LCDC reveals budget

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COEUR d'ALENE - Lake City Development Corp. expects to spend $18.6 million in 2013, triple the amount it did two years ago, in large part due to the urban renewal agency's commitment to fund a big chunk of the McEuen Field redevelopment project.

The draft budget pencils in drawing $12 million from the $16.75 million line of credit the agency has with Washington Trust Bank to pay for upgrades to the downtown park's redesign - a project set to begin this month and one of the major reasons LCDC was formed in 1997.

The agency estimates it will pay the bank back around $2 million off that borrowed sum in the fiscal year.

"This is a conservative budgeting approach," LCDC director Tony Berns wrote in a summary of the proposed budget, which is up for adoption today. "Given that the taxing entities ... will most likely increase the levy rates to offset the valuation decreases for 2011, which will result in higher tax increment revenues."

LCDC is not a taxing entity, and does not establish levy rates, which affect tax bills.

The agency collects property tax increment financing inside its two districts as revenues for redevelopment.

The Lake District, the bigger of the agency's two districts, experienced a $24.6 million valuation decrease in 2011. But with the WTB loan, it should see around $16 million in revenues. Added to a roughly $2 million beginning balance, and $17 million in expenditures, the district is expected to close the fiscal year with a $1 million balance.

The River District, which encompasses Riverstone and Mill River, has a much smaller budget than the Lake District.

It underwent a $1.5 million valuation decrease in 2011, but is expected to draw $1.8 million in increment property tax revenues. It expects to allocate $1.5 million during the year. With $2.4 million as a beginning balance, the district should end the year with $2.7 million in hand.

At the end of fiscal year 2013, the agency should end with $3.7 million.

By setting up to fund the large-scale McEuen Field project, the agency's budget is the largest it has ever been. It has agreed to pay back the WTB before the Lake District closes in 2021. The 2012 fiscal plan had $11.8 in revenues, and $13.7 million in expenditures. In 2011, the agency spent $6.2 million.

The proposed budget will go before the LCDC board at 4 p.m. today in the Community Room of the Coeur d'Alene Public Library.

The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

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