s been going on for the past few years. There are currently 17 new homes under construction, 14 more waiting to break ground and 13 new applications in front of the Design Review Committee. It’s a tangible reminder that RVR is becoming the go-to destination in the Roaring Fork Valley. Of course, this is having a huge impact on home prices and property values, which continue to rise. The high-water mark on RVR home sales: $608 per square foot!
Life’s Transitions: Finally, the summer brought about a Board transition. After serving six years as a Director, the last two as Board President, Yvonne Perry decided it was time for a break, and she chose not to run for re-election. We sincerely thanked Yvonne for her service – and discovered it took two of us to replace her! We implemented a new governance structure that shares the leadership load between two Co-Presidents. We think it’s working well so far, but the best judges of community leadership are the homeowners we serve. If you have any suggestions about how we might improve management of the community, please reach out to us – or Zoom in to a Board meeting.
Finally, a big thanks for all you’ve done in this highly unusual year to keep RVR as safe and as healthy as possible. We’ve all had to make sacrifices and adjustments in our once-normal Ranch House routines. It’s been challenging for management, staff, the Board, homeowners and their families – and we thank all of you for your role in adapting to RVR life in a Covid world.
Hopefully, by this time next year, we’ll all be vaccinated, Covid will be a thing of the past, and we’ll be jam-packed into the Ranch House for the 2021 Holiday Party. That’s our wish as we close out 2020, a most interesting year.
The next RVRMA Board meeting is Wednesday, January 27, at 5:30 pm. The meeting will be held virtually, by Zoom videoconference. Hope to “see” you there.
On behalf of your volunteer RVRMA Board,
Cathy Cooney & Gary Lesser