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Columbia Association releases FY22 Budget Plan; Haven on the Lake to Close, 15 of 23 Pools to Open

The Columbia Association has released a $63.6 million FY2022 budget proposal. Among key items of note in the proposed budget is a plan to cease operations at Haven on the Lake effective May 1, 2021 and to open 15 out of the 23 outdoor pools this summer. Village associations, neighborhood centers and community buildings are planned to be funded at a total of $6.7 million, which is consistent with prior years. CA is not planning to increase annual charge rates this year and they have plans to establish a "rainy day fund."

This is a draft budget that has been delivered to CA's Board of Directors. Public input and board deliberations will occur throughout January and February, and a final FY22 Budget is expected to be voted upon and approved at the end of February 2021.

CA opened Haven on the Lake in 2014 at the Columbia Lakefront offering a unique wellness experience, however the concept never reached it's anticipated growth and financial goals, suffering annual net loses of approximately $2 million in each of the past 4 years.

Here is a list of which pools are planned to be open and closed:

The budget itself is available on the CA Budget website. Additionally, CA has posted detailed explanations on their blog.

CA has planned a virtual town hall on Thursday, January 21 at 7 PM to answer questions from members of the public. Details below.

Below is the press release issued by the Columbia Association.


CA Releases FY 2022 Budget Plan, Invites Public to Virtual Town Hall

COLUMBIA, MD - Columbia Association (CA) is releasing its $63.6 million budget for FY2022, which takes effect May 1, 2021.

“CA is in very sound financial condition. Our cash position is strong, and we have proven yet again that we can produce a budget and successfully execute against it, even in a global pandemic and recession,” CA President and CEO Milton W. Matthews said.

The temporary shutdown and ongoing restrictions have had a significant effect on sports and fitness memberships and user fees (i.e. - personal training, green fees, tennis court time, lessons, leagues, etc.) and community services programming, specifically enrollment in CA’s childcare programs. Consequently, CA and its team members continue to refocus time, effort and dollars in ways we never could have anticipated. Despite the tests this year has put us through, CA maintains a positive position and remains resourceful to ensure quality services continue in this community.

“We believe that it is safe to say that there will not be a return to ‘normal,’ if ‘normal’ means our pre-COVID experience,” Matthews said. “A new normal will emerge and mature over time, perhaps three to four years.”

This latest budget plan is built on the organization’s fiscal responsibility and desire to serve as many people as possible across our diverse group of stakeholders.

The FY 2022 budget proposal includes:

  • No increase in annual charge rates

  • $6.7 million in financial support for village associations, neighborhood centers and community buildings

  • Reinstatement of a full time Program Manager for the International and Multicultural program

  • Ongoing investments in Open Space, Columbia Art Center and other CA facilities

  • Return of in-person before-and-after school programs at 20 schools

  • Funds to reopen 15 neighborhood pools this summer

  • Closure of Haven on the Lake

  • Establishment of a “rainy day fund”

There will be more detail about the proposal made available on CA’s website Friday afternoon.​​​​​

If any member of the public has questions about the upcoming budget or any other topic related to the organization, CA is hosting a Virtual Town Hall via Zoom on Thursday, January 21, starting at 7pm. You can participate by registering with your questions (by January 17) or catch the livestream on YouTube. Along with the upcoming Virtual Town Hall, there are a number of ways for the public to stay up to speed on the process:

"We welcome everyone's feedback on these difficult decisions. Families and individuals have long depended on us to add value to the Columbia community while being held accountable for our spending,” President and CEO Milton W. Matthews said. “We hope you see a continuation of that commitment to you in this FY 2022 proposal."



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