CA budget surplus should help residents Recent articles...

Letters to the editor

July 14, 2002

CA budget surplus should help residents

Recent articles in The Sun have highlighted the good news that the Columbia Association had a $5.2 million "surplus" in its budget. That's all well and good, but how is it going to be used to ease the burden on Columbia residents' pocketbooks?

Now is finally the time for CA's Board of Directors to allocate part of it toward reducing CA's large debt, and another part toward reducing fees that Columbia's residents must pay.

In years past, the excess in income over expenses has been used almost exclusively toward paying for capital projects with cash rather than through bond issues.

This has helped make CA's high debt burden somewhat less than it would have been otherwise. Less debt means that more of CA's income can go toward productive ways to benefit our community's residents rather than to large interest payments for bondholders.

Reducing the debt levels should by all means continue, but it's time that CA started using part of this excess income toward reducing pool fees and other payments faced by Columbia's residents. Our residents need to finally see some tangible direct benefits from this excess income.

Columbia residents' annual CA assessments have helped build all of these CA facilities. Isn't it about time that CA's fees were made more affordable so that more of our residents could actually use them?

Alex Hekimian

President, Alliance for a Better Columbia

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