Port St. John
Presented to :
Brevard County Commission
County of Brevard, Florida
October 24, 2001
Study of the Feasibility of Incorporation
Port St. John, Florida
Under the direction of the Brevard County Commission
Sue Carlson, Chair
District 4 Commissioner
Truman Scarborough, Vice Chair
District 1 Commissioner
District 2 Commissioner
District 3 Commissioner
District 5 Commissioner
David L. Laney
Department of Public Administration
University of Central Florida
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND OVERVIEW
Originating in 1960, the community of Port St. John, located in Brevard County, Florida was developed by the General Development Corporation in cooperation with the Mackle Company. Since then it has grown from a loose collection of some 34 houses clustered along the Indian River Lagoon, to a thriving community of over 22,000 residents.
Brevard County presently has approximately 476,230 residents, with Port St. John comprising approximately 4.6% of that population. Approximately 19.9% of the population is 65 years or older, while approximately 58.1% are between the ages of 18 and 65. The median household income is approximately $39,000.
Port St. John has been identifiable as a separate community since its inception. Its unique residential character and community oriented population establish a desirable family atmosphere. Port St. John residents are actively involved at all levels of government with issues that may impact their community.
Port St. John has developed in an orderly compact manner as indicated by its present boundaries and concentrations of residential development. Proposed boundaries for the City of Port St. John continue to adhere to these characteristics. Port St. John is bounded on the East by the Indian River lagoon, on the North and South by unincorporated county lands, and to the West by the St. Johns River Management District Protected Properties. As fully addressed within this study, due to the recently extended Southern boundary of the City of Titusville the proposed Northern boundary of the City of Port St. John would lie within less than the two mile minimum required by Section 165.061, Florida Statutes. Incorporation approval would require an exemption to this requirement. Port St. John meets all other statutory requirements for incorporation as established by the Florida State Legislature.
As required by Section 165, Florida Statutes, a Municipal Charter has been developed. Provided under separate cover letter, this charter stipulates a Council-Manager form of government.
Revenues and expenditure estimates have been projected and the conservative methodologies employed in arriving at these estimates are fully explained.
The results of this study indicate the proposed incorporation of the City of Port St. John is feasible. Adoption of the Municipal Charter by the State Legislature is recommended.
II. HISTORY, BACKGROUND AND SCOPE
The community of Port St. John is centrally located in Brevard County, Florida. Created by the General Development Corporation (GDC) in cooperation with the Mackle company in April 1960, the housing community was planned to be developed on 2700 acres along Highway 1 approximately midway between Cocoa to the south and Titusville to the north. Aimed at the housing market created by the evolving missile and space related programs, the project held it’s grand opening in July 1960 proposing to build custom homes in the $13,000 to $17,000 range on 9,000 platted lots.
Since that time Port St. John has grown from only 34 homes prior to 1960 to over 7,400 single family residences in 2001. Population in the area has increased from a 1980 census population of 3,785 to it’s present conservatively projected population of 22,000, constituting approximately 4.6% of the Brevard County population. Depending on municipal population estimates, Port St. John would be either the third or fourth most populace city among the 15 presently incorporated municipalities in Brevard County.
Presently Port St. John is a city in every respect, with the obvious exception of incorporation. Situated on the banks of the Indian River Lagoon, Port St. John has all the amenities and services one would expect from a city of 22,000 residents.
Schools in Port St. John continue to grow to accommodate the community’s burgeoning population. Located in Brevard County School District 1, there are now three elementary schools and a newly opened middle school. Older students presently attend Titusville High School, however plans are being finalized to transition the new middle school into a high school. The potential construction of an additional middle school to increase the area’s capacity is presently being discussed.
Port St. John has two municipal type parks supported by self imposed MSTU funding. The first, Fay Park, is situated in the center of Port John near the intersection of Fay Boulevard and Grissom Parkway. There are three upgraded lighted ball fields which are utilized year round by women and men’s softball leagues, little league baseball, soccer leagues, and kids football leagues. The park also has tennis courts, enclosed racquetball courts, and a full array of typical playground equipment. The second park is Fay Lake Wilderness Park. Located on the Western extreme of Fay Boulevard this park offers fishing, boating, open spaces for sports, and covered pavilions for picnicking and barbecues.
There are numerous professional services available in Port St. John. Doctors, dentists, veterinaries, banks and financial services, and legal professionals, are all well represented. Recently, Parrish Medical opened an ambulatory patient care facility as a satellite operation, complimenting their full service general hospital in Titusville.
There are four shopping plazas in Port St. John, three located on Highway 1, and 1 situated along Fay Boulevard 2 miles West of Highway 1. The first is centered around a Winn-Dixie Marketplace with approximately 12 adjoining retail outlets. The second center is anchored by a Publix supermarket with approximately 8 adjoining retail outlets and two significant outparcels. The third plaza contains approximately 15 retail outlets, including Port St. John hardware, hair salons, deli’s, restaurants, and other typical shopping plaza occupants. The fourth is located in what is now the center of Port St. John and contains approximately 15 retail outlets.
Residents of Port St. John have consistently demonstrated a desire to participate in the decision making process in matters impacting their community. In July 1996 following sustained efforts by Port St. John residents and citizens groups, the Brevard County Commission created the Port St. John Dependent Special District. Members of the first 7 member Advisory Board were elected and seated in November 1996.
