Enterprise Funds All About Bigger Picture

The following is a reply to a post on another local blog.  Fernandina is an odd community.  By that, I don’t mean the people are odd.  It has an unusual economic base, maintenance needs and level of complexity, for a relatively small town.  Understanding how the parts function and create a benefit greater than the sum of parts is important, when thinking about support or ownership of the enterprise funds.   Yes, there is a struggle to avoid excessive supplementation of an enterprise fund, but seeing the bigger picture and the way the CoFB uses those areas to improve the island is extremely important.

 

I would look at the debt associated with the marina and economic impact on the island. There is a noticeable difference in the waterfront activity and quality of activity with a closed marina. I think the marina has been challenged by silt and location issues for a very long time, so

setting a deadline there is a difficult thing. Over the coming year, we are likely to see a shifted location and expanded marina, with potential for profit for both the CoFB and the operator. We need to fix the marina and consider the long-term debt before announcing a date support ends.

The golf course is improving and we have, potentially, several events surrounding the location. Between the airport car shows, the Bonhams location and the potential for future profits as we use the location to promote the town and, as a byproduct, the airport. Seeing the way some of these areas connect and allow the CoFB to control events is important. The CoFB holds the parking and location cards for much of the island. Our police and fire departments are called on to manage events and, IMHO, it is important to remember this, when considering how to handle areas like the Marina, Golf Course or Airport.

The parts are not necessarily as neutral as the dollars they take or produce. Yes, we need to work to make each area profitable, but we also need to remember the importance of economic impact and control of events/tourism on the island.

Since 2015, the city has sent $650,000 to the golf course and $886,000 to the marina to help fund operations, according to budget documents posted on the city website. The money comes from the general fund, which largely relies on property taxes for revenue.

Source: City Manager Sets Timer on Funding for Golf Club, Marina | NCFL Independent 7/25/2017

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