|Michigan Section Assessment|
The Board of Trustees of the Michigan Section of AWWA proposes to implement an annual Section Assessment fee (i.e. Section Dues). Implementation of Section Assessment requires a vote of the Section membership.
Check out this easy infographic about the Section Assessment.
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What does a Section Assessment do for Michigan members?
This new source of funding will be one of several new sources of funding that will strengthen the Section’s ability to sustain and grow programs and services for water professionals in Michigan. One example of the growth in Section activities is the launch of a new expanded training program called the Michigan Water Academy®. Another is the development of a strategic communications plan. Both are being launched during 2017.
What is MI-AWWA proposing as its Section Assessment amount?
The Michigan Section is proposing a 10% Section Assessment level, which equates to an additional annual membership fee of $18 for Individual members, $8 for Operations members, and from $30 to a maximum of $187 for Utility and Service Provider organizational members for 2018. The Assessment will not affect all MI-AWWA members as it will not apply to the Student, Honorary, Retiree, and Life member categories (although they can still vote). The Association requires us to select one of five predetermined levels – 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, and 25%. The Board felt 10% allowed for the most benefit to the Section with the least impact to members. See a comparison of other organizations' member dues here.
What impact will collecting a Section Assessment have on the Section?
We have used reserve funds to operate from time to time, most recently reducing the balance of these rainy day funds by $12,000 in the last six years. And that's not allowing for the development of any new programs or services. The 10% Section Assessment level represents $26,000 in new funding and will help the Section to expand programs and services.
What is a Section Assessment?
A Section Assessment is an annual fee that is added to your AWWA membership dues to help fund services and activities provided by the Section, i.e. Section membership dues. In our case, all revenues collected by the proposed Assessment will remain in the Michigan Section to help us continue to provide opportunities and services as in past years.
Currently 29 of AWWA’s 43 Sections (which include Sections in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and across the United States) have already established Section Assessments or Section Assessment, ranging from 5% to 40% of the national AWWA annual Assessment. A cap of 25% is now in place. The average Assessment throughout the Sections is approximately 15%. Wisconsin and Illinois have 10% assessments while Indiana has a 20% assessment. Ohio does not currently have an assessment. Check out a comparison of all other AWWA Sections here.
What has prompted MI-AWWA to consider implementing a Section Assessment?
In order to ensure long-term financial stability, the Section has investigated multiple opportunities to meet its current budget deficit. The Section receives income from AWWA in the form of an annual allotment. However, this allotment has not increased since 2000. Income from conferences and training events has been flat while the costs of conducting section activities have increased due rising costs.
The Section needs to be prudent when pricing training and conference events to keep these important programs accessible to as many water professionals as possible. In recent budget cycles, the Section Board has decreased funding for Section Council and Committee activities in an attempt to balance the budget; meanwhile the Section is concurrently trying to grow, not shrink Section activities.
The Section Assessment is a necessary and critical component of the Board’s strategy to ensure that current activities of the section remain available, allow for growth opportunities, and continue to meet the needs of our members.
How does a Section Assessment get approved?
An assessment is subject to approval by the Section’s membership, the Executive Committee of AWWA (the international Association), and the AWWA Board of Directors. Approval of the Section Assessment requires that twenty-five percent of the Michigan Section’s (MI-AWWA) membership must vote and two-thirds of those voting must approve the Assessment. Once the required vote is achieved, it may take up to a year for the Association to approve and initiate the fee.
Am I eligible to vote on whether to approve the Section Assessment?
If you are a Member of MI-AWWA including a named representative of a Utility or Service Provider who has membership in MI-AWWA, then you are eligible to vote.
How do I vote?
Thank you for voting. Results will be published once all ballots are validated.