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Sharpsburg officials don't vote on collecting APFO fees

February 08, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

SHARPSBURG - A motion to have the Town of Sharpsburg collect Washington County's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance fee for the county government failed to get a second on Monday night.

So the county will collect that fee, County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said in a telephone interview after the meeting.

Sharpsburg Town Attorney Charles Wagaman told the mayor and town council the town would be collecting the school portion of the county Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO), if they agreed to do the collection. The APFO, which charges additional fees on development in areas where schools are at least at 85 percent capacity, is $8,500 per new dwelling unit, he said.

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The town would not get a cut of the money, Wagaman said.

Snook said the county would have given the town a 2 percent administrative flat fee for collecting the money. If that wasn't enough and town officials could prove they required more than that, they could discuss it with county officials, he said.

Wagaman also briefed town officials about an effort the county is making through the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly to remove the cap on the county excise tax.

If that passed, the towns would be required to pass their own APFOs, according to Wagaman and Snook.

Wagaman said he had concerns about the town adopting its own APFO and recommended Sharpsburg officials have a workshop to learn more about APFOs.

Perhaps the attorneys for the various towns could set up a discussion on the matter at the next Maryland Municipal League meeting, he said.

Sharpsburg Councilman Russ Weaver asked Wagaman what would keep the commissioners from reducing their normal expenditures from the general fund by the same amount of money they pull in from the APFO?

Nothing, Wagaman replied.

"This is just a crock, a shell game," Weaver said.

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