Assessment Methodology


methodology_web

 

RECOMMENDED ASSESSMENT OF BENEFITS

 

Acme Assessment Methodology

Included in the initial 1994 Acme Master Water Control Plan was the “85‐10‐5” benefit ratio and assessment methodology for calculating costs of maintenance and improvements to roadways, parks and recreation facilities, landscaping, and administrative and operational facilities. During the 2005 fiscal year it was determined that the methodology did not provide the flexibility needed to isolate the benefits provided to different geographic areas and different property uses. As a result the 2010 Water Control Plan redefines benefit ratios and assessment methodologies for roadways, trails, and parks and recreation facilities by using proximity and potential benefit as a determinant.

 

Acme Stormwater Services

The major emphasis for the Acme Improvement district is to provide district properties quality drainage, water, and flood control services. As stated previously, drainage services include maintenance and improvement of existing facilities, best management practices, and emphasis on improving water quality and conservation (Exhibit 41). The methodology for stormwater services will be calculated on a one‐to‐one benefit ratio since the benefit is the same for this service throughout the district. The special assessments for drainage include the following services:

  • Environmental Services
  • Surface Water Management
  • TPP and Fixed Assets
  • Capital Projects
  • Indirect Cost Allocation

The related expenses listed above are a community‐wide benefit and are anticipated to be assessed uniformly across the District as described below.

stormwater_calculation

 

Acme Basin B Discharge Project Assessments

Historically assessments have been imposed against lands within the District to fund drainage projects. The benefits of drainage projects within the district are enjoyed by all lands within Acme uniformly; therefore the costs of such projects are spread upon the entire district through the imposition of district‐wide special assessments. The Wellington Basin A and B Drainage Projects memorandum dated August 26, 2004, prepared by Nabors, Giblin & Nickerson, P.A. and Government Services Group, Inc.
(Exhibit 42) analyzed Wellington’s portion of the cost of the Basin B Discharge Project ($3 million) which was funded through a district‐wide assessment. Although a majority of the improvements comprising the Basin B Discharge Project were constructed within Basin B, the proposed improvements were designed to create a consolidated Basin A and B system. The plan provides temporary flood storage that will serve both basins in a flood event and improvements to the C‐1 Canal will improve surface water flow in both basins. These benefits to properties in both basins supported a District‐wide assessment to fund Wellington’s portion of the Basin B Discharge Project.

As previously discussed, completion of the Basin B stormwater re‐distribution project increased the number of pump stations, created a 365 acre wetland, and a passive recreational park area. In order to protect the initial investment of capital resources and preserve this ecologically sensitive area, a long‐term 10‐year operations and maintenance (O&M) funding schedule was developed (Exhibit 43). The O&M costs are divided into two sections, Passive Community Park and Impoundment Area. Both the annual Impoundment and Passive Park O&M costs projected in this detailed analysis can be assessed by Acme. The expenses are a community‐wide benefit and are anticipated to be assessed uniformly across the District as described below.

project_assessments

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Acme Roadway and Shellrock Assessments

Paved Roadways and Pedestrian Paths

Paved roadways within the Acme Improvement District include the pedestrian and bike paths, and drainage facilities within the road right‐of‐way. Road and roadside maintenance provided by Wellington includes pothole, swale, sidewalk, and shoulder repair, litter control, road signage, pavement markings, and street sweeping. In addition Wellington has implemented an annual capital road re‐surfacing program with the long‐term goal of maintaining and improving roadway infrastructure (Exhibit 44). District roadways are categorized in four different classifications:

  • Private roads within a community owned by the local Home Owner’s Association
  • Public roads owned by Wellington
  • Public roads owned by the county
  • Spine roads or major interconnecting roadways include:
    – Southshore              – Binks Forest
    – Forest Hill               – Flying Cow
    – Big Blue Trace        – Greenview Shores/Aero Club
    – Greenbrier              – Pierson Road
    – Wellington Trace   – Stribling
    – 50th Street

Although located within the boundaries of the district, private, public and county roads are not owned by the Acme Improvement District and maintenance of these arteries cannot be included in the assessment plan. Spine roads are also not included because of their general usage and interconnectivity with locations outside the district. As a result, paved roadway assessments are not included.