III. REVIEW OF STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS FOR INCORPORATION
A. Statutory Requirements
In 1974 the Florida Legislature enacted the comprehensive Formation of Municipalities Act, Chapter 165, Florida Statutes. Section 165.021, Florida Statutes, states the purpose for establishing procedures governing the formation of municipalities is to:
1. Allow orderly patterns of urban growth and land use.
2. Assure adequate quantity and quality of local public services.
3. Ensure financial integrity of municipalities.
4. Eliminate or reduce avoidable and undesirable differentials in fiscal capacity among neighboring local government jurisdictions.
5. Promote equity in the financing of municipal services.
Section 165.041, subsection (1)(a), of Chapter 165 of the Florida Statues, “Formation Of Local Governments”, specifies: “To inform the Legislature on the feasibility of a proposed incorporation of a municipality, a feasibility study shall be completed and submitted to the Legislature 90 days before the first day of the regular session of the Legislature during which the municipal charter would be enacted”.
Brevard County does not have a municipal overlay for municipal incorporation, therefore none is submitted with this study.
Section 165.061, Florida Statutes, “Standards for Incorporation, Merger, or Dissolution”, states the following conditions must be met in the area proposed for incorporation:
1. It must be compact and contiguous and amenable to separate government.
2. It must have a total population, as determined in the latest official state census, special census, or estimate of population, in the area proposed to be incorporated of at least 1,500 persons in counties with a population of 75,000 or less, and of at least 5,000 population in counties with a population of more than 75,000.
3. It must have an average population density of at least 1.5 persons per acre or have extraordinary conditions requiring the establishment of a municipal incorporation with less existing density.
4. It must have a minimum distance of any part of the area proposed for incorporation from the boundaries of an existing municipality within the county of at least 2 miles or have an extraordinary natural boundary which requires separate municipal government.
5. It must have a proposed municipal charter which:
a) Prescribes the form of government and clearly defines the responsibility of legislative and executive functions.
b) Does not prohibit the legislative body of the municipality from exercising the powers to levy any tax authorized by the Constitution or general law.
B. Port St. John Feasibility Study Compliance with Statutory Requirements The proposed City of Port St. John meets the requirements of Section 165.021, Florida Statutes. Port St. John has demonstrated a pattern of orderly growth and land usage since its inception in 1960. Proposed levels and methods of municipal service delivery assure public services will not only be of sufficient quantity and quality, through incorporation they will actually be enhanced from their present levels. The conservative methods employed in projecting revenues (revenues low, expenses high), ensure the financial integrity of the proposed municipality. Incorporation of the proposed City of Port St. John will not create undesirable fiscal capacities or impacts among neighboring local governmental jurisdictions, and it is believed incorporation by the City of Port St. John would indeed promote equity in the financing of municipal services.
1. Compact, Contiguous, and Amenable to Separate Government
The proposed City of Port St. John meets the intent of the stated requirements of Section 165.061. It is compact with all proposed land area contiguous. An inspection of Map 1, titled “Port St. John, Scenario One” (included as appendix “A” in 8x11 format, with an accompanying 2' x 4' version for better detail), clearly illustrates the geographical nature of the proposed city. Referring to Map 1, the Indian River Lagoon forms the natural Eastern boundary of Port St. John, while the St. John’s River Management District Protected Properties constitute the natural Western boundary. The Northern boundary begins at the Western shore of the Indian River Lagoon, proceeds West along King’s Highway to Grissom Parkway, South on Grissom Parkway to Ranch Road, proceeds West along Ranch Road to it’s termination, and is then projected West to the St. John’s River Management District Protected Property boundaries.
Port St. John is certainly amenable to self government. Geographically, it is compact and contiguous. Historically, citizens of the proposed City of Port St. John have not only sought active involvement with the decision making process on matters affecting their community, they have actively lobbied County officials to address issues for the betterment of Port St. John. Examples of this citizen involvement by members of the Port St. John Homeowner’s Association (PSJHOA) and residents of the Port St. John community are numerous. They include:
- 1987- PSJHOA worked with County officials to plan a Port St. John Fire Station and Library. These community enhancements were completed in 1988.
- 1988 - PSJHOA began lobbying State and County officials for a Port Sr. John I-95 interchange. Their efforts were realized when the new interchange opened in 1999.
- 1990 - PSJHOA coordinated with State and County agencies concerning septic tank issues and allowed residential build-out.
- 1992 - PSJHOA served as the community liaison between area residents, county staff, and contractors during the expansion of Fay Boulevard to 4 lanes.
- 1994 - Community organizations lobbied for a special self-imposed Parks and Recreation MSTU to build additional and expand existing recreational facilities. Port St.John Residents approved the MSTU referendum
- 1995 - PSJHOA coordinated with County staff to expand the Parks and Recreational MSTU to include purchasing additional property and building the Fay Lake Wilderness Park. Port St. John residents approved the MSTU expansion.
- 1996 - PSJHOA lobbied Brevard County Commissioners for a Port St. John Advisory Board. On July 2, 1996 the Brevard County Commission created the Port St. John Dependent Special District. Members of the first Advisory Board were elected and seated in November 1996.
- 1998 -99- Members of various Port St. John resident associations and individual citizens lobby the county to perform an Municipal Incorporation Feasibility study. The issue is placed on the November 2000 ballot. Approximately 73% of voters indicated their desire for performance of a Port St. John Incorporation Feasibility study. Subsequently, the Brevard County Commission unanimously approved funding the study.
Further indications of Port St. John’s amenability to self government are provided by a survey conducted by the Port St. John For Tomorrow committee. A non-scientific census survey of Port St. John residents was administered to measure sentiments associated with the issue of potential municipal incorporation. Approximately 7,500 surveys were delivered, covering all Port St. John addresses. Of the 905 surveys returned, the following results were determined:
- 63.2% of respondents either strongly agreed, agreed, or somewhat agreed that they would be willing to pay slightly higher taxes to incorporate and gain control over issues related to future development.
