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Jefferson Commission approves impact fee increases

October 21, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - The Jefferson County Commission on Thursday approved a set of increases in the county's school impact fee despite the objection of one commission member who said the increase would adversely affect senior citizens and "put affordable housing further out of reach."

Commission members on a 4-1 vote decided to increase the school impact fee for single-family homes from $7,279 to $8,562, increase the fee for town houses and duplexes from $5,685 to $6,686 and increase the fee for each multifamily unit from $4,129 to $4,858.

School impact fees are charged to housing developers to help offset the cost of new school facilities needed because of population growth.

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The recommended increases in the fee brought the amounts to 100 percent of the recommended level for the fees, school officials said.

When the commissioners initially approved school impact fees, they made the fees 85 percent of the recommended amount, school officials said.

The board of education wanted the fees to be at the 100 percent level since impact fees the commission has passed for parks and recreation and police are at their 100 percent levels.

Commission member Jane Tabb spoke against the fee increases Thursday, saying they would make it harder for senior citizens to purchase homes and "put affordable housing further out of reach."

With the average price for a new home in Jefferson County hovering around $250,000, officials have been concerned about affordable housing in the county and have considered breaks on the school impact fee for low-income residents.

At a public hearing Monday, officials associated with the county's home building industry warned how the increases would affect home buyers on limited incomes.

Jefferson County Schools Superintendent R. Steven Nichols said the increases are necessary to prepare the county for student population growth because state funds for new school construction are expected to be limited.

The commissioners agreed to make the new fees effective Dec. 1.




How they voted:



The Jefferson County Commission voted 4-1 Thursday to approve increases in the school impact fees charged to home builders in the county.

For: Jim Surkamp, Rusty Morgan, Dale Manuel and Gregg Corliss

Against: Jane Tabb

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