It's a measure of how short of cash the Washington County government is - and expects to be for a long time - that the idea of development impact fees is getting another hearing. That idea was political poison in 1990, when the Washington County Homebuilders placed ads emphasizing that they and "their 4,400 employees" didn't like the idea.
That was the year young Greg Snook made his first try for commissioner and was pleasantly surprised to find himself the top vote-getter, which some regarded as a warning to the incumbents that impact fees were better forgotten.
And except for local activist Ross DeMeritt and a group called Citizens for the Protection of Washington County, they haven't been discussed much in the intervening years. Until last week.
That's when Debra Bastian, the county's finance director, told the commissioners that their five-year construction plan was about $27 million short of what was needed. Bastian said the commissioners have two ways to go - eliminate or delay some projects or find new sources of revenue, like special taxing districts or impact fees.