- 59.4% of respondents either strongly agreed, agreed, or somewhat agreed that they would be willing to pay slightly higher taxes to incorporate for the purpose of increasing law enforcement presence in Port St, John.
- 58.9% of respondents either strongly agreed, agreed, or somewhat agreed that they would be willing to pay slightly higher taxes to incorporate for the purpose of improving emergency response services in Port St. John
- 67.5% of respondents either strongly agreed, agreed, or somewhat agreed that they would be willing to pay slightly higher taxes to incorporate for the purpose of gaining greater control over future sewer issues.
- 66.5% of respondents either strongly agreed, agreed, or somewhat agreed that they would be willing to pay slightly higher taxes to incorporate for the purpose of preventing any future attempts to annex portions of Port St. John.
2. Required Population
The United States Census Bureau indicates Brevard County had a population of 476,230 residents in the year 2000. Applying the requirements of Section 165.061, Florida Statutes, the proposed City of Port St. John would need a population of at least 5,000 residents to be considered eligible to incorporate. While estimates of Port St. John’s growth since the 1990 census vary, applying 3% to 5% per annum growth projections to the 1990 census enumeration of 17,351 residents, ( yielding present population estimates of 23,318 and 28,263 respectively) 2000 census data indicates general population increases projected for Brevard County during this period had been overly optimistic. Between 1990 and 2000 Brevard County grew by 19.4%. Accordingly, the conservative estimate of Port St. John’s present population would apply a “less than expected” growth ratio to the 1990 census data, yielding a present population of approximately 22,000. This is the population estimate utilized throughout this study.
Clearly, the proposed City of Port St. John meets the minimum population requirement of 5,000 residents for counties having total populations of greater than 75,000.
3. Average Population Density
Information obtained from the Brevard County Property Appraiser’s office estimates the boundaries of the proposed City of Port St. John encompass 10,583.19 acres. This estimate was determined through the application of GIS methodologies. Dividing this total acreage into the projected population of 22,000 yields a current conservative estimate of 2.08 residents per acre. This does not mean the proposed City of Port St. John has no room to accommodate further population growth. Referring to Map 1, it is apparent the proposed City of Port St. John boundaries allow for continued compact, contiguous, orderly growth.
4. Minimum Distance From Existing Municipal Boundaries
Presently the proposed City of Port St. John is in full compliance with this requirement along the Eastern, Western, and Southern boundaries. As previously stated, the Indian River Lagoon constitutes the eastern boundary of the proposed City of Port St. John, while the western boundary is formed by the St. John’s River Water Management District Protected Properties. The proposed southern boundary for the City of Port St. John would lie approximately 2 1/2 miles from the northernmost Cocoa municipal boundary as established by their recent annexation north to Cidco Road.
At the time of the November 2000 referendum requesting conduct of a Municipal Incorporation Feasibility study for the proposed City of Port St. John, the minimum 2 mile distance requirement would also have been satisfied for the Northern boundary. Since that referendum the city of Titusville, the municipality to the north of Port St. John, extended it’s Southern boundary to encompass the TICO airport. This annexation action reduced the distance between the proposed Northern boundary of the proposed City of Port St. John and what is now the Southern municipal boundary of Titusville to approximately 1.25 miles. This condition would constitute a requested exemption from Section 165.061.(1)(d).Florida Statute. There is precedence for this exemption being granted by the Legislature. Referencing, ”Overview of Municipal Incorporations in Florida, February 2001, Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations”, Table 4; since 1975, 17 of 62 municipal incorporation bills filed requested an exemption to the minimum two mile rule. All 17 were approved.
Additionally, one could construe the high voltage power transmission lines emanating from the Reliant electrical generating plant on the North side of Kings Highway, and transiting approximately due west from their point of origin (outside the proposed northern boundary of the City of Port St. John), to constitute a natural boundary between Titusville and the proposed City of Port St. John.
5. Required Municipal Carter
A municipal charter for the proposed City of Port St. John accompany’s this Incorporation Feasibility Study for the proposed City of Port st. John. It is included under a separate cover letter. The proposed municipal charter prescribes the form of government and clearly defines the responsibility for legislative and executive functions. The proposed charter does not prohibit the legislative body of the municipality from exercising its powers to levy any tax authorized by the constitution or general law. The charter also provides: a description of boundaries of the proposed City of Port St. John; dates for Referendum, Incorporation, and election of the city legislative body; and time frame within which a specific City of Port St. John Long Range Comprehensive Plan must be enacted.
IV. STUDY AREA
The area addressed by this study is that area contained within the proposed municipal boundaries for the City of Port St. John. It is a parcel of land lying Township 24 of Brevard County, Florida being bounded on the North by the North right-of-way line of Kings Highway and the North right-of-way line of Ranch Road and being bounded on the South by the South right-of-way line Camp Road and being bounded on the East by the West shore line of the Indian River Lagoon and being bounded on the West by St. John’s River Management District Protected Properties as intersected to the North by the Westerly extension of the North right-of-way line of Ranch Road and to the South by the intersection of the Westerly projection of Camp Road.
Additionally, in accordance with the interpreted intent of Section 165.021, Florida Statutes, the potential financial impact to Brevard County and other existing incorporated municipalities within Brevard County is considered. Such impacts may manifest from participation by the proposed City of Port St. John in any county or state revenue sharing mechanisms.
