NAPLES — A citizens advisory committee that is looking at the economics of the proposed Jackson Laboratory project wants a break down of new jobs and temporary construction jobs that could be expected if the research center and a biomedical park is developed near Ave Maria.
The county’s Productivity Committee also wants consultants to prepare a cost and benefit analysis if the $130 million sought for the Jackson project were to be spent on a different type of project.
The idea is to get a different perspective of investing that amount of money on a different type of economic diversification project, even though a different type of project is not on the table.
“It’s really an executive level question: What is the best decision to invest $130 million,” said James Gibson, a committee member.
The group met Monday to review a new consultants report and to discuss seven different financing options for raising the $130 million that would be needed. The county money, if the project goes forward, is expected to be matched by the state.
The financing options will be presented to the Collier County Commission prior to July 27, when the board needs to decide if it wants to go forward with the project. The financing options include a franchise fee with Florida Power & Light, property tax levy, sales tax increase, a combination franchise fee and property tax levy, or tapping non-ad valorem revenue. The property tax levies look at bonding or a pay-as-you go method.
One advantage of not issuing bonds with a property tax levy is if the project fails, the county can stop the assessment at any time, said Steve Harrison, the committee chairman.
“You could pull the plug anytime,” he said. “You could tweak it up or down annually or shut it off.”
The group spent considerable time discussing a new analysis from The Washington Economics Group that examines the potential impact of new jobs, salaries and economic impact to Collier if the project goes forward. Previously, the group only had a regional-based impact report and it requested the Collier-specific numbers.
The consultants project a 23-year build out for the biomedical park with 11,490 jobs created, which include Jackson’s proposed 563 jobs over the first 10 years, other research park jobs and spin-off jobs.
Committee member Vladimir Ryziew said he wanted a break down of the jobs that could potentially be created, both indirect and direct jobs as a result of the research park, along with how many would be temporary construction jobs.
“I think it is really pertinent information,” he said.
In a conference call with WEG consultants, the committee questioned the consultants’ projection that predicted a 3.4 percent rate of return for the county’s $130 million investment over 30 years and noted that a negative cash flow projected in the first nine years would be extended out longer if bond financing is used.
“I don’t see the return on investment here,” Ryziew said.
“It’s a push,” said committee member Joe Swaja.
Beyond the $130 million in taxpayer money, the consultants project the cumulative gross domestic product return to the community over 23 years at $10.6 billion.
The consultants’ report also projects three million square feet of space would be built for the research park, along with a 750,000 square feet of space for a hospital and educational program, 8,000 square feet of government space, 20,000 square feet of space for goods and services and 780 residential units.
Connect with health-care reporter Liz Freeman at www.naplesnews.com/staff/liz_freeman
BLOGS/COLUMNS - JACKSON LAB
Wolf pack circling, fighting for taxpayer’s bones Political Point of View by Collier Democrats
Will elections be a referendum on Jackson Lab? The Residents' Corner by Dave Trecker
Where does the Naples Tea Party stand on Jackson Labs? Naples Tea Party
The Jackson Labs question made simple - sort of Brent Batten
Lead, follow or get out of the way Fred Coyle / Collier County Commissioner, District 4
A big gamble on a lots of uncertainty Dave Trecker / Pelican Bay
Questions, answers on the proposed Jackson Laboratory/Florida Tammie Nemecek / President, Economic Development Council of Collier County
The Scientific Reality of Jackson Lab The Residents' Corner by Dave Trecker
Thoughts on Jackson Lab Political Point of View by Collier Democrats
Jackson labs business plan a work in progress Brent Batten
Uncertain predictions, questions cloud Jackson Lab proposal Reinhold Schmieding / Naples / President and founder, Arthrex Inc.
Jackson Laboratory: Keep Expectations in check The Residents' Corner by Dave Trecker
In hard times, Collier should help residents, not Jackson Lab Peter Gaddy / President, Golden Gates Estates Area Civic Association
Principals and practicalities of Jackson Lab subsidy don’t add up Guest commentary by Pelican Bay resident Jack Chandler
Jackson Laboratory and Collier County ... what comes next? Fred Coyle / Chairman, Collier County Commission
Jackson Lab a meeting of mice and men Brent Batten