Paul Connelly: Propaganda and disinformation alive and well in Frisco
Wow! Although I too read the Town of Frisco work session packet from Feb. 8, I was extremely surprised to read this article (“Frisco mulls adventure park’s future, expansion,” SDN Feb. 11) that seemed to omit so much of the information contained in that documentation let alone any discussions emanating from it. It was almost like the words were crafted by a hidden hand! The same warm fuzzies feel did extend to the guest commentary a few pages later written by the mayor and the town manager.
Lets look at some of the actual numbers from the above noted packet and the council-approved 2011 budget:
After spending approximately $5.5 million of public funds to create the “Peninsula Recreation Area (PRA) – Phase 1,” it lost over $62K in its first two months of operation. It is predicted by its director to continue to lose money with the requested further investments totaling over $6.7 million until 2016. At that point with all of the proposed investments made, it should turn a “tidy” profit of $30K. However, that’s before servicing the debt with a cost of between $97,000 and $467,000. If, five years down the line after four more years of losses we see a $30K profit based on a $12.2 million investment, do you think that is a good return? The town manager says “he thinks it will pay off.” Maybe so, but the question is when exactly?
The mayor and town manager may believe that it is sound fiscal management and a great return on investment, but I beg to differ. The town manager says it is an “incredibly complex conversation” regarding the profitability of the PRA. Where I come from, revenues minus expenditures equals the bottom line. The real bottom line here is the Town of Frisco projects a budget deficit of $2.156 million for 2011 after expenditures for the PRA are included. The “very little long term debt” the mayor and town manager refer to in their commentary is an additional debt of $2.5 million in the current fiscal year. I’m not sure I would call that “very little.” More would also be required for future phases of the PRA. In addition the capital and general funds (our town’s reserves) have been reduced by $5.667 million in this fiscal year alone in support of the PRA venture. The town manager claims conservative fiscal management made this possible – the truth is that raiding the piggy bank and taking on debt made this possible.
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