V. BASIC ASSUMPTIONS AND METHODS
The process of performing an incorporation feasibility study in accordance with Florida Statutes, of necessity, involves certain assumptions be made when attempting to determine existing parameters and projecting the future value of parameters.
1. Revenue and Expense Assumptions
In complying with Section 165.021, Florida Statutes, one purpose for requiring performance of a Municipal Incorporation Feasibility study is to ensure the financial integrity of municipalities. Accordingly, in this study all projections are conducted incorporating conservative assumptions. This means revenues are projected low and expenses are projected high.
2. Base Year
Revenue and expense projections were computed using historical data and 2001-2002 fiscal year data. Total Taxable Values for the base year, 2001, are estimates provided by the Brevard County Property Appraisers office. Future Total Taxable Values were estimated utilizing historical growth rates for County and Municipal Nonexempt real property, Tangible Utility Taxes, and Railroad Assessments, derived from previous tax roll data estimates. Using GIS technology and Computerized Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMAS) techniques, this data was specifically extracted by the Brevard County Property Appraiser’s office to provide estimates representing the area contained within the proposed boundaries of the proposed City of Port St. John.
An exact projection of the impact of future inflation rates is of course not possible. For this study an inflation rate of 3% per annum is projected on municipal administrative expenses. This is considered to be reasonable, and conservative, in that it will probably estimate cost growth at a greater rate than what will actually be encountered by the new municipality during it’s first five years of existence. The rationale for this assertion is rooted in the conservative manner in which expenses are projected. Salaries and benefits for city administrators are projected at the high end of the range, and law enforcement officers will be contracted at a rate already established by the Brevard County Sheriff’s office.
4. Franchise fees
While it is understood the proposed City of Port St. John may have the statutory authority to levy franchise fees against certain services provided within its boundaries; e.g., cable television providers, and other communications providers, at this point exact methods for addressing this issue are uncertain. The full impact and ramifications resulting from enactment of “Florida’s Simplified Communications Tax” ( effective 1 October,2001) will have to fully assessed before the proposed City of Port St. John could state their intentions. Although potential franchise fees do constitute an additional potential revenue source, their omission from revenue projections further illustrates the conservative nature of projected municipal revenues.
5. General Fund and Special Revenues
Within the scope of estimating general fund and special revenues projected to accrue to the proposed City of Port St. John over a five year period from its projected date of incorporation the following revenues will be addressed. General fund revenues are those collected from ad valorem taxes, state and/or county shared revenues, utility taxes, railroad taxes, and potential assessment of franchise fees. Additionally, general fund sources would include any revenues originating from occupational licenses, charges for services rendered, and permit remissions for new construction or alterations to existing structures.
Any additional special purpose funds which may accrue due to city government legislative action, or by referendum, would be dedicated specifically to their intended purpose and are considered balanced revenue/cost issues. Examples of such special purpose fees and assessments currently paid by residents of the Port St. John community are storm water management and solid waste disposal, both of which are administered by Brevard County.
While utility and railroad taxes are contributive, a review of Table 5.1 reveals historically railroad taxes have constituted less than 1 % to the Total Taxable Value, and utility tax assessment had exhibited a consistent downward trend, even prior to the Florida Power county wide asset redistribution.
The primary component contributing to the General Fund are those funds derived from the ad valorem assessment of nonexempt commercial and residential real property within the proposed boundaries of the City of Port St. John. Since 1997 the unincorporated community within the proposed boundaries on the City of Port St. John experienced a 10.5 % increase in residential construction adding approximately 710 new homes, for a present total of approximately 7,442 single family residences. There remain 2,997 vacant residential lots within the proposed municipal boundaries.
Also, commercial development within the proposed municipal boundaries has continued to grow, primarily along the Highway 1 corridor. Presently there is new commercial development nearing completion on Highway 1 near the intersection of Highway 1 and Fay Boulevard (see Map 1), consisting of a Blockbuster Video and two adjacent commercial sites. Additionally, a light industrial commercial park is being developed extending North from the Curtis Boulevard / Fay Boulevard intersection (see Map 1).
Prospects for future residential and significant controlled commercial development have been significantly enhanced by the July 1999 opening of the Port St. John I-95 interchange. This interchange provides direct access to Port St. John. At this time the East Connector to Port St. John has 4 sites approved for limited access type commercial development, none of which are presently developed. Additionally, it is projected the proposed West connector (see Appendix “B”) will be completed within the next three years. This project will provide access to approximately 35 additional acres of property for quality, planned, restricted commercial development, with direct access to I-95. However, as this study is maintaining a consistently conservative approach in projecting probable increases in ad valorem Total Taxable Values over the next 5 years, these commercial properties and the highly probable increase in residential construction resulting from access to presently non-accessible land, are not included in the Total Taxable Value projections.
Projected Total Taxable Values, along with the methodology employed in their calculation are presented in Table 5.1.
Table 5.1-Total Taxable Values
Calen. Fiscal County/Municipal Tangible Utility Railroad Total Taxable % Incr.
