By Will Cullen
I’d like to take a moment to reflect on a part of the BHCA that doesn’t get a lot of attention: Our yearly budget. On average, the BHCA is raising about $9,000 a year from memberships, private donations and advertising revenue from our award-winning newsletter. We also get additional revenue in the form of grants that we apply for.
Our administrative costs go for items like insurance, office supplies, refreshments for meetings and equipment like a sound system, projector, and laptop, banners and pop-ups, as well as payment for the storage of this inventory. These take up about 25% of our expenditures.
After that, the bulk of our spending goes towards printing of the newsletter and investment in the Belmont Heights community. We award small grants and fund free public events like Make A Difference Day, and the annual Egg Hunt and Goblins in the Greenbelt. Your donated dollars also help promote our Historic Districts, Bembridge House, and the work of the Belmont Heights Artists’ Association.
This past year we supported other local organizations in the form of cash grants going to the Wilson High School Orchestra, the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust (for children’s education) the Salvation Army adopt-a-family program (for Christmas), and the Belmont Heights United Methodist Church. Additionally, we helped support the lighting of the holiday trees in the Colorado Lagoon and supported Fremont School with the purchase of a large BHCA banner proudly displayed on 4th Street.
But it’s not just about spending money. We also work to inform and educate residents and, on occasion, we serve as advocates. In the past, the BHCA has been at the forefront of informing residents about the City Land Use Element and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s). And we have educated residents and advocated about potential State legislation regulating wire-blight and, in 2017, wireless CG5 cell antennas.
As we move into the next decade, we will continue this policy and do our best to represent the needs and interests of all residents living in Belmont Heights.