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Ranson officials hold on signing impact fee agreement

November 02, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

RANSON, W.Va. - It's been nearly two years since Jefferson County government imposed school impact fees, but none of the money collected in the City of Ranson has been forwarded to the county.

The holdup is because of a lingering disagreement over how Ranson should collect the fees for the county.

A proposed agreement was reviewed Tuesday night by the Ranson City Council, but council members did not sign it because of continued concerns over the issue.

One of the concerns in the fee collection proposal from the county is a requirement that Ranson deny a building permit to a developer until the impact fee is paid, said attorney John Askintowicz, who is representing Ranson.

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Askintowicz said he is concerned about Ranson being sued by a developer over the wording in the proposal.

Askintowicz said Ranson officials want assurances that their legal costs would be paid by the county if they were sued over collection of school impact fees.

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

The Jefferson County Commission recently increased the amount of the fees, and starting Dec. 1, developers will have to pay $8,562 for every single-family home they build, $6,686 for every town house and duplex they build, and $4,858 for every multi-family unit that is constructed.

School impact fees went into effect Jan. 26, 2004, and more than $4 million has been generated, school officials said.

Ranson has collected more than $600,000 for schools, Ranson officials said Tuesday.

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