Year Year Nonexempt Assessments Taxes Values
1997 1997-98 $ 315,262,190 $ 153,773,849 $ 2.308,954 $ 471,344,993 -----
1998 1998-99 $ 332,011,040 $ 152,591,190 $ 2,241,249 $ 486,843,479 3.3 %
1999 1999-2000 $ 346,028,880 $ 147,123,638 $ 2,258,822 $ 495,411,340 1.8 %
2000 2000-01 $ 372,970,190 $ 131,169,401 $ 2,385,081 $ 506,524,672 2.2 %
2001 2001-02 $ 402,906,440 $ 63,841,222 * $ 2,509,649 $ 469,257,311 -7.4%*
2002 2002-03 $ 419,022,697 $ 63,841,222 $ 2,559,841 $ 485,423,760
2003 2003-04 $ 435,783,605 $ 63,841,222 $ 2,611,038 $ 502,235,865
2004 2004-05 $ 453,214,949 $ 63,841,222 $ 2,663,259 $ 519,719,430
2005 2005-06 $ 471,343,547 $ 63,841,222 $ 2,716,524 $ 537,901,293
2006 2006-07 $ 490,197,288 $ 63,841,222 $ 2,770,855 $ 556,809,365
* - Florida Power applied a new methodology in determining distribution of assets throughout Brevard County. This resulted in a $63,328,179 decrease in Tangible Utility Assets within the proposed Port. St. John municipal boundary. It should be noted, during that same time period County/Municipal Nonexempt taxable property values increased by 8%. If Tangible Utility Assessments had remained constant from 2000 to 2001 there would have been a 5.9% increase in Total Taxable Value over the previous year.
Note: Projections for future Total Taxable Values were determined applying the following methodology:
1. - Average % growth from 1997-98 to 2001-02 for County/Municipal Nonexempt Taxable values was 6.9%. During this period average % growth in Railroad taxes was 2.17%. Desiring to project conservative values, an annual growth rate of 4% was applied to the previous years County/Municipal Nonexempt Taxable values, and an annual growth rate of 2% was applied to the Railroad Taxable values.
2. - Tangible Utility Taxable values were held constant due to an inability to predict future Utility assessments against Florida Power assets.
3. - Categorical projected growth rates of 4% (County/Municipal Nonexempt), and 2% (Railroad Taxable), were applied to each category separately. Projected Total Taxable Values were then determined by aggregating categorical projections.
6. Provision of First Year Services Following Projected Incorporation
Assuming the Referendum of November 2002 is approved by the voters, Port St. John will become a city on December 31, 2002. The first quarter of the new 2002-2003 fiscal year will passed. Ad valorem taxes will have been collected by Brevard County, and the first quarter’s expenditures disbursed according to Brevard County’s approved budget. To ensure there is no discontinuity in either the provision or quality of municipal service delivery, in accordance with the proposed Municipal Charter, provided under separate cover letter, it is assumed all municipal services will continue to be provided by Brevard County in compliance with the conditions and stipulations stated therein.
Recognizing the proposed City of Port St. John will have no revenue stream at the time of it’s inception, yet will be accruing expenses from that point forward, the newly incorporated City of Port St. John will be required to borrow funds to accommodate first year expenses. A loan of $1,000,000 is considered sufficient to address this need. While the fiscal character of the Legislative body of the proposed City of Port St. John can not be stated with certainty, there is no anticipated need for additional loans after the first year.
VI. CURRENT SERVICE DELIVERY
Presently the residents residing within the boundaries of the proposed City of Port St. John are provided potable water from the City of Cocoa Utilities. It is intended this shall remain the source of potable water for the proposed City of Port St. John.
The majority of the residents of the proposed City of Port St. John are on septic tanks, which are in compliance with existing state regulations regarding allowed residential densities and location of septic systems. A small number of residences lying East of the railroad right-of way, (which runs North to South effectively bisecting the original GDC development from later development in Port St. John), and commercial businesses concentrated on Highway 1, are connected to sewer. This sewer treatment plant was provided as a part of the municipal service package originally offered by GDC. The plant is currently operated by Brevard County. It is intended Brevard County shall retain responsibility for the operation and maintenance responsibilities associated with this plant.
3. Solid Waste Contracts
The proposed City of Port St. John is aware of the requirements stipulated by Section 10, Article I of the State Constitution. Accordingly, existing solid waste contracts established by Brevard County will be honored and adhered to in a manner consistent with the requirements of Section 165.061. (2)(d), Florida Statutes.
Transportation services are currently provided on a county wide basis through agreements entered into by Brevard County. It is intended existing Transportation services be continued in the manner they are presently provided. The proposed City of Port St. John does not intend to expand upon or augment these services.
5. Public Works
Maintenance of roads, bridges, sidewalks , and associated public works expenditures will be negotiated with Brevard County. It is intended the costs associated with these public works expenditures will be covered through application of Local Option Gas Tax and Shared Sales Tax revenues accruing to the proposed City of Port St. John following its incorporation. A complete analysis presenting the projected fund amount accruing from these sources if Port St. John had been included in the allocations of these funds to municipalities county wide, and an explanation of the methodology employed in this analysis, are contained in section VII of this study.
6. Law Enforcement
As an unincorporated community within Brevard County the proposed City of Port St. John is currently provided law enforcement by the Brevard County Sheriff’s department. Residents are assessed at a .9805 millage rate in support of a Law Enforcement MSTU. At the present time there no law enforcement officers assigned as dedicated presence in the community of Port St. John. The proposed City of Port St. John intends to contract with the Brevard County Sheriff’s department to obtain an enhanced law enforcement presence, dedicated specifically and solely to enforcing all laws and ordinances within the boundaries of the proposed City of Port St. John.
A complete explanation and analysis of the expenses associated with this enhanced law enforcement presence are included in section IX of this study.
7. Fire and Rescue
Presently Brevard County provides Fire Control and Emergency Response services to the residents of the proposed City of Port St. John. It is intended that provision of these services remain the responsibility of Brevard County. Accordingly, residents of the proposed City of Port St. John will continue to participate in the 2.2035 millage assessment associated with the Fire Control MSTU.
