New Findhorn Directions (NFD) Ltd

THA members - Your questions answered

Can we turn Hoco into a cooperative?  No, Hoco is not a company, so it cannot be a cooperative. Hoco is simply the name given to the THA 's maintenance fund, which they task NFD to administer for them.

Why are the sewage charges such a significant part of the budget? A title-holder’s basic sewage charge is the same as any house in Moray on the same Council tax band.
The additional cost for title-holders is in the pumps that, unfortunately, are needed to move water and sewage around the Park because the land is flat. (Even without using the Living Machine to treat sewage, we would still need to move it from residents’ homes to the main entrance if we were connected into the mains drain).

Does the NFD administration charge cover all the employees?  No, the Park Services manager cost is shown separately.

What are we getting for our money? NFD are uniquely placed to perform the factor’s role as they manage and operate other key services in the Park, such as electricity, water and the Living Machine. Since they are already managing other aspects of the site they are able to maximise the cost effectiveness of their resources, ensuring more of the title holders’ money goes into maintenance work. This is best illustrated in two main areas:
1. Administration - As NFD already run and invoice for utilities, the same staff and administration are used to do Hoco paperwork. This effectively means not having to set up a separate office and staff with associated additional costs.
2. Project costs - The same applies to project costs where machinery and equipment is used across all areas of work.

What is being done to build up a reserve for the future ?  An amount is accrued (put aside into a 'savings' pot) each year out of the annual budget. Any surplus at the end of each financial is also put into this pot. This accrued amount acts like insurance by being available for any unforseen or large costs that may accure.
 
What planning is being done to assess future large costs? NFD are continually assessing the current state of Hoco infrastructure and can give an indicative cost forecast for the next 5 and 10 years.

What is being done to reduce these costs in the future?  NFD consciously strives to repair or replace damage in a way that will last. A good example is the streetlights, which are currently mounted on wooden posts. A number of the posts have already collapsed because the wood has rotted away at the base; our assessment shows that the remainder are likely to follow. We have started to replace these with a post made from recycled plastic that looks just like wood. The costs are slightly higher than wood, but they do not need to be coated in preserver and will not need replacing. The light replacement fittings are also low energy, using 70% less energy than a conventional lamp.

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