Of the many elements that contribute to CYC’s success and well-being, having the right physical assets in good working condition ranks very high on the list. Without things such as the clubhouse and the club’s fleets of power and sail boats it simply wouldn’t be possible to offer the programs we do. Therefore, it is equally critical to have a plan to fund the maintenance, repairs, and acquisition of these capital assets.
In recent years, these types of expenses have been funded primarily from two sources. One is the club’s annual operating budget, which also serves as the source for items such as salaries, moorage, insurance, and everything else that keeps the doors open. Second, truly extraordinary expenses, such as those recently seen with the clubhouse remodel, have been paid for primarily with donations from club members and supporters.
The challenge with respect to capital expenses is that they tend to be “lumpy” – meaning that even while relatively predictable over the long term they can vary significantly from year-to-year - so they don’t match either of these funding models particularly well. While the generosity of members is greatly appreciated, we don’t want the club to be overly reliant on donations. At the same time, because the specific timing of capital expenses – when a new furnace is needed for the clubhouse or a new mark set winch is needed for a whaler – is impossible to predict, relying on funding from an annual budget introduces a problematic level of uncertainty.
In considering all of this, CYC’s Board of Directors decided, as part of the strategic plan that was adopted last year, to institute (or, for those club members old enough to remember, to re-institute) a capital fund from which capital expenses can be paid. The goal is to build the capital fund to a level at which it can be used to pay for whatever capital expenses might arise in any single year, up to and including major repairs on or even, someday, a replacement for the clubhouse. To kick off the fund, 100% of the increase in member dues this year is being allocated to the capital fund.
That, however, is just the start. The early years of the capital fund will be especially challenging because we will need to fund the expenses that arise while also growing the fund itself. Since these are unavoidable expenses if we are to continue providing the high quality Racing and Juniors programs for which we are known, we will be accessing some of our operational reserves to pay for them. The biggest demand for capital expenses this year comes from the support boats for the Race and Juniors programs. We have invested considerable funds in servicing, repairing, and upgrading those vessels in the last six months – well over $50,000. These investments supported by a strong maintenance budget will maximize the reliability of the equipment supporting our programs. Because of these investments, we have added an option for racers to add a contribution to the capital fund with their registration if they want. Expect to hear about other avenues for adding to the capital fund in the future.
Thank you for your support of CYC and its programs.