Netook projected to line county's bottom line: analysis
Fiscal analysis of development's benefit as well as water and sewer strategy presented
The largest combined residential and commercial development currently proposed for Mountain View County could contribute over $17 million to the municipality’s bottom line over 20 years, say project proponents.
Representatives of Netook Crossing and an independent consultant presented a fiscal impact analysis as well as a servicing strategy update to the county’s Policies and Priorities Committee last Wednesday.
“The numbers show that even in very theoretical and worst-case scenario where only residential development would occur, Netook Crossing will generate revenues to cover any expected operational and lifecycle costs associated with the development,” said Darryl Howery with Applications Management, the firm retained to do the study. “The truth is no matter how you slice it, MVC is better off with Netook Crossing in its future.”
ProDev Limited Partnership and Neuroese Properties are proposing to develop seven quarter sections of land at the corner of highways 2 and 27 east of Olds to accommodate 671 residential lots and about 367 acres for commercial development.
The future of the proposed developments have been called into question with the county’s current review of its Municipal Development Plan and current draft proposals for density restrictions.
Proponents say there is an opportunity for council to utilize the FIA and servicing strategy update to manage the MDP review process going forward to ensure the opportunity of Netook is not lost.
The fiscal impact of developing the Netook Study area was conducted using a financial model developed by Applications Management Consulting Ltd., say proponents.
Assuming that within 20 years from the 2011 forecast start date, that all 671 residential lots are developed, and only 70 per cent of commercial/industrial lands were developed, the county is expected to realize a net cash flow of $17,313,360 from the Netook development by the end of 2031.
Howery said the number was arrived at by calculating the difference between the revenues the county would receive from Netook and the assumed municipal costs to the area.
The county could see $26,954,730 in revenue in the full residential build-out and 70 per cent commercial/industrial build-out scenario which includes about $31 million in gross tax revenue minus the Town of Olds’ share of about $5.5 million, as well as $1.2 million in operating revenues.
County expenditures for Netook were pegged at about $9.6 million which included $3.8 million in capital costs (recapitalization for infrastructure) and about $5.7 million in operating costs.
This $17.3 million contribution to the county’s cash flow could reduce municipal tax rates every year of its development, starting with a one per cent decrease and working up to an eight per cent reduction by 2031, he said.
Howery also presented scenarios that reaped less rewards for the county than the incremental increase in net cash flow expected over the 20 years to reach the $17.3 million.
The worst-case scenario presented made provisions for the same build-out but per dwelling and per acre assessment growth was less, operating costs increased, cumulative recapitalization increased, and tax sharing with Olds decreased.
This scenario still reaped about $0.53 million in cash flow each year.
In the scenario of only having the full residential built-out and no commercial or industrial at all, net cash flow drops to about $54,000 a year.
“This analysis uses reasonable assumptions taking into account multiple ‘what-if’ scenarios to address council’s expressed concerns. In each of these what-if scenarios, the results indicate that the Netook Crossing development will make a positive contribution to the financial position of the county,” Howery said.
Water and sewer
A representative of MMM Group, contracted by the project’s proponents, also made a short presentation to the P&P committee regarding an interim water and wastewater servicing strategy for the area.
The estimated $6.9 million proposed strategy is divided into three stages over the interim development stage until 2018.
Stage 1 is pegged at an estimated $2,208,000 to be cost shared between Neuroese and Proventure. It would involve construction of approximately 4,800 metres of water feeder main from the Town of Olds Reservoir to provide potable water and firefighting services for Neuroese’s first 10 commercial and light industrial lots and Proventure’s existing 31 lots south of Highway 27.
A $77,000 second stage is proposed involving the construction of an additional sewage holding tank to meet the increasing demands for Neuroese’s 150 proposed residential lots.
Lastly, the $4,630,000 stage 3 involves constructing a sanitary lift station and force main that would benefit both developments and is assumed to be required once the daily demand exceeds the capacity of the two tanks.
Once the presentations were complete, Reeve Bruce Beattie, who was chairing the committee meeting, directed councillors to ask questions for clarification but not to debate the merits of the information given.
Several questions were asked about the fiscal analysis of the entire development including whether inflation had been built into projections and what was included in the $629,000 operating costs shown as county expenditures.
Presenters replied that inflation was not built into the projections in order to make yearly comparisons and that operating costs shown included county costs for things like libraries and recreation.