RSF Association assessments to go toward fiber project, environment

The Rancho Santa Fe Association board set its assessment allocation for 2016-17 at the board’s Oct. 5 meeting. The assessment rate will remain 14 cents per $100 assessed property value, as set by the County of San Diego’s tax rolls. According to treasurer Janet Danola, 11.5 cents will go to general services and 2.5 cents to “capital investments under consideration of the board for projects related to the community-wide fiber optic network, water and the environment.”

The intent of calling out projects funded by homeowners’ assessments is a response to one of the auditor’s management comments last year that the Covenant Enhancement Fund needed to be allocated, she said. In past years, allocations had simply gone to the fund without specificity of what projects they would go toward.

There is currently $6 million in the Covenant Enhancement Fund, with an estimated contribution of $1.2 million this year.

The Finance Committee had discussed the allocations and Danola said there had been some revisions from their recommendation. The committee had wanted the 2.5 cents to go toward sustainable water and reforestation.

“Additionally, they wanted to require a vote in accordance with the bylaws,” Danola said. “There is no vote required by the bylaws, so I struck that portion.”

Danola said because the sustainable water project is still in development, she thought the RSF Association should back off the word “sustainable” and just use the term “water” to provide more flexibility if there’s more than one water project. Instead of reforestation, the focus of the allocation was put on the whole environment.

“I think that the spirit of what the Finance Committee approved is still in this recommendation,” Danola said.

The board’s vote to approve the allocation was not unanimous, with Director Allen Finkelson voting against it.

Last year, all 14 cents of the assessment went into the general fund as the Association needed to rebuild its unrestricted reserves.