As addressed in the proposed Municipal Charter, provided under separate cover letter, all existing property zoning classifications as established by Brevard County shall be adopted at the time of incorporation and shall remain in effect until such time as the legislative body of the proposed City of Port St. John may take action to amend them.
9. Street Lighting
Brevard County is currently responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate street lighting within the boundaries of the proposed City of Port St. John. It is intended this responsibility remain with Brevard County until such time following incorporation when contractual agreements may be reached between the proposed City of Port St. John and Brevard County.
10. Parks and Recreation
Presently, as indicated in section III.B.1 of this study, the residents of the unincorporated community of Port St. John participate in a requested, self-imposed Parks and Recreation MSTU, approved by referendum. The current millage assessed by this MSTU is 0.8396 mil. The proposed City of Port St. John fully intends to continue with full participation in this MSTU.
As noted in the ”Overview of Municipal Incorporations in Florida, February 2001", Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations, page vi, at this point in the municipal incorporation process there is no legal entity which can represent the proposed City of Port St. John. Therefore, the exact conditions and stipulations of any future municipal service contractual agreements between the proposed City of Port St. John and Brevard County are not known. However, a Memorandum of Understanding indicating the intentions of the proposed City of Port St. John and Brevard County to enter into agreements on provision of certain municipal services is included under separate cover letter with this Municipal Incorporation Feasibility study.
VII. REVENUE PROJECTION METHODS
The methodology employed in calculating Total Taxable Value, to which proposed general fund millage rates will be applied, are fully delineated in the “Notes” section of Table 5.1. Methodologies employed in calculating Local Option Gas Tax and Half Cent Sales Tax revenue shares are also inherent to Table VII.1,”Port St. John Local Option Gas Tax Share”, and Table VII.2, “Local Government Half Cent Sales Tax Share”
Table VII.1 - Port St. John Local Option
Gas Tax Share
As established by Interlocal Agreement between Brevard County and Incorporated Brevard County Municipalities, Brevard County receives 47.14004266 % of Total Revenue
Total Revenue From Annual 6 Cent Gas Tax Revenues = $14,793,537.93
(Receipts October 1999 to September, 2000)
Brevard County Share = $6,973,679.62
Municipal Share = $ 7,819,858.31
Municipal = (.5 x % Total Incorporation Population) + (.5 x % Total 5 Year Expenditure )
Note: When calculating the Local Option Gas Tax revenue which would have accrued to the proposed City of Port St. John had it been in existence, there are three proposed methodologies. Since negotiations with County representatives are not yet possible, owing to Port St. John’s non-existence as a legal entity, all three proposals and resultant share calculations are presented below.
Option 1 - Port St. John has no expenditure history for the previous 5 years, therefore it’s Municipal Share is calculated using the population quotient only.
Port St.John = (.5 x 7.11255948) + (.5 x 0) = 3.55627974 %
Port St. John Local Option Gas Tax Revenue = $7,819,858.31 x 3.55627974 % = $278,096.03
Option 2 - Brevard County estimated expenditures in the Port St. John area over the previous 5 years are used, excluding funds expended on the I-95 connector, yielding a five year expenditure total of $886,442.71.
Port St. John = (.5 x 7.11255948 ) + (.5 x .31215994) = 3.71235971%
Share % 3.55627974 + .15607997
Port St. John Local Option Gas Tax Revenue = $7,819,858.31 x 3.71235971% = $290,301.26
Option 3 - Brevard County estimated expenditures in the Port St. John area over the previous 5 years are used, including funds expended on the I-95 connector, yielding a five year expenditure total of $3,704,409.29.
Port St. John = (.5 x 7.11255948) + ( .5 x 1.30450417) = 4.208531826 %
Share % 3.55627974 + .65225208
Port St. John Local Option Gas Tax Revenue = $7,819,858.31 x 4.208531826% = $329,101.22
Table VII.2 - Local Government Half-Cent Sales Tax Share
Total County Ordinary Distribution - $19,790,285
Total county population - 476,230
Total unincorporated population - 166,918
Total incorporated population - 309,312
Distribution = Unincorporated County Population + (2/3 x Incorporated Population)
Factor Total County Population + (2/3 x Incorporated Population
=> 166,918 + (.666 x 309,312) => .54661610
476,230 + (.666 x 309,312)
Distribution = Port St. John Municipal Population
Factor Total County Population + (2/3 x Incorporated Population)
=> 22,000 => .03224714
476,230 + (.666 x 309,312)
Municipal Share = Port St. John Municipal x Total County Ordinary Distribution Factor Distribution
=> .03224714 x $19,790,285 = $638,180
Notes on populations employed:
1. 2000 Census data is used for Brevard County Total Population
2. Incorporated population for Brevard County prior to adding Port St. John’s projected population was taken from Brevard County’s 2001 Local Option Gas Tax Distribution Formula
3. Total Incorporated population adds the projected conservative estimate for the City of Port St. John (PSJ) 22,000, to the existing Brevard Incorporated Population of 287,312 => 309,312
VIII. GENERAL FUND REVENUE PROJECTIONS
In an attempt demonstrate the extremely conservative nature of this Municipal Incorporation Feasibility Study, and acknowledging there is no reliable way to project with any accuracy what their future value may be, state shared revenues are not included in general fund projections. It should be noted that if they were, it would further enhance the already robust character of this proposed general fund for the proposed City of Port St. John. For example; according to the Florida Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations, for the Florida State Fiscal Year 2000-2001, Rockledge Florida, an incorporated city in Brevard County with a population of 20,170 (Port St. John has a projected population of 22,000), received $155,640 in Guaranteed funds and $302,264 in Growth money for a total of $457,904.
