We know there is a 15 year tax abatement that will total $3,375,000 in uncollected taxes. We know the writing of the staff report is a little befuddling. That should keep you scratching your head if the numbers don't. So, let's look for some more "stuff."
We now know they are going to move the old Christian Church building (now the Chamber of Commerce). It is estimated to cost $200,000, however if the building is to be usable, another $100K + would be needed for renovation, thus totaling $300K +. The city has a cozy relationship with the Chamber. What is re-locating and paying rent for the Chamber going to cost? What is going to be their permanent location? Who pays for it? Don't you think you're entitled to some answers here?
We know the city is going to pay the developers $10/sq. ft./year for leasing library space. 11,700 sq. ft X $10 = $117,000 per year X 5-7 years, say 6 years = $702,000.
Will there be other expenses incurred by the city and associated with The Villages development? Of course there will be. That's why bank budgets, such as the one that will be used here, will contain a contingency allocation. The city will never see that budget, but the bank and the developer will. They know from experience there will be some surprises. The city is acting like there won't be any surprises. Anyone taking bets? If the "officialdom" culture is incapable of making realistic cost estimates, how in the world are they going to communicate these costs to the taxpayer?........if they want to.
So, let's see what we have so far.
To a casual reader, a perusal of the Staff Report to City Council made on May 20, 2014, regarding The Villages, might think that the City of Rowlett was contributing 12 acres to the development. The 12 acres included our library and the total was valued at: $1,650.000
The developer was then required to spend another confusing $2,400,00 for "infrastructure improvements" and another $1,968,000 for "infrastructure improvements." Clearly, there is some confusion here, but the amounts are mentioned twice, so I assume the totals to be correct. I just don't know what it's being spent for.......neither do you. In any event, something called 380 Grants are assumed to be flying over Rowlett shoving out bales of money totaling $4,368,000 to cover these costs. Oops. Not true. The citizens have to come up with that money, thus: $4,368,000
The developer get 15 years tax abatement at the rate of $225,000 per year. That same 380 Grant plane is not showing up for this "flyover" either. Tax payers lose: $3,375,000
We have learned that the Chamber of Commerce building is going to cost at least $300K to move and renovate. Plus, does anyone have a guess about what it might cost the city to re-house the Chamber in the future. I don't either, but It ain't gonna be free. I think at the very least we're looking at another $100K, therefore: $400,000
We know that our library is going to become an anchor tenant for the new office building in The Villages. We are going to be there for 5-7 years. I calculated 6 years above, thus: $702,000
One would be foolish to go into this type of development without some kind of contingency. A "skinney" contingency is 5%, therefore: $524,750
Total taxpayer investment: $11,019,750
There seems to be a considerable difference between the initial land investment of $1,650,00 that a casual reader would have perhaps believed, and the taxpayer involvement (assuming the money dump planes full of 380 Grant money never showed up) to the actual of $11,019,750.........the difference is something like 6.67 times. Is this where we taxpayers get called stupid?
I have one more post to make on The Villages "deal." No math. It has to do with language.........and some questions I have regarding the entire negotiation. Remember......I am not against the development. Just the terms.....and it's bizarre cast of characters and representations to the public.