City commissioners have taken the first step toward extending utilities along State Road 39 to encourage future development in the area.
Plant City is one step closer to expanding utilities to State Road 39.
A report using Total Impact, a model developed by Impact DataSource which was used to analyze development potential on County Line Road, broke down the risks and potential benefits of expanding to three different locations on SR 39 for city commissioners Monday evening.
The study estimates ensuing with the utility work could result in the development of 700,00 square feet of new commercial space along SR 39. The current projections show commercial, office, retail and light industrial space utilizing the future development, but anything is up in the air.
“We’re doing the best we can to project what the appetite will be,” Commissioner Nate Kilton said. “If we don’t do this the development won’t happen for a much longer time. It will come, but the question now is when? If you ask anyone on County Line Road they’ll say it wouldn’t have happened without the utilities already being in place.”
Commissioners were told if they wished to pursue the extension of utilities there were three options: Go to Trapnell Road — 0.75 miles — for $1,285,000, go to Kilgore Road — 1.25 miles — for $1,817,000 or go to Colson Road — 1.71 miles — for $2,520,000.
Commissioner Bill Dodson said the process reminded him of where the city sat not to many years ago when they were deciding where to extend utilities to beckon development to Plant City. Four years ago they decided County Line Road was the best first phase, but even then SR 39 had been on the table.
The analysis showed there was a potential of 2,273 direct, indirect and induced jobs to be created with the potential development. Including the survey land acquisition, construction, lift station and a 20% contingency the project is estimated to cost the city $3,020,000. The money will come from the water and sewer development fees and utilities revenue. The city is expected to get it’s return on the investment in approximately seven years if everything goes according to plan.
After a brief discussion at the dais commissioners agreed to look into development for the full 1.71 miles out to Colson Road.
The approval from commissioners is simply for McDaniel to continue with a preliminary design and survey for the area. Once everything is finalized the city will have to approve the design costs and then open the door to construction bids. Monday evening commissioners approved in concept the extension of utilities, but much is yet to come before this becomes a reality.
Some already identified issues include the fact that extending the utilities will result in a dead end line until the infrastructure can be looped back to the distribution system, which frequently results in poor water quality. The plan is to have fire hydrants installed throughout the area to help flush the water until looping can be installed. Small lift stations will also need to be added to any connection.
The extension of utilities alone, however, may not be enough to turn on the green light and let business know the land is primed and ready for development. Mayor Rick Lott said by the time the full study and design comes back before commissioners they all needed to be ready to discuss land usage for the corresponding area. Amendments may need to be changed to help the process along.
McDaniel compared guessing the future of the area as looking into a crystal ball. At the moment the city sees commercial, office and light industrial finding a forever home on SR 39. The reality is the future is too difficult to fully predict. Things change, the market changes and the city is ready to let development drive itself down its organic and natural path. It simply wants to be ready for whatever decides to come its way.
“This ensures we are prepared,” McDaniel said. “The development is going to happen and if you don’t get everything ready we may miss out on it happening for a long time. We’ve done this before. Look at South Frontage Road. We did the groundwork and now that’s ready for any development that wants to come. Look at what happened on County Line Road. The demand is there, we just have to be ready for it.”
Now that the city has approved the first step it will take up to eight weeks for the consultant selection, 24 weeks for the design and permitting, eight weeks for the selection of a contractor and 30 weeks for constructions. All in all the project could be completed in approximately 70 weeks.