Realizing the community of Port St. John does not presently constitute a legal entity, the specifics of any contractual agreements between the City of Port St. John and Brevard County concerning sharing of fees accruing from permitting activities can not be projected. It is known Brevard County collected approximately $9,378,017 dollars from permitting activities this past fiscal year. It is anticipated the final agreement reached between Port St. John and Brevard County will result in an additional positive impact of general fund revenues.
Information concerning dollar amounts collected from fines and violations in the Port St. John area were not available from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department. It should be noted this would constitute another positive revenue flow to the general fund. Again, this should be noted as further illustrating the conservative nature of this feasibility study, revenues low, costs high.
Presently residents of the community of Port St. John are assessed a total 20.2476 mils on nonexempt real property. Upon incorporation the City of Port St. John proposes to assess a total City General Fund millage rate of 2.2426 mils. This does not however constitute a net increase of 2.2426 mils in total assessment against nonexempt real property. Rather, it represents a real net increase in the total millage rate of 0.5000 mils. This is accomplished in the following manner. Present assessments are tabulated in Table VII.1.:
Table VII.1 Existing Millage Assessments, Community of Port St. John
County General Fund 4.1042 mils
Beach/River Acquisition 85-2004 0.2120 mils
Brevard Library District 0.7200 mils
Brevard Mosquito Control 0.2170 mils
Environmentally Endangered 0.2500 mils
Fire Control MSTU 2.2035 mils
Law Enforcement MSTU 0.9805 mils
Recreation District 1 MSTU 0.5133 mils
Port St. John/ Canaveral 0.8398 mils
Groves Recreation MSTU
Road and Bridge District MSTU 0.7621 mils
TiCo Airport Authority 0.0242 mils
Brevard County Public School
By State Law 6.1840 mils
By Local Board 0.7240 mils
School Capital Outlay 2.0000 mils
Fl Inland Navigation District 0.0410 mils
St. Johns River Water 0.4720 mils
Management District ____________
Total 20.2476 mils
Of the assessments described in Table VII.1, upon incorporation the City of Port St. John will no longer be to required participate in the Law Enforcement and Road and Bridge MSTU. These two assessments currently aggregate to 1.7426 mils. The proposed City of Port St. John will institute a 2.2426 mil general fund assessment against Total Taxable Values, yielding a net increase of 0.5000 mils.
Applying this 2.2426 mil assessment over the five year Total Taxable Value projection, and allowing for a 95% collection rate yields the following projections:
Calen. Fiscal Total taxable Projected Total
Year Year Value Taxable Assess
2002 2002-03 $ 485,423,760 x 2.2426 mils = $1,088,611 x .95 = $1,034,180 2003 2003-04 $ 435,783,605 x 2.2426 mils = $1,126,314 x .95 = $1,069,998
2004 2004-05 $ 453,214,949 x 2.2426 mils = $1,165,522 x .95 = $1,107,245 2005 2005-06 $ 471,343,547 x 2.2426 mils = $1,206,297 x .95 = $1,145,982 2006 2006-07 $ 490,197,288 x 2.2426 mils = $1,248,700 x .95 = $1,186,265
IX. EXPENSE PROJECTIONS AND METHODS
Again, the Community of Port St. John does not constitute a legal entity so specifics of any contractual agreements between the proposed City of Port St. John and Brevard county concerning the provision of municipal services can not be known at this time. There are however anticipated expenses associated with city administration, city office space, City Attorney, and Law Enforcement.
A. Administrative Costs
As provided by the proposed municipal charter, accompanying this feasibility study under separate cover letter, the proposed form of city government shall be of the Council-Manager type. The City Manager shall have an Assistant City Manager, and there will be a City Clerk. This study assumes the following annual expenditures for city employees, to comprise the total pay and benefits packages:
City Manager - $100,000 per annum
Assistant City Manager - $ 70,000 per annum
City Clerk - $ 45,000 per annum
Discussions with commercial real estate representatives in the Port St. John area, and with members of the Port St. John for Tomorrow Committee, indicate monthly lease expense to secure a facility suitable to house the city government will cost approximately $2,000 a month. $500 a month is allotted for utilities yielding a total of $2,500 dollars a month. Additionally, an initial equipage outlay of $10,000 is considered for office furniture and equipment.
Annual Administrative Expenditures = $215,000 + $30,000 = $245,000
B. Law Enforcement
The proposed City of Port St. John intends to contract with the Brevard County Sheriff’s department to provide an increased law enforcement beyond what the community of Port St, John presently experiences. Accordingly, the Brevard County Sheriff provided cost estimates for Deputies, Sergeant Supervisor, and civilian clerk (Appendix “B”). This study assumes initial manning of the Port St. John law enforcement contingent will consist of 7 officers and a civilian clerk. Total first year expense including pay and benefits, operating costs, capital outlay, and non-recurring costs, are estimated to be $748,120. Annual expense for the remaining 4 years is estimated to be $422,186.
