LYNN HAVEN — Whether Bay County will get 10 percent of Lynn Haven’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) tax revenue from a future marina village was passionately discussed during the city’s commission and CRA meetings Tuesday.
Commissioners unanimously voted to return to the issue at a future meeting so they can reach an agreement with the county. Lynn Haven Commissioner Rodney Friend said there were no “hard numbers we looked at as a commission” on the 10 percent amount, though the future Lynn Haven village is expected to be a significant boost for the city and Bay County since it is slated to include a shopping center.
Such revenue figures were “all speculation,” Friend said. “The development as presented, at the end of that development, we could see an increase of 2,000 residents.”
County Manager Robert Majka said “roughly $760,000” would be collected “over the entire life of the CRA,” which was extended for 10 years.
“It would be collected annually and it would be incremental based on any new growth that occurs,” Majka said. “It wouldn’t be $76,000 a year from the beginning. It would be some proportionate amount based on how much development occurred.”
Friend supported the county getting 10 percent, as did Lynn Haven Commissioner Antonius Barnes, because the village would have an impact on county services and resources, including the sheriff’s, tax collector’s and property appraiser’s offices.
“Ten percent isn’t overreaching,” Friend said.
Barnes added 10 percent “wasn’t that much.”
Lynn Haven Commissioner Dan Russell said the increased development will cause additional traffic on the local roads, while Majka said they looked at the 10 percent as a “reinvestment in the community.”
Mayor Margo Anderson, however, was opposed to the county collecting the 10 percent. Anderson said Bay County doesn’t take 10 percent from CRAs in Panama City or Panama City Beach, which Majka said is because that option wasn’t factored into the existing agreements of those CRAs. However, Majka said the county would take that opportunity if it comes up.
“As mayor, I certainly want to be good neighbors with the county. We want to be partners in everything and we’re here,” Anderson said. “But at the same time, I want to speak for the residents of Lynn Haven. ... I just want to make sure Lynn Haven, our rule and our say-so in what we collect in Lynn Haven, is Lynn Haven’s.”
Lynn Haven Commissioner Judy Tinder said the city still will be responsible for police protection and other services if the county gets 10 percent.
“That’s going to be an additional cost to us, because we’re going to have to increase everything in those areas,” Tinder said. “That’s one of the reasons I hate to see the extra funds go unless the county’s going to take over that part.”
Other highlights from Tuesday’s meeting:
—Lynn Haven City Manager Michael White said letters have been sent to local businesses about picking up stray shopping carts after commissioners brought up the issue.
—The commission passed a resolution renaming the Mowat Middle School Road and State 390 intersection overpass/walkway to Harold Haynes Memorial Walkway in honor of Haynes, a former commissioner who was “instrumental in obtaining the Mowat pedestrian bridge.”