A fiscal consultant has found that by 2010, Prince William County will spend $1.1 million more annually on services and roads than it will generate in new revenue under the county's comprehensive plan for development scheduled to be voted on by the planning commission later this month.

The county will have to spend $135.1 million more each year (not counting inflation), a 45 percent increase over the $295 million 1991 budget, and will get only $134 million in new tax dollars, if the county gains the 102,800 new people and 60,800 new jobs predicted by the Metropolitan Council of Governments, according to fiscal consultant Paul Tischler.

Prince William officials hired Tischler and Associates, a Bethesda-based firm, to determine if they could afford the plan, which spells out what kinds of development are appropriate and dictates where roads, sewers and facilities should go. In the past, development has not paid for itself, because residential growth, which requires more in services than it generates in tax revenue, has outpaced commercial development.

Several officials criticized the $93,000 study, saying it was completed late in the process and was less helpful than they expected.

"It's not as useful as initially thought," said Frank Milligan, chairman of the planning commission. "It doesn't compare {the new plan} with what the last {comprehensive} plan would have done."

The plan also does not compare different development proposals for the same areas, such as a controversial alternate plan for the corridor along Linton Hall Road.

"I don't see the wisdom of doing {a financial study} when you're rounding third and heading for home. You do that when you're considering a variety of mixes of residential and commercial," said Roger Snyder, executive director of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association and a former Prince William planning director. "It's awfully late in the process."

Some people also criticized the study for putting the funding required for road construction in a separate category and creating what looks like a net revenue surplus, when in fact the county would not quite break even.

Snyder said the study's message, is: "If you don't want to improve the highway situation, this plan is affordable."

The gap is particularly striking in the predictions for 2000, when Prince William development will generate $84.9 million in revenue and require $76.9 million in services, and an additional $27.6 million in roads, for a net loss of $19.6 million.

Tischler and some county officials defended the decision to separate road funding, saying it was calculated differently from all other service needs. The study assumed the county will need to add $27.6 million in road improvements every year, rather than projecting the road improvements needed by specific growth. They also pointed out that the Virginia Department of Transportation, not the county, has primary responsibility for road construction.

The study also assumed that current services are adequate, when, in fact, many roads and schools are crowded and social programs are strained. "What they don't do is fold in a lot of things that deal with service improvements," said Craig S. Gerhart, director of the county's Office of Management and Budget. But, he added, "I don't have a better way to do what {the consultants} were asked to do."

Nonetheless, county officials said they found Tischler's study encouraging, especially because he found the county would come out $14.2 million ahead by 2010 if it embarks on an aggressive economic development drive and grows faster than the Council of Governments has predicted. That scenario calls for 115,440 new jobs, which would triple in-county employment, and 152,000 new residents, or 63.3 percent growth. In that case, the county would get $180.2 million in new revenue and spend $166 million more on roads and services.

The planning commission will hold a public hearing on the plan at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the McCoart Government Center and expects to vote on changes Oct. 31. The plan then goes to the Board of Supervisors for more hearings and a final vote.