The River Region's Wave of the Future!
The Wetumpka Herald
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Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis, yellow shirt, shares a story with, from left, Tallassee Mayor George McCain, State Rep. Mac Gipson, Roger Holliday, vice president of strategic planning and business development for Russell Lands on Lake Martin, Elmore County Commissioner Joe Faulk and State Rep. Barry Mask at Sinclair’s dock during Thursday’s summer Unity Social. Herald Photo/Kevin Taylor
It’s a foregone conclusion that Lake Martin certainly has a positive economic impact on Elmore County and its surrounding communities.But what are the exact numbers?Try $3.33 million during the fiscal year 2008-09, according to a study done by Robert Charles Lesser & Company, which is the largest independent real estate advisory firm in the United States.The participating partnership of the City of Alexander City, the Elmore County Commission, Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance, the Tallapoosa County Commission, Middle Tallapoosa River Basin Clean Water Partnership, Russell Lands on Lake Martin and Lake Martin Realtors Association pooled their resources to help RCLCO develop the study to learn of the overall economic impact of Lake Martin.“This (study) is clearly a great tool for future economic development,” said Tom Lamberth, president and chief operating officer of Russell Lands on Lake Martin. “This is a great tool not only for Elmore County but the surrounding communities within the county like Eclectic.”
The report indicated the total appraised value of property around Lake Martin to be more than $3.4 billion. Of that total, the lakefront properties along Lake Martin within Elmore County account for more than one-sixth of the assessed value of the entire county.“I think both of our lakes (Jordan and Martin) are so important to our county and Wetumpka,” said Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis. “A majority of people who come out of Montgomery go through Wetumpka on their way to Lake Martin. This is certainly a benefit to us.”In addition to the financial gain the county sees from Lake Martin, the county’s residents also see great employment opportunities.Almost 450 permanent jobs are on or near Lake Martin and there are another 1,100 to 1,200 retail and personal service jobs that existing households support.And since 2000, Lake Martin has supported an average of 764 construction jobs per year and an additional 827 indirect jobs.
One of those areas which see a number of new construction jobs is just inside Elmore County at The Ridge.Phases I and II are complete with work continuing in Phases III and IV, according to Lamberth.“It is halfway developed and there are at least 700 units within The Ridge,” he said.And each of those homes within The Ridge are at an average appraised value of at least $1 million, according to Lamberth.While construction continues within the Russell Lands on Lake Martin development, Lamberth said the economy’s dip has also had its effect on The Ridge.
“We’ve been impacted by what’s happened, too,” he said. “There’s been some where prices have come down and some quite a bit, but ... our developments have held up better than most because of the amenities and controls we have put in place.”Still, development has not stopped along the shores of Lake Martin.According to the RCLCO study the total cumulative incremental revenues Elmore County stands to gain from fiscal year 2009 until 2044 is expected to be $96.7 million.And the revenue goes up if the lake is kept at full pool longer (April 1 through Oct. 15) than it has been. RCLCO estimates the total revenue alone for Elmore County would reach $103.9 million.“That’s a big number, but I’m not surprised,” Lamberth said.
While Elmore County earned more than $3.33 million in 2009 just from the economic impact of Lake Martin, the study indicates the Elmore County School System was a tremendous benefactor earning more than $1.5 million.The report also indicates almost $400,000 was earned for road and bridge within Elmore County, and sales tax revenue within the county was more than $250,000.“We enjoy (Lake Martin) for the recreational facility it is, and we know it has a tremendous impact,” Willis added. “We are certainly going to continue to be supportive to efforts to promote different aspects of the lake going forward.”
© 2013 Elmore County Economic Development Authority. All Rights Reserved.