Shellrock Roadways

The district maintains 22.03 miles of unpaved or shellrock roads using a five‐year maintenance plan. This ongoing program includes the application of shellrock overlay to existing roads, maintenance and necessary improvements to prevent road deterioration. Shellrock roads provide benefits to the entire community as well as added benefits to those residential properties located in the equestrian community with direct proximity. The assessments will be divided into properties receiving a direct benefit and properties receiving community benefit only. Equestrian units will be assigned a higher relative benefit than properties not within these areas. Shellrock services cost was divided by the total number of benefit units to derive a unit cost per benefit unit of $8.64. The unit cost per benefit unit for equestrian was then multiplied by the relative benefit factors for the properties as presented below:

shellrock_maint

 

Equestrian Trails

A similar process was used to derive the proposed assessments for horse trails. The horse trails also provide benefits to the entire community as well as added benefits to those residential properties located near the horse trail and within an equestrian unit (able to own or board a horse). Residential properties within 0.5 miles of a horse trail and in an equestrian unit were thus assigned a higher relative benefit than residential properties that are not within these areas. Commercial properties were similarly assigned a lower benefit factor. The horse trails services cost was divided by the total number of benefit units to derive a unit cost per benefit unit of $11.36. The unit cost per benefit unit for horse trail services was then multiplied by the relative benefit factors for the respective properties to derive the proposed assessment for properties in each group. The table below presents the calculations of the proposed horse trail assessments.

equestrian_trails

 

Neighborhood Parks Improvement Plan Assessments

In accordance with the District’s charter and Chapter 298, Florida Statues, in 1994 the Board of Supervisors for the Acme Improvement District recommended a special assessment levy upon “each and every” assessable unit within the District up to $20 per unit annually for the purpose of providing “staffing and administration for recreational programs for the landowners of the district.” These assessments formed the initial basis of funding for the District’s recreation and parks programming and facilities. In June 2001, Wellington’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board voted to adopt and implement the Neighborhood Parks Improvement Plan (Exhibit 40) and incorporated the proposed improvements into Wellington‐wide CIP. The Wellington Neighborhood Parks Capital and Maintenance Costs Memorandum dated August 26, 2004 prepared by Nabors, Giblin & Nickerson, P.A. and Government Services Group, Inc. (Exhibit 45) analyzed options for funding the Neighborhood Parks Improvement Plan, where it was determined that Wellington has the authority to fund the plan through assessments imposed by the Acme Improvement District. The authority granted to the district in Chapter 2003‐330, Laws of Florida, broadly encompasses the range of renovation, maintenance and improvement activities planned in the 5 year Neighborhood Parks Improvement Program as outlined above. Additionally, the Acme Improvement District has the statutory authority to levy assessments within the district’s boundaries for both capital and maintenance needs pursuant to Chapter 298, Florida Statutes.

In developing the proposed parks assessment methodology, a number of previously utilized alternative approaches were considered. Based on this review, a variation of the methodology previously used for the neighborhood wall assessments was selected (Exhibit 46). The proposed calculation recognizes the benefits that neighborhood parks and open space provide to all properties in Wellington (residential and commercial), and the added benefits that residential properties located within walking distance of the parks (and open space) receive. The neighborhood parks provide intrinsic value to all properties in the district by contributing to the community’s character and livability, making it a better place to live and work, regardless of whether the individual property owner makes personal use of the facilities.

The proposed assessment apportions the costs of operating, maintaining, and renewal and replacement of the neighborhood parks and open space between those residential properties located within 0.5 miles of a neighborhood park or open space, and that do not need to cross a major roadway or water body to access the park or open space, and the rest of the community. The relative benefit of neighborhood parks to residential properties, which are not within walking distance of a neighborhood park, and to commercial properties, were both assigned a relative benefit factor of 1.0 per unit. Properties within walking distance of a neighborhood park were assigned a relative benefit factor per unit of 2.5. This implies that the relative benefits of a neighborhood park to a property within walking distance of a neighborhood park is approximately 2.5 times that of the benefits derived by properties that are not within walking distance of the park.

The calculation was derived using the following steps:

  • An analysis was conducted to determine the number of units located within walking distance of a neighborhood park or open space and the units that are not.
  • The number of units in each group was multiplied by their relative benefit factors to derive a total number of benefit units.
  • The neighborhood parks services cost was divided by the total number of benefit units to derive a unit cost per unit.
  • The cost per benefit unit was then multiplied by the relative benefit factors for the respective properties to derive the proposed assessment for properties in each group.

The table below presents the calculation of the proposed neighborhood park assessments by benefitted property classification.

nparks_openspace

 

Acme Project Assessment Summary

The summary of the calculated 2010‐2015 assessments are presented below. The total potential Acme maintenance, capital and debt service assessments are district‐wide except for neighborhood parks, horse trails and roadways, which are based on property benefit and proximity. The calculations herein do not preclude assessment under another legally available method.

assessment_categories

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