May 26, 2021
Dear Board of Directors:
I am writing to express concern that the Board of Directors is potentially moving forward with a commitment to build the downhill ski lodge without an approved funding and financing plan. The current proposal to move forward with 30% design phase assumes a commitment on the size and scope of the project.
I think it is premature to begin circulating an RFP to solicit bids and award a contract for pre-construction work unless and until a detailed financing plan is prepared and broadly circulated with the Tahoe Donner membership first. This has not been done. The financing plan needs to clearly identify the estimated capital costs and how the project is to be paid for.
The following questions need to be addressed and shared with the homeowners relative to the amount and source of financing required to completing plans and constructing the Downhill Ski Lodge.
1) What are the total funds currently available in the Development and Replacement Reserve Funds. Of the available funds, what amount have been allocated to the various capital improvement projects.
2). What will be the assumed fund balance available for all sources to fund construction of the Downhill Ski Lodge, assuming that Homeowner Assessments remain at the current level?
3) Does the financing of the Downhill Ski Lodge assume any increased amount to the annual homeowner assessment in the next three years? If so, will the homeowners have any opportunity to approve this increase via a special assessment?
The homeowner outreach and engagement about the potential plans for the Downhill Ski Lodge via the newsletter, electronic email information, surveys and zoom meetings have been good, albeit hampered by Covid restrictions. However, there has not been much public discussion of funding and finance. I would strongly encourage the Board of Directors and staff provide the opportunities for member education and engagement in funding decisions regarding the Downhill Ski Lodge, as it will be the largest capital improvement project undertaken by the Association in the last 10 years. This is especially important in that the Downhill Ski Lodge is a public amenity.
The pending decision to move forward with BSA Architects for a 30% design phase in construction drawings, assumes a size and scope of the project. To date, there has not been a thorough discussion of the cost of construction and the corresponding funding plan to pay for the Lodge with the homeowners of Tahoe Donner.
Please take these very important outreach steps to ensure that the plans for fund this expensive capital improvement project is better understood and is supported by the majority of Tahoe Donner’s 6500 homeowners.
Unit #5, Lot #442