Monday, February 26, 2007

Excerpts From Heber City Big Box Presentation 2005

(Selected Excerpts)

Big Box Presentation by Heber City 5/27/05 (*$15,000 of Heber Tax money)

109,000 Sq. Ft. Smaller towns
150,000 Sq. Ft. Market areas of 20,000-30,000
180,000 Sq. Ft. Market areas of 30,000-50,000
220,000 Sq. Ft. Market areas larger than 50,000

  • Heber cannot rely on an increased trade area to mitigate impact of Wal-Mart
  • 80 percent of supermarket managers cite Wal-Mart as their biggest concern In the past decade 29 chains have sought bankruptcy, 25 of which cite Wal-Mart as a catalyst (Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2003).
  • Day’s Market and Smith’s Food and Drug will most likely experience a decrease in sales between 10 and 20 percent. (pg 26)
  • Anticipated Wal-Mart Sales:
    Square feet to be built: 107,000 Average sales per sf: $350
    Estimated Wal-Mart sales: $37.5 million
    Current County general merchandise sales: $2.1 million (pg 33)
  • Wal-Mart has provided seminars to local business owners on how to compete with Wal-Mart.cial Impacts
  • Heber City Revenue (Two columns depend on how much in "current sales" are lost ~ 30 or 50%)
    Highway tax (on sales) $88, 652 ..... $80,003
    Sales tax revenues .... $177, 303..... $160, 006
    Franchise tax revenues $7,313 ..... $7,313
    Property tax revenues ..... $16,791..... $16,791
    Total ............................... $290, 059 ..... $264,113 (pg 55)
    TOTAL(Wasatch County) ..............$124,504 ..... $115,855 (pg 56)

  • It will cost Heber department $45,050 per year to hire an additional officer to cover Wal- Mart calls.
  • Revenues ..............$290,000 ..... $264,000
    Police ..................... -$45,000 ..... -$45,000
    Public Works ......... -$26,000 ..... -$26,000
    TOTAL .................. $219,000 ..... $193,000 (pg 65)
  • Overlay Zone: a zone that imposes a set of additional requirements to those of the underlying zoning. Used to address special features or conditions of large commercial project. (added comment - not in study)
  • Local firms are better for local economy
    • Local firms generate 70 percent greater economic effect per square foot than chain stores (Civic Economics, The Andersonville Study of RetailEconomics, October 2004).
  • Local firms generate 58 percent greater economic effect per dollar of revenue than chain stores (Andersonville Study).

Source: Heber City, Utah website

* From minutes 2/17/2005 (click for actual minutes)

Update on Big Box Committee – "Review Scope of Work: Anderson indicated Susie Becker, Wikstrom and Associates, attended the last meeting. She had been given information from the previous meeting and was there to address those issues. She received additional information from the committee to work on. Becker proposed a scope of work of $15,000; however, there would be some additional costs, such as a survey. The Council had authorized $25,000.

Anderson said he thought the group might be a little fuzzy as to their role but they were trying. Councilmember Phillips wondered if the group was focused and asked what had to be done to get them focused. Anderson talked that the group felt they needed to work with the Planning Commission to make sure ordinances deal with the issues.

Councilmember Phillips said his take from the beginning was that it was eventually going to happen so we ought to know the pluses and minus to the community. Anderson said if the ordinance is drafted along the line of the white paper, it would put the decision on the City Council.

Councilmember Phillips wanted the group to gather the facts and what the citizens feelings were. Then the elected officials would make decisions. (Mayor Adams arrived at 6:59.) Anderson talked to the group about the opinions of the city residents and how much weight ought to be given to the opinions of people that live outside the community."

Minutes 1/6/05

Big Box Committee – Membership and Scope of Authority: Mayor Adams indicated there needed to be some representation from the County on the Big Box Committee. He discussed the fact that a moratorium had been put into place and that this Committee needed to start its work.

It was recommended that Al Mickelsen and one of the County Councilmembers be on the Committee. Mike Davis indicated he would take that recommendation to their next work meeting. Councilmember Phillips suggested Mike Thurber as a Citizen-at-Large. Councilmember Lazenby suggested Corbin Gordon. Mayor Adams suggested Mary Noonan if Corbin was not able or interested.
Wasatch County Al Mickelsen
County Councilmember
Citizen-at-Large Mike Thurber
Amanda Lund
Corbin Gordon
CAMS Bryon Day
Mike Johnston
Pat Kohler
WEDO/CHAMBER Nelson Carter
Dick Buys
Governmental Rep. 1 from Midway
1 from Charleston
Public Safety Chief Rhoades
Plus three more as recommended by the Committee

Councilmember Burns moved to invite these people to serve on the Big Box Development Committee and give authority to them to invite three more of their choosing. Councilmember Lazenby made the second. The voting was unanimous in the affirmative.

Anderson indicated that staff had put together some recommendations for the Committee and, if approved by the Council, at one of their first meetings staff would educate the Committee and let them know what was expected. He proceeded by recommending that Wikstrom complete their study as authorized by City Council some time ago. That would then be presented to the Committee. Additionally their Scope of Authority would include:
1. Review of the Impact Study by Wikstrom
2. Review what the Planning Commission ordinance are that relate to big box and make suggestions
3. Disseminate findings through the media or public meetings
4. Develop tools or surveys that query different members of the Valley to get a representation of the people and what they want
5. Present results of study to the City Council

Minutes 5/5/2005

Mike Johnston, Big Box Committee Member, asked to give a progress report to the Council since there had been rumors and nonsense reported about what the Committee was doing and had been doing. He said he didn’t know where the rumors were coming from but understood this was a very controversial issue. So that the Council was not “sucked into the rumor mill’ he reviewed the following:
* The Committee first met in January--was into the moratorium one month already--only had about 90 days to really work
* They set up an agenda and an order of things to happen—they are doing a lot in 90 days
* In February and March met every two weeks. Discussed the information obtained at that point. Hired Wikstrom to gather information. Held the public meeting. He felt bad the slides were “awful.” The rumor that this was planned was “ludicrous.”
* They are preparing a lengthy article for next week’s paper that will review all the information, good and bad.
* Sent out Request for Proposal for Survey--choose Dan Jones. They met with Dan Jones one and a half weeks ago--the survey will begin next week.
* The Planning Commission has two ordinances to review--the public hearing is scheduled.
* The Committee will make a presentation to the Council on June 2.
* Facts are collectable
* It is difficult to collect facts on “quality of life,” etc.
* Survey will be 250 in City and 150 out of City

Mayor Adams asked if it would be better to get more input from the City residents. Discussion about the survey and statistics. Councilmember Lazenby questioned if the Committee had created the ordinance. She wanted to clarify information she had been given. Mike Thurber discussed the inaccurate information coming from the Council and felt it would slant the survey. He felt his name and the Committee had been slandered on the radio on Friday and was very upset about it.

Johnston continued to talk about the survey and spending an additional $300 to increase the number of questions—some not related to big box at all but of a general nature. Johnston said he wanted to make another comment “in public.” The rumor was the Committee was “pro” Wal-Mart. It had also been said on the radio the Committee was purposely slowing down the process, wanted to delay the issue and they were taking money. “The truth is everybody on this committee is very concerned about a big box coming to town and we are striving with all our might to be somewhat objective about it and present to you an objective report and not just view it through our own opinion because that is what you asked us to do.

” Where the rumors come from he didn’t know but they are “180 degrees” from the truth. He said the Committee debates all the time on how to be objective. Mayor Adams indicated he appreciated the work of the Committee and felt they were being objective. Mayor Adams thanked Johnston for his time and his work.

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