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Cost Benefit Analysis Essay

Abstract

The City of Sanford initiated work on their Parks and Grounds City Project in 2004 with the development of Phase I of said project in an effort to create and build a better community for city residents. In doing so, they have been privy to obtaining various grants and funding that allowed them to extend the focus on the project to the Riverwalk and Seawall, while extending the phases of the Program to Street Revitalization, the Riverwalk Gateway, the Marketplace at Seminole Towne Center, and soon the Orlando Sanford International Airport. This document will note the cost-benefit analysis that took place in the development of the project. It will also state how such analysis is used for making decisions regarding public expenditures, the role the economic theory played in conducting research for this particular project as well as the influence of economic theory on the cost benefit analysis for this project.

Public Finance Proposal Part I: Cost Benefit Analysis

The consideration of costs and benefits in the evaluation of an upcoming city project is a rather logical process. In fact, it is important for city managers to take into account the project costs and benefits prior to implementation of said project. The process of developing the project idea is essential and thus consideration for the best course of action becomes essential to the process. Once these measures have been weighed out it is critical to compare the costs associated with implementing the courses of action addressed in the development phase.

Decision-Making through Analysis

Through the use of Cost Benefit Analysis, the City of Sanford City Management and board of county commissioners addressed the costs and benefits to the project at a time when the economy was starting to take a downturn. It was therefore critical to evaluate the project thoroughly and determine the feasibility of the costs to the city budget. Though cost benefit analysis probably could be best used in making quick and simple financial decisions (Mind Tools, 2012), one certainly can take away from this process the brainstorming involved in the initial decision making. Surely the city managers involved in the development of the city of Sanford Riverwalk Project addressed the needs of the community prior to development of the project. In fact, knowing the city’s history is critical in understanding the Department of Parks and Recreations focus on implementing such a plan.

The City of Sanford’s focus on economic growth and the revitalization of the historic riverfront for which it is best known for is just one example of its efforts. Sanford’s focus on community development is clearly shown in its commitment to leisure activities designed to enhanced city resident’s quality of life. Although the city is known for its charming and traditional 19th century downtown area, it is also becoming more available to adjoining communities through its vibrant and fast paced interstate corridor. This corridor is best known to travelers from out of town by way of the Orlando Sanford International Airport as well as through the surrounding interstate (Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, 2009).

It is clear that city managers focused on the development of the city in implementing the projects that would not only enhance the quality of life of residents, but also with the economic activity would also help improve the city through recognition by also providing advantages. In this case the benefits of implementing the city projects far outweighed the cost, and showed to be feasible enough to implement through use of federal grants such as the Community Development Block Grants and through partnerships with County Government in providing effective packages for such projects as these.

The Role of Economic Theory

Economic theory is an essential part in economic research, and even more so when discussing the development of city projects. The idea that the implementation of policies in budgetary issues would improve people’s lives is attractive to budget administrators and city administrators alike (Varian, 1989). In fact, it is most useful for evaluating the answers to common problems faced by local organizations. The determining factor is based on the approach taken to evaluate the effectiveness of the project.

The use of Cost Benefit Analysis in City Projects , such as the Sanford Riverwalk, provides strategic analysis and planning of the recreational incentives for city residents. The city is based around surrounding popular cities known for their parks and recreation. The City of Altamonte Springs, Daytona Beach, and the City of Orlando are known for their state parks and touristic areas. Because the development of such a project would contribute to a competitive market and enhance the face value of the city, it is part of the overall analysis of the research conducted on this particular project.

Influence of Economic Theory

Economic theory was certainly influential in cost benefit analysis of this project. After all, in considering the allocation of resources and funds to be contributed to this particular project it is important to consider how the implementation of policies and use of budgetary items contribute to the enhancement of daily living. In addressing economic developments for the city it is critical to permit processes of analysis and improvements that provide a service to the development of the community and provide the ability to meet the Department representatives to discuss site specific development issues (City of Sanford Government, 2011).

Reports generated over the years confirm the economic impact generated in the city in this past year to reflect over $15 million (City of Sanford Government, 2011), thus another example of the economic influence to the city’s development of said project. In the long run, the use of cost benefit analysis in development of community projects is a relatively easy tool that can be used to decide if a change is necessary in the community. Consideration of economic theory and the influence of that theory on the analysis of project development is essential in determining if the project will be effective and feasible for the local government.

References

City of Sanford Government. (2011). City Manager’s 2012 Annual Report . Sanford: City of Sanford. Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission. (2009). Sanford Stats. Orlando : Metro Orlando Economic Development
Commission. Mind Tools. (2012, December 10). Retrieved from Mind Tools: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_08.htm Varian, H. R. (1989). What use is Economic Theory? University of California at Berkeley.


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