Impact Fees Going Up For Developers


The price of buying and building homes in Payson will increase in as few as 60 days when the town adopts higher impact fees for new developments.

With a unanimous vote, the town council agreed to raise -- in some cases by 40 percent -- the costs builders pay for the expansion of town services, such as public safety, parks and streets, to accommodate their developments.

"We all know these impact fees are not paid by the developer or the real estate organization involved with the development," Councilor Robert Henley said.

"They are paid for by the citizen who buys the house and I appreciate that, but yet we are faced with significant needs for money and we always said development should pay for itself."

As the population of Payson grows, funds are needed to support the infrastructure needed for the increasing number of residents.

The town now charges $1,247 per residential unit for parks and streets -- none of which goes toward public safety.

And in 1996, that's how the council wanted it.

That year, a town-sponsored analysis suggested raising parks, streets and police impact fees to $3,551.

Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner said politics prevailed and the money went to streets and parks.

Ten years later, council agreed to increase impact fees to $3,551 to meet the needs of the town, according to the 1996 study.

Meanwhile, the town will solicit bids to conduct an updated analysis of the numbers and needs of the community.

Water restriction levels remain Level 2

Town Hydrologist Mike Ploughe presented the water department's annual state-of-the-water address Thursday. Based on last year's recharge, current water levels and successful conservation efforts, Ploughe said Payson's water restriction will remain at Level 2. Under these water-saving parameters, planting new grass, hosing sidewalks and driveways, quenching native plants and watering between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. are forbidden. Watering is only allowed on alternate days, according to street address.

Government at a Glance
The Issue:
Contract awarded for reconstruction of McLane Road from Forest Drive to Airport Road, and three other road projects, totaling $1.2 million, to local firm Intermountain West Civil Constructors, Inc.

How it affects the community:
The council voted unanimously to proceed with the project. The contract includes an escalation clause, according to Public Works Engineer LaRon Garrett. This means if the price of materials increases, so could the cost of the project.

The next step:
Construction could begin as early as May and last up to five months, or three months if the monsoon season stays relatively dry.

The Issue:
Agreement with the Forest Service to permit the creation of a fuel break on the west and south boundaries of the town.

How it affects the community:
The project will clear 350 acres of wildfire fuel surrounding Payson and the adjacent federal forest.

The next step:
Once Payson Fire Department gets the green light, the clearing begins. Because of budget constraints, the work must be finished by the end of June.

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