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New fee OK'd for Halfway

March 04, 2005|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The Washington County Commissioners approved a new fee for residential units and commercial buildings in the Halfway, Massey and Wesel boulevard areas, and they plan to ask the City of Hagerstown to take the same action.

The County Commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to charge developers $2,857 for each vehicle trip generated by some existing, proposed and approved residential developments in those areas. The charge is part of the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO).

The APFO helps ensure roads, schools and other infrastructure are capable of handling the effects of growth.

Revenue from the fees will go toward road improvements needed as a result of growth in those areas, which Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said will cost about $6.3 million.

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Because much of the area is in the city's jurisdiction, the county will need the help of the city to generate money to pay for the road improvements, Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell said Thursday.

Wivell said the county doesn't have the authority to collect the fee in the city, so the commissioners plan to write a letter to the city asking it to adopt the same fee.

The area includes the CSX Valley Park, Crosspoint Shopping Center, Valley Mall property, Valley Plaza, property between Underpass Way and Interstate 81 and property between Underpass Way and Massey Boulevard and Valley Plaza.

The commissioners said the fee might be replaced with a restructured excise tax if approved by the state.

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