Applying a 3% inflation rate, costs in years 2 through 5 are projected to be:
Calendar Year Fiscal Year Projected Costs
2002 2002-03 (Initial year) $ 748,120
2003 2003-04 $422,186 x 1.03 = $ 434,851
2004 2004-05 $434,851 x 1.03 = $ 447,897
2005 2005-06 $447,897 x 1.03 = $ 461,334
2006 2006-07 $461,334 x 1.03 = $ 475,174
C. Legal Representation
The proposed City of Port St. John intends to retain the services of a City Attorney. Discussions with local attorneys who either presently function in that capacity, or have in the recent past, indicate typical fees for this service are approximately $150
per hour. Acknowledging the first year of existence for the City of Port St. John will be atypical due to aspects of contract negotiations and finalization, 400 hours of legal representation are budgeted. This yields a first year expense of $60,000. Thereafter it is estimated 300 hours of required legal services will be sufficient, yielding legal representation costs of $45,000 for years 2 through 5.
D. Dept Expense
As previously indicated, to accommodate a lack of revenue flow during the first year of its existence the City of Port St. John would need to either borrow or establish a line of credit in the amount of $1,000,000. This study assumes the City of Port St. John would obtain that loan at less than 8% interest.
X. IMPACT ANALYSIS
When proposing incorporation of a new municipality the financial impact which may accrue to existing neighboring governments must be considered. As the new municipality becomes eligible to participate in the sharing of various finite revenue streams, the total dollar share value distributed to other municipalities is impacted. This consideration applies to the county as well as those municipalities existing within its boundaries.
Analysis indicates the incorporation of Port St. John would have a minimal impact on other incorporated municipalities in Brevard county. To illustrate this, the impact of the proposed City of Port St. John’s participation in the distribution of Local Option Gas Tax funds in Brevard County was determined for three representative existing municipalities in Brevard County. Populations of municipalities in Brevard County range from 706 to 79,413. Accordingly, the municipalities selected for evaluation represent the smallest municipality, Melbourne VIllage (pop. 706), Titusville (pop. 40,670) and the largest municipality, Palm Bay (pop. 79,413).
Recalling from Table VII.1, the Municipal Sharing formula for these funds is:
Municipal = (.5 x % Total Incorporation Population) + (.5 x % Total 5 Year Expenditure )
If the population and maximum estimate for previous 5 year expenditures for the proposed City of Port St. John were included in the countywide distribution of these funds, each of the three cities listed would see their Local Option Gas Tax fund distribution share impacted by less than 5%. To place this in perspective, in 2001 Melbourne Village received approximately $21,562.43, Titusville received approximately $870,674.71, and Palm Bay received approximately $2,482,752.43.
The same minimal impact would be reflected on all revenue sharing calculations which use % population or proportional population factors as a determinant of municipal share.
Since Brevard County’s % share of the Local Option Gas Tax revenue is established by Interlocal Agreement with the county’s municipalities (47.14004266%), there is no impact to the County. If the Proposed City of Port St. John had participated in the 2000-01 fiscal year distribution of the Half Cent Sales Tax revenues, Brevard County’s share of the distribution would have been reduced from approximately 39% to approximately 34.9%.
Although the incorporation of the City of Port St. John will impact the existing Brevard County municipalities, as demonstrated, this impact is minimal. While Brevard County will be impacted by the decrease in unincorporated population, it should be noted the proposed City of Port John intends to contract for the continued delivery of most municipal services presently provided by the County. Admittedly the exact nature of those final contractual agreements cannot be projected by this study. However, it is expected that when the conditions of these contracts become fixed, Brevard County may in fact experience no net reduction in revenue flow.
XI. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This study concludes that incorporation of the City of Port St. John is feasible.
Port St. John meets the requirements for incorporation as set forth by the statutes of the State of Florida with the single exception of its proposed Northern boundary lying less than 2 miles from the City of Titusville’s Southern boundary. As noted within this study, and considering the circumstances associated withis condition, State Legislative action, approving all 17 of the 17 previous requested exemptions to this requirement, should indicate overwhelming precedence for such action.
While it is not possible to estimate or project values for an annual City budget for the proposed City of Port St. John, a compilation of estimated known revenues and expenses is included as Table XI.
The City of Port St. John would begin its existence as an incorporated municipal
with a deficit revenue stream, but it is capable of recovering quickly. In follow on years (years 2 through 5), the projected revenues accruing to the City balanced against what are presently known as projected planned expenses, would be sufficient to carry over positive general fund balances. The contractual agreements entered in to by the City of Port St. John can not be foreseen. While the figures contained within this study are estimates, and acknowledging the actions of the future elected Port St. John Legislative body can not be known at this time, during the five year period projected herein, barring unforeseen catastrophic events, there should be no need for establishing increased taxes. If the proposed City of Port St. John is incorporated it will be the responsibility of the elected council to produce budgets based on the conditions existing at that time.
Table XI.1 Revenues and Expenses for Years One Through Five
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Fiscal Year 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Ad Valorem $1,034,180 $1,069,998 $1,107,245 $1,145,982 $1,186,265
SalesTax - $638,180 $638,180 $638,180 $638,180 $638,180
Gas Tax - $278,096 $278,096 $278,096 $278,096 $278,096
Loan - $1,000,000
Revenues $2,950,456 $1,986,274 $2,023,521 $2,062,258 $2,102,541
Enforcement - $748,120 $434,851 $447,897 $461,334 $475,174
Personnel - $161,250 $221,450 $228,093 $234,936 $241,984
(first year at.75)
City Office - $32,500 $30,000 $30,000 $30,000 $30,000
(first year at .75,
City Attorney - $60,000 $45,000 $45,000 $45,000 $45,000
Loan Service - $281,820 $281,820 $281,820 $281,820
than 8 %)
Expenses $1,001,870 $1,014,121 $1,032,810 $1,053,090 $1,073,978
REVENUE $1,948,586 $972,153 $990,711 $1,009,168 $1,028,563
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