In a continuing effort to share a better understanding of the church’s financial strengths and needs among all church members, the Session is undertaking a series of newsletter articles about how our boards and committees work together to define the mission and program of the church, and how the program is funded and managed through the operating budget. This first installment explains the work of the Facilities & Grounds Committee on our Property Management budget.

The part of the budget we call “Property Management” takes care of all church property: routine upkeep of buildings and grounds, repairing church property as needed, replacing and upgrading furnishings on time, the “new land” purchase, utilities, insurance, and taxes. Our Property Management budget is managed by the Facilities & Grounds Committee.

The work of caring for our property is mostly non-discretionary – the floors must be swept, the grass must be cut, light bulbs must be replaced and repairs have to be made. So, to manage expenses, the committee concentrates on understanding past experience and being aware of changes in costs, getting the best deals for services, making technology upgrades, finding opportunities for volunteers to help, reducing consumption, minimizing waste, etc.

The biggest single part of the budget – about 40% – is for routine maintenance services under contract; of that, daily custodial services, regular grounds maintenance and quarterly HVAC maintenance (heating and air conditioning) are about $60,000. We spend another $34,000 each year for unscheduled maintenance and repairs, and this part of the budget is increasing along with the age of our campus. Utilities, insurance, and property taxes run about $70,000.

This year’s budget is about 32% more than last year’s actual expenses (around $54,000) because of: 1) increasing the budget for unscheduled maintenance; 2) resuming additions to our maintenance fund for future roof and HVAC replacements ($18,000); 3) beginning to add the mortgage obligation for the “new land” into the operating budget ($12,000 of the $36,000 annual cost that’s been paid so far with part of the Land Ask donations); and 4) increased insurance premiums following last year’s claim for water damage in the cabin ($4,000).

All together, the Property Management budget is now $222,700, about 18% of the church’s total operating budget.

Overall, the goal is to keep our beautiful campus in good working order and up to date, ready to support the many missions and programs of the church for all members and staff, today and next week and next year.

You can read more about the Facility & Grounds Committee’s recent accomplishments and goals on page 8 of the 2016 Annual Report.