The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority (FCRA) approved a 2012 operating budget Thursday afternoon (Jan. 26), and also ended its continuing negotiations with Shire, Inc., by approving a 47.5-acre, $475,000 sale.
First on the agenda, board members addressed 2012 financial expectations, decreasing the projected earnings for 2012 to $4,937,500. The previous year was projected at $5,436,900.
The biggest shortfall in 2011’s revenue expectations was in property sales. The FCRA had projected $3,573,000, but were only able to close on $3,030,800 for the year.
The budget committee’s Bob Bradford noted that projections were kept conservative and that he feels the 2012 operating budget is a worst-case scenario of sorts, noting there are “about $4 million in land sale offers on the table already” that he’s optimistic will close in the coming year.
On the expense side, the FCRA expects $1,878,863 in operating expenses and $2,575,000 in capital expenses, which would include water and sewer projects (estimated $1.526 million), gas line relocations (estimated $124,000), and development costs associated with McClure Road (estimated $450,000). They also project a $67,500 loss on the Deer Trails Golf Course, which is being fast-tracked for sale by the end of the year.
The grand total for projected expenses is $4,521,363. The net income gain for the FCRA is projected at $416,137.
FCRA Executive Director Ivy Owen is more optimistic.
“If you look at where we were three years ago, we were looking at how we could pay for any infrastructure improvements. Now we’re able to budget $2.1 million for it. We were very conservative with this budget, and I’m not that conservative of a person by nature, as you already know,” Owen said.
“We’ve already got $4 million in property offers out there, and that’s if Bob Cooper, our listing agent, doesn’t do anything else for us the rest of the year,” Owen said. “Which, if he doesn’t, I’ll be very disappointed in him.”
Owen continued: “The onus is on us. I wouldn’t mind seeing this (income) double.”
After some back-and-forth with Shire, the board also voted to approve the sale of 47.5 acres of land on Chad Colley Boulevard for the sum of $475,000. In addition to the $10,000 per acre agreement, FCRA will also provide $60,500 toward the construction of a lift station “when Shire starts phase two of their subdivision,” Bradford said.
In December, Shire Inc., had requested the FCRA to assist with $70,000 to help with the building of a lift station and $50,000 for assistance in building an “old world European” entryway, but the FCRA denied the additional allowances.
At the December meeting, Shire’s Justin Green told the FCRA his company intended to “build 10 to 12 houses right off the bat,” and hoped to give what would be the first subdivision on Chad Colley its own feel similar to “how Cisterna feels like an Italian villa.”
In other real estate business, the FCRA approved the offer of $300,000 by the Old Dominion Freight Lines to purchase 10 acres on Chad Colley. The sale will close within 90 days from the execution of the contract, and it will allow Old Dominion to build a trucking terminal for loading and unloading of products to businesses.
The FCRA also granted permission for OG&E to begin work on an underground easement to go along with “an existing easement between the Interstate and the (Barling) sewer lagoons,” Owen said.
To go along with the approval, the board also granted Stephens Inc., two natural gas line relocations. The first will be “near Chad Colley and Massard Road,” Owen said. The $152,190 easement “will accommodate Massard I-49 Properties, who will reimburse the FCRA $78,000.”
The second easement will run west of Chad Colley and Massard and should not cost the FCRA any additional money.
The last easement of the night was given to the City of Barling for the extension of H Street east of Highway 59 for access to the new Barling City Park.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the FCRA is slated for Feb. 16, 2012.