The thought that the Sprainbrook project was a boon for the Edgemont community is a nifty sales job by the Town Board so they can get the building fee revenue and avoid road and water improvement costs.
Make no mistake: the current Greenville/Edgemont community will likely pay over $500,000 per year for Formation-Shelbourne's business, and that's net of their School and Fire Tax Contribution.
In the June 7th work session, Paul Feiner and Garrett Duquesne noted that on top of the $220K they would receive in building fees for the Greenburgh Unincorporated budget and the $200K water pressure and road improvement costs that the applicant would absorb, that there were $500K in annual property taxes which was a real boon. This sounds good... but what are the real costs and benefits when we get into the details?
Let's look at those numbers closely.
The call volume for Greenville in 2015 was 1314 calls, according to its call logs. The 2016 Greenville Fire District budget was $8,955,414, so the average cost per call was $6,815.
Commissioner Duquesne pointed out that the $500K would be the property taxes when they were at full occupancy. Thus at 80% occupancy, the taxes would be closer to $375K and so Shelbourne's Fire District taxes (currently 11.22% of total taxes) would be closer to $45K, or at full occupancy $56K.
Our current estimated number of calls from the proposed site is 125 calls, and they say it's about 100. If we use their numbers, 100 calls, and $56K, they are paying $560 per call. If we use the apples to apples numbers, 125 calls and $45K in taxes, they are paying $360 per call. At the price we're paying now, Shelbourne would receive between $680K-$850K in services for $45K to $56K. The Greenville/Edgemont community picks up the difference.
This of course assumes that a roughly 10% increase in call volume won't expand the Fire district budget by the same 10% or another $850K in expenditures (Shelbourne's incremental budget contribution of $45K would be less than 1/2 of 1%).
Either way, Shelbourne's consumption of services as a percentage of calls would be around $800K, and more if the budget expanded as result of the increase in calls.
What about the fact that they contribute to but don't use the schools? The schools would only get an annual $225K to $300K per year. That helps, but doesn't get us close to neutral or favorable, like it's been sold to us by the Town. The way these number work, Formation-Shelbourne will bring in one time building fee and road improvement revenue of $420K but cost Greenville/Edgemont, net of School and Fire tax contributions, over $500K ($800K less $225K less $45K) every year going forward.
Furthermore, the $225-300K per year doesn't add that money to our schools, nor does the $45K in to Greenburgh Fire. The School Board and the Fire District set the budgets to whatever they need to be, and all property owners pay their share as defined by the total assessment (which in Edgemont/Greenville, is about $2.6B).
Currently, the Sprainbrook property is valued at $2.2M. Let's say the assessment of Shelbourne after completion and successful operations, was a whopping and gold plated $25M (remember, commercial property is valued on revenue per square foot, not market value). That means the money Shelbourne is kicking in effects less than 1% of your Fire or School tax bill ($25M/$2.6B). If they are at partial occupancy, it means even less.
Why might the Town be pushing this budget unfavorable project for Greenville/Edgemont? It appears to start with those one time potential building fees and cost avoidance for all of Greenburgh.
Certainly, building fees are a unique part of the Greenburgh budgeting process. According to several other village managers, building fees should only be put in the annual budget if they are certain. In Greenburgh, building fees (and others) that are uncertain are routinely used for budgeting, creating perverse incentives when making zoning decisions on the applications.
It should be noted that those building fees be required from a home developer as well, so the short term cash is not exclusive to this commercial developer.