Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hailey leaders adopt capital improvements plan

Revenue from impact fees projected at $601,000 per year

Express Staff Writer

The Hailey City Council voted Monday, April 9, to adopt a capital improvements plan as a part of the city's comprehensive plan.

This is the first of two steps that will allow the city to collect impact fees in order to pay for capital improvements necessitated by new developments.

Paul Tischler, president of economic and planning consulting company TischlerBise, wrote the report recommending the plan. Tischler believes that impact fees will be able to pay for approximately 98 percent of the improvements that will be required as the city continues to grow.

These funds, projected to be approximately $3 million over the next five years, will be used to maintain Hailey's current levels of infrastructure into the future.

This figure takes into account increases in population, households, and jobs, and determines their monetary effect on parks, transportation, police and fire services.

Since Idaho's Impact Fee Act prohibits new developments from having to double pay, Hailey will need to establish a policy that keeps annexation fees from being spent on impact fee improvements. This will permit the city to reap the maximum benefit from a capital improvements plan.

Tischler presented his findings to the council on March 26, and City Attorney Ned Williamson requested the council give him two weeks to review the language of the plan before voting on the inclusion of the proposal into the city's comprehensive plan.

Council members will now need to create a new ordinance as the final step to implementing the plan. They are scheduled to start this process at their next meeting on April 23.

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