Fiscal Analysis for Municipalities
Problem to Solve:
Municipalities engage InfraCycle's services for several reasons:
- The same problems have persisted for years and outside resources are needed to provide a fresh perspective.
- They do not have the expertise or in-house methodology.
- They have the talent and skills but they don't have the time.
Implications of the Problem:
Municipalities with fiscal challenges have developed these problems over several years or decades. These problems will
persist without outside help.
- By continuing with the "business as usual" scenario, the municipality's financial position will not improve.
- If they do not have the time and do not retain InfraCycle's consulting services, the financial issue will remain unresolved.
Benefits of Solving the Problem:
Engaging InfraCycle to provide consulting services for your municipality, you will have access to Ray's proven methodology
and 22 years of experience completing fiscal analysis. The results of his analysis have provided tangible and quantifiable evidence that municipal staff and councillors have relied on to make informed recommendations and decisions. By having accurate data and sound recommendations our clients have saved $10's of millions of dollars and significantly increased their revenues.
Since 1995, InfraCycle Fiscal Solutions has been assisting organizations with municipal fiscal performance. Our clients include organizations such as: The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; the City of Brandon, Manitoba; Parkland County, Alberta; the Town of Canmore, Alberta; the City of Calgary, Alberta; The City of Airdrie, Alberta; The City of Nepean, Ontario; the City of Dieppe, New Brunswick; Conception Bay South, Newfoundland; The Department of Finance and Administration for State of New Mexico, the State of Florida and many others.
Our work is collaborative, involving municipal staff, elected officials transferring knowledge and skills to the client. Our engagements include completing fiscal analysis for a variety of needs such as; evaluating return on investment (ROI), comparing alternative designs, comparing alternative sites, identifying land uses that produce the lowest and highest net revenue gain, optimum land use mix for optimum financial gain, analysis of infrastructure deficits, fiscal baseline of entire municipalities and other studies related to financially viable communities. We have completed fiscal analysis for sites ranging from 0.5 hectare to 20,000 hectares and entire mixed use and rural communities up to 240,000 hectares.
Our experience and results indicate that improved financial performance requires investment in people, tools and support structures. However, that investment does not require additional resources, but rather the redeployment of talents, resources and energy already present.
The success of a municipality depends on strong leadership and the willingness to accept outside advice, if even for a short time. If fiscal problems have persisted for many years, it is obvious that the current systems and processes are not working. Often all our clients need is a fresh perspective requiring small incremental changes that yield significant long-term results.
Our approaches revolve around a simple idea: "Improving the client’s condition"
One of the fundamentals of our success is helping our clients understand that they can improve the municipality’s finances by linking land use decisions with financial outcomes. We do this by using existing staff resources, existing data and no original research is required. We provide a fresh perspective and shed light on how to use what our clients already have to achieve a much greater result.
What We Do
These are just a few examples that highlight specific solutions for clients and they do not represent the full range of our work for them and other clients over many years.
District of Mission, BC
The waterfront in the District of Mission, BC is a very strategic asset and an opportunity for the District to increase non-residential assessment which is only 10% of total assessment. For the district of mission we prepared a return on investment (ROI) analysis for a proposed development included a complex set of financial incentives. The proposed development was approved and it will be a catalyst for additional development on the waterfront.
In the rural area of the District of Mission, BC a residential development was proposed at urban densities and located 3 km from urban services. The development would be developed either as a Bare Land Strata or Fee Simple ownership. The analysis included long-term lifecycle costs for infrastructure and soft costs for on-site services and the off-site services that would be extended 3 km from the current serviced area to the proposed development. The analysis showed the District staff and Council that even though the land developer proposed to pay all of the capital costs of on-site, off-site capital costs, contribute to Development Cost Charges, the recurring cost of replacing and maintaining infrastructure and providing community services the development would produce a net revenue loss.
The District provided a comprehensive incentive package to a proposed development on our history waterfront. InfraCycle completed a return on investment analysis for this complex development. The follow-up after the initial meetings was well organized using their webinar system. The final report was completed ahead of schedule and within the agreed to budget. The District was very satisfied with the service received from InfraCycle and is looking at retaining them for additional work.
Director of Development Services, District of Mission, BC
For the City of Brandon, Manitoba
For the City of Brandon, Manitoba we progressed through multiple stages that lead to implementing the process of Fiscal Impact Analysis at the City. Presentations at public meetings, the business community, the management team and council created awareness of the benefits of linking land use planning and measuring the impact of development on the City’s finances. This lead us to complete a fiscal impact evaluation of four potential growth nodes identified in the City’s Long Range Growth Strategy. The City now understands the impacts of land use plans on municipal finance, the benefits of Fiscal Impact Analysis and the City has integrated InfraCycle’s Fiscal Impact Analysis process into their decision making process.
Mr. Essiambre's presentations were very organized, well prepared and engaging; many participants were intrigued by the topics and continued their discussion after the presentation. The few Brandon City Councillors who attended the presentation were very impressed by what they have learned and were enlightened by the fiscal impacts and the need of a long view discussed in the presentation. Mr. Essiambre's webinars and presentations will no doubt be very beneficial to any municipalities that are experiencing the same urban growth issues.
Director, Planning & Building Safety, City of Brandon, Manitoba
Conception Bay South, Newfoundland
For the Town of Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and in concert with CBCL Consulting, we produced a Fiscal Impact Analysis for the Main Street Improvement Area. The Town needed to know the land uses that would generate the highest return on investment and help the Town recover the on-going cost of municipal improvements proposed within the Main Street Corridor. We also provided an analysis of lands owned by the Town within the improvement area and recommended land uses that would conform to the land use concepts and produce the highest net revenue return. Our recommendations were accepted and incorporated into policies for the Main Street Improvement Plan.
Town of South Windsor, Connecticut
The Connecticut Economic Resource Center, USA, staff were trained to use InfraCycle Software to complete a consulting assignment of the Town of South Windsor, Connecticut. The developer of the Evergreen Walk project planned to create a 230-acre mixed-use development incorporating a 250-room hotel, retail and office space, and an indoor recreational facility in South Windsor. The Economic Development Commission, prior to supporting the development, requested a Fiscal Impact Analysis of the project on the town detailing expected costs and revenues. South Windsor’s residential population is somewhat reticent about development. In the past, significant development opportunities have been lost due to public opposition. The overriding concern involves quality of life and the possibility that development may negatively impact this quality. The town needed a way to assess the municipal costs and revenues attributed to the proposed development.
After months of additional review and public comment, the town agreed to pursue the development. The deliberations on this topic were influenced significantly by the results of CERC’s fiscal impact analysis, which enabled the Town of South Windsor to base its decision on a rigorous analysis and with a complete understanding of the project’s impact on the town’s budget.
The CERC's fiscal impact analysis of Evergreen Walk in South Windsor had numerous benefits. It was the first time the EDC could assess municipal costs and revenues attributed to a proposed development in a methodical, comprehensive way and it helped to illustrate the type of economic development the town needed in order to build the tax base.