Clay County commissioners conducted a workshop Monday on a proposed impact fee. The board will consider adopting the fees at its regular meeting on Dec. 13.
Impact fees are one-time fees imposed on new development projects to fund the facilities that will serve the development.
The proposed impact fees are broken down into six categories:
- Government, jails, and constitutional facilities
- Fire and rescue facilities
- Law enforcement
- Community and neighborhood parks
- Regional park
- Library and cultural facilities
Fewer than 10 people participated in public comment. Several people took issue with the impact fee study conducted by Willdan.
“There’s not a lot of the detail that we would see in an impact fee study,” said Michael Bourre’ with Bourre’ Construction Group. He made note of the length of the 68-page study. Bourre’ said studies would typically consist of a more detailed breakdown of each fee category which results in the study being hundreds of pages long.
“We think the analysis that has been done so far needs a deeper dive,” said George Egan, president and CEO of Reinhold Corporation. Egan said he supports the fees even if they end up costing developers more than what is outlined in the study. “I want it to be fair, accurate, and kind of bulletproof,” he said.
Willdan’s representative responded to the critique saying the study is on par with others done in nearby counties. “I don’t think we’re lacking any documentation in terms of justifying any fees that are proposed.”
Monday’s presentation included several changes between the initial report and the latest edition. The updates are a reflection of meetings between stakeholders and the county.
Erick Saks represents Operation Lifeline and is interested in building affordable housing in Clay County. He asked the commissioners to consider “potentially putting in waivers” for affordable housing. The county attorney said the ordinance would account for these projects.
In addition, several commenters also called out a “discrepancy” in the number of jobs available in 2045. The number was derived from the county’s mobility fee study. It gives a projection of 156,073 jobs compared to 54,412 in 2021. Assistant County Manager Troy Nagle says the Economic Development Corporation is “actively trying to seek out other sources” to resolve an appropriate number.
“We will address these comments and see if we can’t figure out what we need to do to get it so that everybody thinks that we’re going in the right direction,” said Commissioner Mike Cella.