Frequently Asked Questions
We know you have questions and we are still working on many of the answers, but in the meantime, here are some of the most frequently asked questions. Check back as we will continue to update as the project progresses.
What will the housing prices be?
The real estate development is expected to consist of a wide range of housing options including vacant lots for custom homes, apartments, assisted living communities, and primarily workforce housing. The expectation is to work with state incentive programs that will keep housing affordable, and to provide new construction workforce housing not exceeding $266,320 per single family house (as defined by Iowa Economic Development Authority).
Will housing be tract housing? Or slab homes, or ones with 4-5 bedrooms and basements?
As we look at building costs and work with developers, there is a possibility that tract housing and slab homes will be a portion of the development. We do not anticipate that they will make up the entire development as we know our community needs quality single family homes as well.
What is the lot size going to be in the development?
We anticipate lot sizes will vary depending on the various types of housing and will follow jurisdictional zoning regulations.
When will lots be available for purchase?
Lot availability is dependent upon the masterplan approval, including the sale of the airport land, and an infrastructure development timeline.
Explain why Milford does not want this project.
We do believe that the community of Milford does want this project.
How long will it take to develop once approved?
A timeline for the entire development is contingent on many factors – infrastructure, fundraising, developers, demand, and much more. We plan to hold more community input meetings and start developing phased plans and more concrete timelines. This project would highly likely be phased in over several years.
How will storage for RV and boats etc. be handled in the development?
The development will fall within both city and county land, so current ordinances will be adhered to in these new developments as well. During the planning stage we will work with officials.
Will there be a first option for current residents near the airport to purchase adjoining land?
Master planning needs to be conducted to determine public space and lots available for private purchase.
Will the facility support itself?
In January 2020, a Market Opportunity Report was commissioned from The Sports Facilities Companies (SFC). The report showed that there is an opportunity in our community to develop a sports tourism facility with sports, event, and entertainment spaces. A pro forma (financial forecast) was subsequently studied and completed that shows the indoor facility to be self-sustaining and provides positive economic impact. Right sizing this facility is important. Outdoor features were also studied, and this portion would need additional funding/strategic partnerships to be sustained.
Was a full indoor track considered for spring events and general health and fitness for the community?
Yes, it has been considered. While initial concepts have been discussed for the amenities of the sports complex, no formal plans have been made for what will be included. Stakeholders have been engaged and the needs of the community have been analyzed.
What is a sports tourism facility?
The Okoboji Sports Campus will be a year-round sports venue that will host regional tournaments for traveling sports teams. The facility will generate revenue for the area through hotels, meals and gas on tournament weekends. The average family spends over $800 per weekend when traveling for sports tournaments. (*SFC report and feasibility study, 2019.)
Will the YMCA and Okoboji Sports Campus be in competition? Are both sustainable in the Lakes Region?
The YMCA is an incredible asset to the lakes area. The Okoboji Sports Campus will not compete with the YMCA but complement its services and even partner in providing some services. The YMCA strengthens the foundations of a community by focusing on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The Okoboji Sports Campus will focus on sports tourism and a tournament structure which will bring in traveling sports teams from around the tri-state area. The YMCA has been and will continue to be part of our planning discussions.
Is the City of Milford expected to run the Sports Campus?
No, the Okoboji Sports Campus is a non-profit organization and will not be turned over to the City of Milford. It will be privately owned and funded.
Will the Streets be asphalt or concrete?
Specific development details are yet to be determined and will align with local regulations and preferences.
Have sanitary and storm sewer services been looked at in the development?
Preliminary reviews of drainage, soil types, elevations and infrastructure design have been reviewed by civil engineers.
Will the development affect traffic, noise, and property values as an owner who lives on Airport Drive?
A development that includes amenities, affordable housing and public trails will enhance property values for individuals on Airport Drive. A development near the current airport adversely affects noise and property values, so this would improve the current situation. Economic impact is one of the most visible and measurable results of brownfield redevelopment. The economic impact includes job creation, tax revitalization, and efficient use of existing infrastructure. This development area would be low density residential single-family dwellings and would not contribute to incremental noise levels.
