By Justin Seward
Cypress County council looked over and accepted Sage Analytic’s Appendix Supplemental analysis of the proposed Dunmore training facility at its May 21 regular meeting.
Cypress County officials requested additional analysis to supplement the March 15 Dunmore Facility Business Case Study to address whether the county can afford to provide a 50 per cent contribution of $5,381,057 towards the project, as well as the ongoing operational costs once the training facility is built and running.
SAGE Analytics conducted more project analysis on the initial proposal costs presented by Prairie Rose School Division (PRSD) and provided the county with an update on May 16.
SAGE had calculated a one-year example of the operational and capital budget impact to the county using the values provided in the initial proposal submitted by the county to PRSD in September 2018.
In the operating budget impact, PRSD’s proposal contemplates a $83,000 annual operating loss and states “deficits in the annual operating expenses be shared equally between Cypress County and PRSD.”
The county’s accumulated cost would equate to $41,500, which increases the 2019 operating budget expense from $40,074,152 to $40,115,652.
There would be minimal impact with these numbers as it would only see an increase of 0.1 per cent to the annual operating budget.
“Cypress County has the resources to easily sustain this additional annual expense, funded through taxation if this was the only annual cost to the county related to the Dunmore facility project,” said Sage Analytics officials in the report.
Capital budget implications would include 50/50 cost share between the county and PRSD. The county’s contribution would be $5,381,057, raising their capital budget to $12,264,581 and an increase of 43 per cent.
Cypress County would be able to fund this capital contribution from current investments,” the appendix stated.
The 2018 annual financial statement shows that the county has $85,942,593 in net financial assets , including investments and liabilities. Cypress County would see a 6.26 per cent decrease in net financial assets.”
Due to the county’s $5.3 million capital contribution, the total would come to $80,562,536.
“The county’s contribution of $5,381,057 for the capital component of the project would also impact the county’s annual operating revenue with a decrease in annual interest earned on funds that are currently invested and projected to earn over $169,500 in annual interest revenue.”
Also included in the package was the Town of Redcliff’s response to what impact the Dunmore project would have on their own community facilities.
“Specifically for the town, where the proposed facility is to be implemented it is very possible that some of the town’s user groups could relocate to this new facility,” said town officials.
“There is also strong potential to see a decrease in off-season user groups that utilize the current sport court at the Redcliff arena. The town had recently undergone substantial investment with regard to energy efficient improvement, concession upgrades and installation of an off-season sports court for expanded use throughout the typical operating year.
“Any loss of user groups for the Redcliff facility, if unable to be replaced, will result in revenue loss and would impact the town’s operating costs negatively and further impact Redcliff property tax requirements.”
The county’s director of municipal services Jeffrey Dowling read out an email response from the City of Medicine Hat that the city recognized this as an opportunity to determine whether there are potential synergies and welcomed further discussions with the county.