Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is nearing, and at VOCA, this brings about all the rituals in preparation for the activities associated with the holidays, year-end, and planning for 2016.
Foremost on our list was the 2016 budget process. A big thank-you goes out to Bill Czekai (GM of Golf Operations), Deb Brewer (Community Association Manager), Jim Kautz (VOCA Board Treasurer), and, of course, the Finance Committee, for their time and effort. Most notably, the feedback we have received, relative to the process this year, is about the greater efficiency and streamlining of the data reviewed and presented. This is largely due to the expertise brought to us by Deb Brewer and the HOAMCO team. They continue to provide invaluable service in every aspect of our operations.
The final budget was presented to the VOCA community at our Public Hearing on Nov. 18. There were some key items noted and discussed in the presentation to the VOCA community. On the HOA side of our organization, the hiring of HOAMCO to manage our HOA has helped us greatly, just as predicted. At costs less than our previous model, they have instituted better practices and brought overall increased efficiency. This includes prompt collection of our assessments, and expeditious action on delinquent accounts.
For the most part, our goal to minimize cash outlay in our restaurant expenses has also been accomplished, and it is our hope that we can continue to meet this objective with support from our community and customers, supplemented with special events, such as weddings, booked by the restaurant operator.
Based on a preliminary look at our draft Reserve Study, even with the HOA assessments staying at our current rate, and despite the expenses we incurred this year in correcting deferred maintenance items, our HOA reserves are adequately funded at this moment. Once the Reserve Study is reviewed and finalized, it will be made available to interested VOCA Members.
On the golf side of our business, we have good news in that we had another profitable year, and hope to continue on this trajectory of financial growth. However, due to the challenges we've had in multiple years past, we have been in catch-up mode. This meant that we took the profits and placed them into golf reserves, to make up for several unfunded years. We also spent money from those reserves for major purchases, such as a pump station, this year.
As golf members will recall, we collectively celebrated our profitability by not increasing our membership rates for 2015. However, rates for 2016 will go up for both golf memberships and outside play, as funding is needed for major capital expenditures, and for reserves. We have a mature golf course that is positively recognized throughout Arizona.
With the support of golfers (both members and guests), our goal is to continue our financial momentum and diligently strive to provide an immaculately maintained golf course that is coupled with delivering great customer experience.
As far as holiday events, there are several activities at VOCA in December. Oakcreek Country Club will host a Member For A Day on Dec. 3. We will have our annual Holiday Balloon Sale on Dec. 4, kicking it off with a pre-sale event for golf members in the late afternoon, followed by a public sale on Dec. 5. In keeping with our annual tradition of community service, some of our golf maintenance staff will be helping Lloyd Dellacort and the Sedona Marine Corp League in putting up holiday lights at Tlaquepaque.
VOCA members, and the VOC/Big Park community have always shown a generous spirit and this year should be of no exception. In that regard, our VOCA Community Center will be one of the drop off points for the Toys For Tots program, also sponsored by the Sedona Marine Corp League. They will additionally accept money donations by checks made payable to the Toys for Tots. You can simply place your check in an envelope (attention Lloyd Dellacort), and leave it with one of the staff in the Golf Shop.
Last but not least, we will have a Verde Valley Caregivers Christmas Giving Tree in our community center area. Donors are invited to select a gift tag, then purchase the item requested. Finally, wrap the present and place it in the box located near the tree by December 11th.
There is no doubt that you will provide a measure of happiness to those you'll touch with your generosity and spirit of giving.
On behalf of the VOCA board, I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!