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The CSA Board of Trustees met on November 5th & 6th in person and virtually via Zoom to conduct CSA business.
From the President
The Board thanks the Assembly's staff, committees, and volunteers for all the work undertaken to have a successful 2021 season and for all the planning towards the upcoming 2022 season and beyond. We also heartily thank Ken Cox for all his years of service as Managing Director and welcome to our community Amy Somero in the same role. Click here to read the announcement made in October.
A lively group of Assembly Trustees, Committee Chairs, Officers and Staff gathered in Chicago on November 5th and 6th for the 2021 Winter Meeting. The focus for the Winter Meeting is to review the finances of the Assembly. We were very encouraged by our 2021 financial position and approved a bold 2022 budget which should help us follow through with added programing and an increased focus on Capital Improvements, all the while ensuring that our routine expenses are carefully met.
In addition, we modified the typical Winter Meeting agenda by including Friday night breakout sessions that focused on key topics that arose over the summer. These discussions revolved around Communications & Technology, DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), Programming and Volunteerism. We look forward to continuing these conversations to improve the Assembly's efforts on these fronts.
The 2022 Season Calendar has been tentatively approved based on what we currently know regarding the global COVID-19 pandemic. Things may change as we get closer to June 2022. More information will be provided in the 2022 Assembly News. Click here to open the 2022 Calendar.
We wish you a festive holiday season.

Ed Allred, CSA Board of Trustees President
From Ken Cox
Many thanks to all of the staff, volunteers, and CSA folks who have made my tenure as Managing Director so enjoyable and satisfying. We have done good work together. 

Thanks to the executive committee and Holly Freeburg in particular for continuing the search into the fall and finding a wonderful successor in Amy Somero. I am committed to working with Amy to make this transition in leadership smooth and successful.

I will still be directing the choir and organizing the concerts for a few more years. You will probably see me at the beach more often, when I'm not on a golf course or fishing. It will be wonderful to see you all next summer under the birches once again!
Financials and 2022 Budget and Fees
The CSA is in very good financial position. During 2020 with the CSA’s activities and programs paused for the summer all discretionary spending was stopped. While we maintained tight control over our fixed expenses our community was very generous, many still paying their registration fees and making voluntary contributions. The 2021 season saw pent-up demand and we had record weekly registrations (a 10-year high!), the sustainability of which is uncertain. This created an unusual cash surplus. You will see the Board is taking advantage of this surplus to keep weekly registration fees reasonable and to initiate a number of capital projects and replacements. In general, the Board’s goal is to maintain a balanced budget where fees are sufficient to cover our expenses. Normally this creates little or no surplus.

The budget for 2022 was approved. In order to fulfill requests by Committees and the Board and in consideration of increased costs for goods and services, projected 2022 expenses are 24% higher than actual 2021 expenses. Due to the aforementioned surplus, we are able to keep the projected year-over-year revenue increase needed to cover the incremental expenses in 2022 to 7%. However, we see many of these costs continuing into future years to maintain our programs and infrastructure.
Fees for 2022
  • The weekly Registration Fee will be increased to $35 per week for an Assembly Ticket.
  • The annual Associate Member Fee will be increased to $70 which always equals 2 weeks times the registration fee and is applied toward your registration fee if you come to the CSA in the summer.
  • Automobile Fee will be increased to $20 per vehicle. Although this fee is not intended as a dollar-for-dollar means of repairing the roads, the cost of maintaining the roads has been rising, estimated to be $15,000 - $18,000 per year to keep the roads in good working order. The fee serves as a reminder of the wear and tear that those vehicles have on our roads. The last increase was in 2018.
  • Woods Court Tennis Fees will be $5 per week instead of $10 for 1 to 4 weeks and $20 for 5-9 weeks. Woods Courts Fees go into the Tennis Reserve Fund and pay for the maintenance of all 7 tennis courts.
  • Boat Fees: Docks, moorings and beachfront are a scarce resource at the CSA, with significant overcrowding on the beach and long waiting lists for dock space. New policies and procedures governing moorings and the use of the beachfront will be communicated this Winter and will be included in the Assembly News. During the 2022 season the Waterfront Committee looks forward to a thorough review of the CSA boat dock usage. It is the goal of the Committee to guide a discussion through open forums engaging all stakeholders in the CSA community, aiming towards a workable shore-station policy that has broad support and is consistent with CSA values. Additionally, our goal is to better align ourselves with market rates and therefore we are changing the boat fees as follows:
    • Dock Fee increased to $600 from $350/season. The dock fee has been $350 since 2016.
    • Mooring Fees increased to $30 per week, $270/season. The season mooring fee has been $130 since at least 2010.
    • Beach Boat Storage: Type A (Butterfly, sun/sailfish/Row) remains $10/week, $90/season; Type B (larger than A, pedal, paddlewheel) increased to $25/week, $225/season; Type C (kayak, canoe, SUP/paddleboard) remains $5/week, $45/season. The Type A, B and C fees have been unchanged since at least 2013.
Significant Expenses
  • Increase in Salaries and Payroll Taxes due to:
    • Funding for some duplication of Managing Director salaries so that Amy Somero has the benefit of an appropriate ramp-up period wherein Ken Cox can help insure a smooth transition
    • Additional office and maintenance work before and after the season
    • Addition of Communications Coordinator position
    • Adding separate Youth Leaders for high school and middle school youth programs
  • Increase in Professional Service Fees for legal, accounting, IT and HR
  • Increase in maintenance, road and tree work
Capital Planning
During the summer of 2021, the Board of Trustees created a process and master capital plan for the next 1-15 years. Maintaining a capital plan is a Board responsibility and is reviewed every November for items to include in the annual budget. Because capital expenditures represent substantial investments of cash they need to be carefully planned. In some instances, we may need to raise money over several years to pay for a capital item – either in increased fees or voluntary contributions. The intent is to keep the CSA assets – buildings, equipment, beaches and grounds – in good shape and not have any large emergency expenses.

Click here to see the capital improvement projects planned for next year, largely related to much needed maintenance.
  • Large expenses to note:
    1. $20,000 to resurface 2 of the Woods Tennis courts will be paid for out of the Tennis Reserve Fund.
    2. $19,044 Assembly Building roof. In 2019 the Board authorized a 5-year $31,740 loan at zero interest from the Preservation Fund to pay for the unexpected replacement of the Assembly Building roof due to extreme winds/weather. This is paying back the remaining balance.
    3. $20,000 for road maintenance (up from $12,000). The new amount reflects the expectation of increased costs and a different replacement schedule to keep roads in good working order due to increased usage of the roads in the off season.
    4. $7,000 to replace the dock in the swimming area closest to the doghouse that is used for swimming lessons.
    5. $5,000 to paint the Assembly Building and $2,500 to make building repairs; $4,800 for a new roof on Pilgrim Place.
    6. $4,000 to pressure wash and re-stain the Meeting House which will be paid for by the Pilgrim Fund.
    7. $6,000 to replace the maintenance department golf cart.
Potential future projects being considering include renovating the Crystal View bathrooms, renovating the Assembly Building kitchen, replacing the bleachers behind the Woods Courts, replacing the old waterfront shower with a newer version including a foot wash, and adding a kayak launch ramp to the waterfront.

Safety, preventive maintenance – keeping equipment running and preventing any costly unplanned downtime or unexpected replacement – and community desirability, are the major factors in the decision making of which assets and projects are included in the capital plan.
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Congregational Summer Assembly · 2128 Pilgrim Highway · Frankfort, MI 49635 · USA

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