​We Won!

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We won the opportunity to do more work.  Monday night at the Administration Committee meeting Huber Heights residents got background information that was useful in helping us understand some of the positive and negative reasons past decisions have been made.  We received a number of briefings, accompanied by worksheets, that can help us understand the financial situation of the city.  For once this wasn't a complete sales pitch.  Getting away from the sales pitch mentality though means there will be items within the briefing and worksheets that need further explanations  It also allows you and me to contribute to improving future decisions.  But before we can contribute it is necessary to review and evaluated what was presented Monday.
 
I'll tell you up front that I've not looked at much since Monday night.  Yesterday afternoon the documents from the meeting were posted.  Now those of you that weren't at the meeting can see what was presented. I've not gone in yet to see if all of them were posted nor have I checked to see if any of the information was different.  In some cases I hope the information was a different.  We had a good discussion on the Music Center Operations projections.  In a better world, the document posted would be much better than the document shown Monday.
 
The first thing that we should do is identify which documents make sense for us to concentrate on.  Here is where the documents can be found:
 
http://www.hhoh.org/component/k2/item/392-administrative-committee-presentation-10-20-2014.html
 
Look for the Music Center Operations projection.  This is the document I will be evaluating first.  As presented Monday it is a one page document.  At the bottom it tells us that neither the sponsorship dollars nor the management contract are included in the calculations.  
 
Other documents of interest are the worksheet showing how we will pay for the Music Center and a second worksheet that addresses both Carriage Trails and the Aquatic Center repayment.  I don't recall seeing it (I did come in late) but I heard mention that the Water fund repayment had also been addressed.
 
I believe that we will all come to a better conclusion, we will all have a better understanding of city issues, and we will progress faster, the more eyes we have looking at the source documents and the more brains we have evaluating the numbers.
 
What do I think?
 
For those of you that aren't planning to look at the source documents.  Here is my initial impression.  Keep in mind my impressions need to be backed up by further review and I haven't done this yet.
 
Impression 1.  The numbers presented show the city will be able to pay for the construction costs of the Aquatic Center, Music Center and Carriage Trails infrastructure.  This will depend on interest rates but the ones used were not unreasonable.  If we get the same performance from the Federal government as we had in 1982/1983 then we probably will have problems.  Also, the calculations included about $300,000 a year in revenue based on the assumption that we will get someone to construct a $20 million dollar building next to the music center.  Staff correctly realized calling this Good Sports would raise a lot of flags with those in attendance, so they called it something else in the briefing.  However, since in the presentation they didn't highlight this new title Quality Checking all the numbers could be useful.  But overall, these numbers and assumptions (interest rate and a building next to the Music Center) seem reasonable.
 
In my estimation the Aquatic Center is likely to be about neutral to the budget over the next few years.  Their numbers show a slight profit when you include the sponsorship fees.  I wonder how much of the lawn contract was included in the worksheet - the numbers were presented to fast for me to see. I get the impression that we haven't set aside money for future maintenance needs.  Those are things that I would look at when the opportunity arises.    The concerning part about the Aquatic Center is the number of people that attend.  I'd like to figure out how to get more people to use the facility. 
 
The most concerning item was the Music Center Operations projects.  This document needs a lot of work.  In my estimation the $223,000 projected net income it shows can be off a million dollars either way.  That is too much variance for this document to be useful.  When I get the opportunity to sit down and look at city finances I'm going to start by Quality Checking this document.
 
Right now though I need to head to the job that actually pays the bills.  Hopefully, some of you have the time to pick up the ball and get some of the work started.  Please share your thoughts and your analysis.
 
Thanks
 
Tom
 
p.s.   I've posted again without taking the time to edit. 

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