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Commission: Deal reached with Ranson on impact fees

April 09, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - An agreement has been worked out between Ranson, W.Va., city officials and Jefferson County over the collection of school impact fees in Ranson, county officials said Thursday.

Despite the agreement, county officials will not receive the money they said Ranson owned them for impact fees.

County officials began considering legal action in an attempt to resolve the issue after they said that no school impact fees had been collected for new homes in Charles Town and Ranson since the county began implementing the fees Jan. 26.

At one point, Ranson Mayor David Hamill said he did not think the county had the authority to collect impact fees.

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Commission President Al Hooper said he met once with Hamill and Charles Town Mayor Randy Hilton over the issue and the meeting seemed to result in more "stumbling blocks."

During their regular meeting Thursday, the commissioners discussed an agreement they have reached with Ranson officials.

The commissioners did not discuss the details of the agreement, but after the meeting Commissioner Rusty Morgan said the issue revolved around a lack of understanding of the administrative process.

Ranson officials were going to collect the school impact fees themselves, Morgan said. But after Ranson officials understood the risks involved in the process, they realized it was best to let the county handle the fee collection, Morgan said.

Hamill and Ranson City Manager David Mills could not be reached for comment.

County officials have said they should have received $114,156 in school impact fees from Ranson. The money should have come from nine single-family homes and nine townhouses that have been approved in Ranson, county officials said.

Morgan said the county will not receive the money because the permits for the homes and townhouses were dated before Jan. 26.

The commissioners said Thursday they will contact Charles Town officials in an attempt to work out an agreement with them. If no progress can be made, the commissioners said they will continue to consider legal action to resolve the issue.

School impact fees are collected from housing developers to help pay for new school facilities.

Developers have to pay $7,122 for every new single-family home and mobile home they put up, $5,562 for every townhouse or duplex and $4,040 for every multi-family dwelling.

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