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Hampton to spend $2.4 million a year on Monroe services
Hampton is budgeting about $2.4 million a year to pay for services at Fort Monroe in the 2012 budget.
However, City Manager Mary Bunting says the figure is an approximation for how much everything will cost after the Army leaves in September, the Daily Press reported this week.Bunting said that is what the current assessed value of property at Monroe would produce in a full year. But the city has not been able to do an up-to-date assessment because the Army is still in control of the post.
"Ultimately what the assessment will produce will depend upon the uses," she said.
Commercial property is assessed on income produced and residential property on market sales. "Right now we don't have any market sales, we don't have any commercial operation so $2.4 million is the best that we can approximate," Bunting said.
The money will be reimbursed to the city by the Fort Monroe Authority as a payment in lieu of taxes.
Legislation enacted this year addressed some glaring anomalies over who would pay for services but some major question marks remain.
The most pertinent question is how will the Fort Monroe Authority make its payments to the city as well as footing the bill for millions of dollars of infrastructure improvements at a time when its own consultants have questioned the ability of a long term residential leasehold model to make money.
The authority's own financial plan predicted it making a loss in the early years and this plan has now been labelled over optimistic by members of the Fort Monroe Authority board.
The Plan B now being discussed by the authority is for it to look at making it easier to sell property at Monroe but all of this will requires new legislation and will take time.
And in the meantime the clock is ticking relentlessly away toward Sept. 15.