Council Asked To Re-Evaluate Impact Fees

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The Payson Town Council will consider taking a pro-active approach to the issue of excessive building impact fees and regulations at its 5:30 p.m. meeting Thursday, Jan. 11 at Town Hall.

In a Dec. 5 memo to councilmembers and other town officials, Payson Mayor Ray Schum proposed developing a "procedure wherein the public could register their concerns regarding specific town policy issues in an organized, structured format. The experts could then assess these concerns and recommendations would be provided to the council for whatever action may be deemed appropriate."

Schum indicated in the memo he was responding to "a movement going on around town which could lead to referendum regarding a number of issues in our uniform building code, fire department rules and regulations, permit fees and impact fees." The reference was to a petition filed late last year by a group of local businessmen asking to place recent changes to the Town of Payson uniform fire code on the ballot.

While the petition specifically addressed changes to the code regarding automatic sprinkler systems that the group believes will add unreasonable costs to both new construction and renovation projects, businessman Ray Pugel, one of the group's leaders, made it clear the new requirements were just the latest in a long series of similar actions.

"We keep piling on these bureaucratic things, and we just can't afford any more of them," Pugel said.

At the meeting, Schum and Vice Mayor Dick Wolfe will ask the council to authorize increasing the size of the Building Advisory Board from five to seven members and expanding the scope of that body to include reviewing and making recommendations for revising development codes.

"This proposal," according to Town Manager Rich Underkofler, "would enable representation for other design and construction disciplines such as a civil engineer, a plumber, heating, air conditioning and ventilation professionals (on the Building Advisory Board)."

The proposed changes, Underkofler noted, are in keeping with the objective stated in the Year 2000 Payson Corporate Strategic Plan to "review and revise development codes that unnecessarily increase the cost of housing."

The council will also be asked to authorize Parks and Recreation Director Bill Schwind to seek competitive bids for handicapped seating at the Payson Event Center equal to 1 percent of that facility's total seating capacity or 32 seats as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The new elevated seating will be located on both the north and south sides of the arena at a cost of approximately $35,000, according to preliminary estimates.

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