Impact Fees Increase; Not As Much As Originally Proposed

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A proposal to raise impact fees was met with some opposition at Thursday's Payson Town Council meeting.

In response, the council, in its second reading, lowered the amount.

The council voted to raise the park facilities development impact fees to a range of $647 to $1,000, not the $1,508 that was originally discussed.

Street development impact fees increased from $600 to $1,235. Public safety development impact fees were created at $500, not the $800 originally proposed.

Barbara Underwood, a former planning and zoning commissioner, wondered if a person building a million-dollar home would be paying the same amount as an individual building a $100,000 home.

Town Attorney Sam Streichman said both would be paying the same amount because it has to be equal across the board.

"We are hemmed in by case law," he said.

Councilor Tim Fruth said he could not support the increase that was proposed, and added the town will never pay for growth through residential homes.

"Where does it all end?" he asked. "I do not want to invent projects just because we have money."

Councilor Andy Romance said he is weary of comparing Payson's impact fees to other communities.

"We have a very desirable city," said Councilor Ed Blair. "I don't like being the cheap city."

Mayor Bob Edwards announced he was going to amend the motion. Streets should remain at the proposed amount, he said, because they have been a priority for years and no substantial money had gone toward them.

Fruth said he could go along with the street portion since there was a well-thought out plan in place.

The council was told by the town's legal staff that it could lower the fees when it votes in the future on water impact fees.

Edwards' amendment passed with a 4-3 vote with Fruth, Su Connell and Romance voting against it.

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