Is the City of Milford’s water, sewer, snow removal, parks and street maintenance, and police capable of the expansion?
There will be substantial property tax revenues from the new housing development and adequate lead time for the City of Milford to plan utilities, maintenance, and labor necessary to engineer the new development.
What is the plan for access in and out of the area?
As with any development or addition to a community, the Department of Transportation would provide guidance on specific access points to ensure safety and optimal movement.
Will this project generate any tax benefit for the City of Milford?
The South Okoboji Estates plan includes 400+ affordable, much needed, single and multi-family housing options, and will generate incremental property tax revenue. (*SFC report and feasibility study, 2019.)
How will the City pay for the additional roads and infrastructure?
Real Estate developers work with the local jurisdiction on implementing TIF to pay for public improvements such as streets, sidewalks, sewer, water, and other similar public components. This is paid upfront by the developer and is returned when the new building or home is constructed through the TIF assistance. TIF is a common tool for developers to help develop real estate in rural Iowa. TIF generates new property tax revenue by spurring development that would not otherwise occur, which results in a larger tax base for the city and community.
How will this affect the sales tax and property tax in the City of Milford?
The proposed development would increase both the sales and property tax revenue for the City of Milford.
Will there be tax rebates for developers and investors?
Tax rebates for developers will be determined by the local jurisdiction.
What is the taxpayer's cost for this facility?
We are not asking the City of Milford for a tax increase to pay for this facility. The sports facility will be paid for by Okoboji Sports Campus fundraising and strategic partnerships.
Will another bond be needed just as the 25-million-dollar school bond?
Will TIF grants be used?
Tax increment financing (TIF) is a public financing method that is used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure, and other community-improvement projects. Until the plans are finalized, and details projected, the specifics of TIF funding are not known.
Does Milford Airport generate income?
According to the Milford City Clerk, the airport generates approximately $7,000/year in revenue over the prior five years.
Will there be airport usage for citizens?
Airports in Iowa serve varying types of users and levels of demand. Airports were classified into one of five airport roles based upon their capability to support several types of aircraft and aviation users. Airports were assigned to a role based on currently meeting specific facility and services criteria. The airport classifications are Commercial Services, enhanced service, general service, basic service, and local service. The Milford Municipal -Fuller Airport is classified as Local Service. These airports support local aviation activity, offer few airport services, have turf runways, or are unable to meet criteria defining any other role.
Will the DOT grant have to be repaid?
Iowa Administrative Code 761, Chapter 720 Iowa Airport Registration:
720.15(4) Repayment of financial assistance.
a. Review of closure on or after October 4, 2017. Within 30 days of closing an airport (other than
temporary closing), the sponsor shall request from the department a review of contractual obligations that require repayment of financial assistance. The department will provide a determination detailing grant obligations that must be repaid. Any repayment of grants must be made to the department in no more than five equal annual installments, beginning one year from the airport’s closure date. If an alternative future use of the airport facility is planned for a project that creates jobs and expands the economy, the sponsor may, within 30 days of the department’s determination, request forgiveness of repayment. The request must include a plan detailing the alternative future use of the airport facility, an explanation of how the alternative future use creates jobs and expands the economy, a cost-benefit analysis from the sponsor, a commitment of private investment in the project equal to at least two times the amount of repayment due to the state, and a commitment from the sponsor, or associated political subdivision(s), to complete the alternative use project within five years. The department will review the request for forgiveness of repayment and approve or deny the request within 60 days of receipt.
Why can't the project be started without the purchase of the airport?
A housing development in close proximity to an airport is not desirable or advantageous for land value or air noise. Land developers would likely have low to no interest in investing in such property, inhibiting this portion of the Milford Campus project. Without securing the airport land, there is no assurance the overall master plan would happen.