By November 3, 2019

Anthem Determines Program Fee Hikes for 2020 in Balanced Budget

Paseo fees will increase to help cover rising cost of landscaping. IN&OUT STAFF PHOTO

By Robert Roy Britt — Anthem Community Council (ACC) plans no increases for community-wide homeowner assessments in its $10.2-million 2020 budget, a 3 percent increase over 2019. The budget was passed by a unanimous vote Oct. 23. However, fees will rise for some activity programs, and residents of the Paseo neighborhood will see their ACC assessment rise. Also, a separate HOA fee increase is planned for Country Club homeowners.

During last year’s budget deliberations, officials said an ACC assessment increase was likely this year. That was avoided through cost savings and increased program fees in the 2020 budget. Also, $420,000 of the $2.2 million that had originally been targeted to add to the $16-million reserve fund in 2020 will instead stay in the operations budget. The reserve fund, set aside for major replacements of aging infrastructure, will still be fully funded, according to an outside engineering firm’s recent review.

But rising costs suggest assessments may need to increase in coming years, according to this year’s staff report. The last community-wide ACC assessment increase was in January 2014 at $6 per month.

Among the increased expenses in 2020 compared to 2019:

$85,000 Higher mandatory minimum wage

$80,000 EPCOR New water rates

$36,000 Legal fees for ongoing fight against EPCOR rate increases

$70,000 Dog park operation

Dog park operation costs will be partly offset by an annual household membership fee of $50, contributing an estimated $20,000 in addition to the $70,000 noted above.

Meanwhile, ACC staff expects program revenue to be $81,000 higher in 2020, with about half that increase coming from increased participation in youth leagues. In addition, some program fees will increase [see sidebar].

Separately, assessments for Paseo, 160 patio homes just west of Community Park, will rise $4.50 per month to help cover rising costs of maintenance for common areas, driveways and front yards, all of which are paid for by ACC.

ACC oversees maintenance and operation of common areas, including the community center, community park and civic building. Three separate HOAs, distinct from ACC and with their own budgets and assessments, enforce homeowner rules and maintain pocket parks and other common areas.

Parkside’s HOA board voted to keep assessments at current levels.

Anthem Country Club Community Association plans a homeowner assessment increase of $3 per month starting Jan. 1, said the HOA’s spokesperson, Teri Fyffe. Country Club’s $3.7 million 2020 budget is balanced, Fyffe said.

The Village HOA, overseeing the condos, did not respond to queries about its plans.

Pay More For…

Group fitness daily passes will go from $5 to $7, and monthly passes from $49 to $55.

Summer Camp daily rate increases from $45 to $55, and the $179 weekly rates will drop to $175 without field trips and rise to $195 with field trips.

Adventure Club child care second hour increases from $1 per child to $2 (the first hour remains $5).

Swim Team fees will rise 5% (starting April 1).

This article was first published on North Phoenix News.


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