Our Finances continued

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For over thirty-five years the homeowners and residents of Palm River have supported the work of the Palm River Homeowners and Civic Association with their dues and contributions. Your Board of Directors typically receives and spends about $37,000 per year. Receipts are entirely from voluntary dues and other contributions. It should be pointed out, however, that 2015 and 2016 were not typical in that we additionally raised (still from voluntary contributions) about $40,000 to cover our community’s portion of the cost of Palm River Park. The county provided the remainder of a total of about $300,000 to create the beautiful park along Piper Bvd.

Our spending is limited to those annual receipts and covers primarily two efforts, maintenance and improvement of the common areas of the village and communications with our residents and administrative costs.

About 53% our income, roughly $20,000, is allocated to maintenance and improvement of the common areas of Palm River, the largest part of that for the regular maintenance of the Palm River Boulevard median. This cost, of course, varies year by year depending on what’s needed. The LaPlaya Golf Club annually contributes $2,000 toward the care of the median, part of our annual income.

The remainder of the maintenance and beautification budget covers improvements to the boulevard median and other common areas. This year, our members earmarked $2,400 of their contributions toward such improvements. Among those areas other than the median are the bridge at Viking Way and the Cypress Way East bridge at Ibis Way.

Communications costs, mostly in terms of printing, supplies and postage, average about $8,000 per year. We keep within that amount by having volunteer members do some of the printing and mail preparation on their own equipment at home. For example, the Palm Prints newsletter is commercially printed, but the editing and publishing is provided by volunteers.

We have some ambitious plans for handling communications in the future which will affect the cost. We hope to rely more on email communications, a move which will reduce printing and mailing costs. On the other hand, to ease the time burden on our board members and volunteers and also to standardize our procedures, we intend to do more of the mail preparation and handling through commercial vendors. Our goal is to optimize our communications expenses.

To improve our ability to communicate by email, we are seeking additional email addresses of our Palm River residents. We currently have email addresses to reach about 700 of the 1900 homes we consider to be the greater Palm River community. If you’re reading this and are unsure if we have your email address, please send it to Fran Hoy, our Communications Director at francishoy@earthlink.net

The remaining very roughly 17% of our budget covers other administration expenses such as liability insurance, electric power at our entry signs, and our Spring homeowner meeting. As the revenues increase (or decrease), the communication and administrative expenses stay fairly constant, which means if more residents become members and contribute dues, we have more money to spend on beautification of our special village. This is our goal – to increase membership so we can continue to beautify Palm River and make it the envy of Naples.