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The Push to Incorporate Olympic Valley Caught a Fiscal Break

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The fiscal analysis that detailed a grim future for an incorporated Olympic Valley is going to get an independent review. Placer County commissioners voted, 6-1, to send the analysis to the California State Controller's Office. It's important moment for the pro-incorporation group, Incorporate Olympic Valley (IOV), because the report, if left unchallenged, would have left very little room for Olympic Valley to prove it wouldn't financially harm Placer County by incorporating. But it's still early to assume this review will end up with a different result for Olympic Valley.

The push to incorporate Olympic Valley is a proxy war in the ongoing Squaw Valley Base Village saga. Local opponents of the development and proponents of incorporation overlap. That's because turning Olympic Valley into its own town would give area residents their more control over the development process, as opposed to being limited to working through county government alone.

The analysis was such a blow to idea of incorporation because it stated flatly that the new town's expenditures would outstrip its revenues. Placer County having to support a town of Olympic Valley that can't pay its bills would represent the type of negative impact that can derail incorporation. So of course, Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth praised the report while proponents of incorporation immediately started trying to poke holes in the analysis.

IOV has identified more than two dozen issues it has with the fiscal analysis, but according to a press release, it's going to focus on four major items in trying to prove Olympic Valley would be a viable town.

The four most important items:
• Revising the proposed 10 percent contingency expense to be included as part of an annual reserve.
• Calculating the general fund reserve as a percentage of the town's operating expenses rather as a percentage of the total general fund revenues.
• Revising the estimated property tax revenue calculations to include indirect costs and be based on realistic Olympic valley real estate values.
• Adjusting the estimated cost of law enforcement to reflect the actual existing level of service in Olympic Valley.

In lay terms, they want to change how reserves are treated on the books, bump property tax revenues and set aside less money for law enforcement.

Proponents of incorporation also got another break when the county decided the group didn't have to pay for an environment impact report upfront.

While is looks like the pro-incorporation crowd is advancing, don't forget that the Squaw Valley and its associated group, Save Olympic Valley, is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to stop this movement in its tracks.

· All Coverage of the Fight Over Olympic Valley [Curbed Ski Archives]
· All Squaw Valley Base Village Coverage [Curbed Ski Archives]
· In Squaw Valley, Incorporate Olympic Valley Is Down, But Not Out After Latest Fiscal Report [Curbed Ski]
· New Report Details Potential Environmental Impact of Proposed Squaw Valley Base Village [Curbed Ski]
· Squaw Valley CEO Comes Out Against Olympic Valley [Curbed Ski]