Friday, April 27, 2007

Hailey looks forward to increased funding

Council approves collection of development impact fees

Express Staff Writer

As the population of Hailey continues to expand, the City Council has taken steps to ensure that levels of service remain constant.

City Council members voted Monday, April 23, to a adopt a Development Impact Fee Ordinance, which specifies the fees that can be charged to new developments in order to handle increased infrastructure demands caused by expansion.

Mayor Susan McBryant then gave the first of three legally required readings that will allow the city to begin collecting the impact fees.

These actions follow the council's decision April 9 to adopt a Capital Improvement Plan into the city's Comprehensive Plan, also necessary for procuring impact fees.

These funds, projected by economic consultant Paul Tischler to be approximately $3 million over the next five years, will be used to maintain current levels of infrastructure into the future

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

Tischler believes impact fees will be able to pay for approximately 98 percent of the improvements that will be required as the city continues to grow.

City Attorney Ned Williamson explained that this ordinance is not maintenance-free, since the council will have to review it every year. The Capital Improvement Plan must be reviewed every five years.

Also, the city is required to account for every cent of impact fees received so there can be no doubt where the money goes.

Assuming ultimate passage, the ordinance is scheduled to be placed into effect in June.

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