A View from the Board
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,
Every year at this time, the Board approves, and the community ratifies, our Master Association annual budget. Once adopted, the budget becomes the blueprint for how we manage our affairs throughout the year.
This month’s “View From the Board” will focus on the 2022 Master Association budget. Working closely with RVRMA management, we’ve developed a final draft of the 2022 budget that is now ready for you to see.
The Board and management jointly had a working session on November 4, reviewing every single line item in the proposed 2022 budget. These discussions were focused on striking the right balance between cost and homeowner satisfaction.
As always, our desire is to produce a document that meets the current needs of the community, and plans adequately for the future. We believe we’ve done that.

From a budget development perspective, the current year and planning for 2022 has been unpredictable and challenging, to say the least.
  • Covid has affected our operations at seemingly every turn.

  • Responding to significant homeowner concerns, we’ve acknowledged and addressed maintenance and service deficits.

  • We are developing new and enhanced services and amenities for 2022, which we’ll begin rolling out soon.

  • We’ve lost five staff members in the past few months, including two senior managers. We are rebuilding the RVR team in a way we think will deliver significantly improved homeowner satisfaction.

  • Inflation and cost pressures have combined to drive up the labor side of our budget. Living and working in the Roaring Fork Valley, already an expensive proposition, is getting even more costly

  • Just today, the U.S. Labor Department announced inflation rose more than 6 percent in October, compared to a year ago. It’s the steepest increase since 1990.

  • Working together as a community, we successfully fought efforts by the golf course owner to change the Town of Carbondale development code and develop the driving range.
These factors and many more have challenged us as never before in developing the 2022 budget. All come at a cost.
Here are a few examples:
  • Many of you have expressed disappointment in our landscaping in recent years, including the level of weeds in common areas. In response, our outside maintenance team significantly stepped up its focus on landscaping, including additional pesticide management to dramatically reduce the weed count. This was a noticeable improvement to our community, but it wasn’t cheap.

  • In our recent leadership transition, we learned our workforce often doesn’t have the tools it needs to effectively serve you. Internet at the Ranch House has, for years, been woefully inadequate, leading to slow speeds, unstable connections and frequent difficulties, particularly in the era of all-important Zoom connections. We are finally taking long-overdue action to provide internet that will not only serve our staff, but members as well. We’re discovering many similar instances where deferred and delayed improvements resulted in substandard customer service.

  • We heard your requests to increase the frequency and quality of classes and events at the Ranch House. Next year’s budget addresses these shortfalls. We are committing to improvements in our programming, and we expect you to hold us accountable for those enhancements.

  • The most common complaint from homeowners over the past few years has been about response time to your inquiries at the Ranch House, whether by phone or e-mail. We know we need to do much better in this area, and we believe we already are. In recent years, our leadership team has been unable to keep up with the volume of homeowner requests; that’s one of the reasons we added a management position, to handle the additional work that comes with moving toward build-out of our 552 lots.

Previous Boards and RVR management teams have done their best to hold monthly dues increases to a minimum. Over the past 15 years, our Master Association dues have typically seen modest annual increases. In some years, monthly dues actually went down. The graph below shows RVR dues since 2008. As you can see, in 2022, our Master Association dues will finally get back to where they were in 2008, when base dues were $305 per month.
Keeping dues artificially low, year after year, is not a sustainable business model. We can no longer do that and have RVR be the community you tell us it should be. As a result, the 2022 budget will result in significant monthly dues increases; the budget will be an accurate reflection of what it actually takes to run a world-class community like RVR.

Here are highlights of our proposed 2022 budget:
Operational Budget: For 2022, we propose an $87 per month increase in dues for the Master Association’s Operational budget. Monthly dues for Operations will go from $243 to $330. Our labor costs are rising dramatically, as is the case throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and across the country. In addition, we are responding to your call for improved services, amenities and programming -- by adding more and better events, and a greater variety of fitness offerings. You should expect to see a far higher level of professionalism and attention to detail at the Ranch House.
Reserve Budget: Dues for the Master Association’s Reserve budget will increase from $47 to $60 per month. RVR facilities, including the Ranch House, are showing their age – and we need to set aside more money for future expenses. We will end 2021 with nearly $1.9 Million in our Reserve account; we expect to add, through monthly reserve dues, another $400,000 to that account during 2022.
Combined Operational and Reserve Budget: The monthly RVRMA base dues for 2022 are $390 ($330 for Operations + $60 for Reserves). This represents an RVRMA dues increase of $100 per month ($87 for Operations and $13 for Reserves). We believe this amount is necessary to provide the services and amenities you deserve and expect.
Everyone at RVR pays the same Master Association base dues; neighborhoods (Old Town and the Settlement) and sub-associations (The Boundary, The Twenty Four Residences, and Crystal Bluffs) pay additional amounts for various services.

Key Steps in Budget Process: The budget process is open and transparent, by law and by design. We are encouraging homeowners to get as involved as you want to be. Here are some important upcoming milestones in the budget process:
  • November 10: In this e-mail, we are providing a link to the proposed 2022 budget, to allow you a chance to review it. Click here to see a summary of the proposed Master Association budget. The result of the budget is the dues each homeowner pays every month. To see what you’ll pay next year, depending on where you live, click here

  • November 17: To learn more about the 2022 budget, homeowners can attend the monthly Board meeting on Wednesday, November 17. It’s an opportunity to provide input, before the Board votes to approve the new budget.

  • December 3: You should receive, by December 3, an e-mail with a link to the budget ballot. You will be able to complete, and return this budget ballot, online.

  • December 15: By December 15, your budget ballots are due to be returned to RVR management, online. On Wednesday, December 15, at the regular monthly Board meeting, the results of the budget vote will be announced, and the RVRMA 2022 budget will be formally ratified.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll hold a series of fireside chats at the Ranch House to answer your questions about the budget. Look for announcements of these events in upcoming Friday editions of the RVR weekly newsletter.
If you have any feedback or questions on the budget, or the process of developing, approving and ratifying it, please share your thoughts with Interim General Manager Carl Hostetter (gm@rvrcommunity.com), or send them to the Board e-mailbox (boardofdirectors@rvrcommunity.com).
As mentioned earlier, our next Board meeting is Wednesday, November 17, at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the upstairs Ranch House meeting room, and virtually, by Zoom videoconference. At this meeting, you can provide your input on the budget before the Board votes on it. Hope to “see” you there.
On behalf of your volunteer RVRMA Board,
Gary Lesser
Board President

Subscribe to our email list.