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Community Center Board Approves New Budget, Dips Into Reserves

The board voted to spend part of its reserve fund instead of raising the tax rate.

The governing board of the McLean Community Center approved a $5.8 million budget for fiscal year 2014 - a budget with $857,120 less in expenses than the current fiscal year.

The budget will be submitted to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for final approval.

In the fiscal year 2014, , significantly less than the $877,909 budgeted in the current fiscal year. The center will face reductions in special events spending, youth spending, administrative services spending and capital expenditures.

The budget does allow the community center to hire a public information officer and add more classes to the schedule.

The community center's reserve balance will be reduced in fiscal year 2014 to $9.6 million. The budget will require the board to dip into the community center's reserve funds instead of raising the tax rate to balance the budget. The tax rate will hold from fiscal year 2013 at 2.2 cents per $100 of assessed property.

The reserve balance has garnered its share of controversy over the past year. At its height, the balance topped $12.5 million at the start of fiscal year 2012 up from less than $2 million in fiscal year 2007. The increase prompted citizens to petition the community center's board to spend the surplus for various projects in McLean.

In a resolution last December, the McLean Citizen's Association asked the governing board to consider using the surplus funds to expand the community center's facilities.

At the governing board's meeting on Thursday, finance committee chairman Sean Dunn asked his fellow board members for help presenting the community center's financial information, specifically the balance of the reserve funds, in the future. He said he would like to discuss the issue in future committee meetings.

"Right now, it looks like we have more money than we really do," Dunn said.

Fiscal year 2014 begins July 1, 2013 and ends June 30, 2014. A full copy of the budget proposal is available online.

In other business, the governing board:

  • Discussed sending a liaison to the McLean Citizen Association monthly meetings to improve communication between the groups.
  • Voted to spend up to $20,000 to hire the Lukmire Partnership Architects for conceptual design work for phase one of a multi-use recreational space for the community center.
  • Discussed the possibility of purchasing a generator for the community center to serve citizens during power outages.

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