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I believe that the Economic analysis presented to the county for the 4 Season development to be flawed in concept, quite possibly intentional  - in the following areas:

1. They state and advertise that any typical development will cost the county money whereas the Tischler study prepared for the county makes it quite clear that any development except for trailer parks result in a net positive impact to the county. Hovnanianís study uses time proven marketing tricks to position their development and any comparison at all should be thrown out. If the developer is correct the County would have been bankrupt a long time ago.

2. I believe selling prices to be optimistic and assume the prices to be conservatively 10% less than their study.

3. They used a base of population at 40,000 and employment of almost 10,000 to create a fictitious base of 50,000 from which to determine per capita costs for the study. There are only 40,000 people in the county to pay the bills. I therefore reduce their per capita costs by 20%

4. Student Generation Factors of 0.25 should be changed to the county standard of 0.50. as it appears that 50% of their target market is existing county residents. When these residents sell their existing homes, families with children will move in. In addition, there are legal cases pending and will be more in many states to open up this type development to school age children due to grand parents getting custody of grand children as well as families with children inheriting property and wanting to move in to their parents homes. For my analysis, I have doubled the developers cost in this area.

5. Personal Income tax revenues are also overstated in the developers model. They assume 30% of sales price to be the income. This is a mortgage model, not real life. Retired citizens generally have a much lower taxable income. - I have reduced their claim by 20%.

6. Non-Educational expenses as allocated by the developer are biased and inconclusive. For example - legislative, personnel administration, sheriff, and miscellaneous items need to be listed as variable costs - not fixed as the developer claims. As population grows, expenditures in these areas have to grow. Furthermore - expenditures listed for fire protection is $33,000 per year. I believe that very soon a paid fire department costing almost $5 million per year is realistic and that 4 Seasons should be attributable for 20% of this, or $1 million per year. Their model clearly states no inclusion for capital items was made and that they are subject to discussions with the county. These discussions must be made public so that an accurate analysis may be completed - in addition to a better analysis of debt service since the developers model uses year 2,000 budgeted debt as a greater county debt in the future is a forgone conclusion.

All this being said - I believe that this development will, as any other development -including one house per twenty acres, result in the close proximity of break even over 20 years for the county and in fact cost the county big money in the 2 to 8 year short term.

I implore you to separate marketing claims from real life. You also may need to be reminded that, according to independent studies, 18% of voters consider sprawl the number one election issue when they go to the polls and that almost 70% of voters consider the environmental track record of their elected officials on election day.
We will remember you when you stand out on route 50 in about 18 months and wave to us and ask for our votes.
Your upcoming vote on this issue effects the futures of all county citizens - an you need to realize that it will certainly effect your political futures as well.

Benjamin Cassell


 
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