How do you describe in a list of services all the steps it takes to assemble an economic development package just right for your community? How do you briefly explain what it takes to start with just the need for a new school building and get it financed and built? You can’t. Every project is different.
You can, however, learn from the experiences of others. In the Umbaugh case studies below see how we helped:
- save more than $141 million for one school district’s taxpayers,
- identify $2 million a year in annual efficiencies for one group of municipal utilities,
- secure the right economic development arrangements to lure a Honda plant,
- finance an entire series of library renovations, and
- improve the financial outlook for countless units of local government.
Decatur County, Indiana, had the opportunity of a lifetime in 2006. All they had to do was present the winning case for why their area was the most advantageous location for a new Honda Motors automobile assembly plant. And like most economic development projects, responding quickly was essential to stay in the running.
Indianapolis Public Schools embarked on a plan in 2001 to improve its school buildings in what has become the largest school construction program in the state of Indiana. Umbaugh has advised the district throughout the process for a total of $693 million in bond issues.
When IPS commissioned a comprehensive facility study at the beginning of its Capital Improvements Program, some of its then 78 schools were approaching 100 years of age, and it had been more than 20 years since the urban district had been able to pass a major bond issue to support facility improvements. Most of its schools lacked air conditioning, and the spaces did not support a modern education.
The City of Mishawaka's municipally owned sewage works is working to make a nearly 60-year-old wastewater treatment facility meet federal guidelines of the Clean Water Act. Umbaugh analyzed various cost scenarios as the utility negotiated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to find a workable solution.
In response to growth and space needs, the Allen County Library, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, renovated and expanded its main library and upgraded its branch libraries from 2002 to 2007. Umbaugh assisted with the $84 million bond issue to fund those projects.
When asked how often a project of this magnitude comes along, library director Jeffery R. Krull replied, "Once in my lifetime that's for sure. You plan renovations of this scale with the idea of planning for the next 25 to 30 years."
"Business as it used to run in the counties can no longer happen," says Ken Paust, county commissioner in Wayne County, Indiana. He's speaking of how local governments in Indiana were affected when property tax caps began taking effect just as a general economic downturn reduced other revenue sources. "We had an idea of the effect of property tax caps on our county and had done some budget reductions in anticipation," said Paust.