It’s that time of year again – the time when association boards meet to consider issues that impact the annual budget.
What is required by law?
The Association Board is required by Washington State Law and the Governing Documents of the Association to “...preserve, protect, and maintain...” the common elements of the association. Obviously, doing so requires an appropriate level of funding in order to fulfill this mandate.
That said, there is a limit to the amount of funds available to meet the needs in addressing common area maintenance and improvements. The Association board must therefore set priorities within which to determine funding levels for each item - and the order in which each can be addressed. In many cases, this also means that some of the “needs” cannot be addressed in a given year due to the limit of the funds that are available.
Identify needs and available funding
As it is with each of us and our own family budgets, there is not an endless supply of funds to meet every need, want, and desire. The reality of such limitations are true even for local and national governments. In short, no matter whether it is a personal household, an association, a local municipality or even the national government, various needs must be prioritized, available funding identified, and a budget developed to address the most pressing issues within the context of each year.
Budgeting: not easy but a fact of life
Hopefully this year as we enter into the budget season for associations, the highest needs of the community will be evident and an appropriate budget developed to meet the legal requirements to “preserve, protect, and maintain” the common elements of the community.