Collier Commissioners Kill Further Study of Ave Maria Fiscal Impact
Published on Wednesday, 13 June 2012 13:37
A saga that began almost two years ago regarding a required analysis of the fiscal impact of the Ave Maria development ended Tuesday when Collier County commissioners changed course and voted not to examine the matter any further.
The analysis, which is required every five years, was prepared by the consulting firm of Hank Fishkind and Associates and submitted to the county in July, 2010. The county staff agreed with the report's findings that Ave Maria has had a positive fiscal impact on the county, but Commissioner Georgia Hiller asked for further review and the commissioners turned it over to the office of Clerk of the Courts Dwight Brock to audit. More than a year later, Mr. Brock appeared before the board saying he disagreed with some of the report's methodology and assumptions, but could not determine whether Ave Maria had a positive or negative impact.
Mr. Fishkind vehemently disagreed with the clerk and the commissioners voted 4-1 in April to request bids for an independent assessment. The dissenting vote was cast by Commissioner Jim Coletta, who said at the time that he didn't think further analysis was worth the money.
With its 3-2 vote Tuesday to accept the Fishkind report and take no further action on it, the commission essentially agreed with Commissioner Coletta's assessment.
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