Prior to the regularly scheduled Monday evening meeting of the Robertsdale City Council, Christ Miller, assistant executive director of the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission, explained the impact fee that municipalities may charge to help …
Prior to the regularly scheduled Monday evening meeting of the Robertsdale City Council, Christ Miller, assistant executive director of the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission, explained the impact fee that municipalities may charge to help offset the impact of growth and development on the cities.
Miller told the council that SARPC is formulating impact fee plans for Loxley, Silverhill and Elberta. He said other Baldwin County municipalities are using private companies for their studies.
“We all know you have the legal basis for this,” he told the council, alluding to the fact that a bill to allow impact fees to be charged by Baldwin County municipalities within the city limits (Act No. 2006-300) was passed by the Alabama legislature.
Miller said that although municipalities have the legal right to charge the impact fees, how they implement them is a matter of choice. He said the fees can be applied at the time application is made for a building permit; when the property is conveyed or at the time of sewer and water tap applications are made on a property.
Miller said the law stipulates a municipality can impose no more than one percent of the fair and reasonable market value of residential property (structure and land) and no more than $181.08 per 1,000 square feet of nonresidential property.
To determine the percentages of the collected fees that will be used for such things are parks and recreation, police, fire and transportation, and acquisition of park lands. Miller said he used a formula utilizing the city’s present assets and projects growth figures for the area.
He explained that the calculations are based on a “replacement value” of the city’s existing assets. “If you had to go our and replace that item, that’s how it works,” he said.
It is important to have a long-range or comprehensive plan and a way to show where the funds collected will be used, he said, adding, “You’ve got to be able to prove to the developer that the money is being used for what it’s intended,” he said.
The mayor and council each had a draft of the impact fee draft Miller prepared, as well as a sample of a draft ordinance that would have to be passed before the city can begin charging impact fees. Miller suggested that after an ordinance is written, a public hearing on the matter held, and the ordinance adopted, the council should pass a resolution to set the fees. “That allows for adjustments in the future,” he said.
The council adjourned the work session and went into the regular council meeting at 6 p.m.
After approval of the minutes from the May 21 meeting and paying bills in the amount of $322,625.46, the council discussed a communication from the Alabama Department of Corrections requesting the city voluntarily pay $3 a day for inmate labor until Oct. 1, 2007, at which time the department will charge $10 per day for inmate labor.
Kitchens noted that the city pays for a meal for each nine inmate they are currently using. “We are feeding them and we give them a pretty good meal,” he said.
Ann Simpson, the city’s chief financial officer, said the city is now spending $7 per day on the meal. She said the inmates are taken to area restaurants, on a rotation. She said some municipalities don’t buy the inmates a meal are require the inmates to bring a sack lunch to work.
The council voted to pay the voluntary $3 per day for each inmate until Oct. 1. Several on the council said they don’t think the city should pay for a meal, once the city begins paying $10 a day for the labor.
In other business, the council:
— Purchased an ad in Where the Soil Meets The Sea tabloid for $499.18 and an ad in Big Beautiful Baldwin for $507.
— Passed an ordinance to annex the Garg property on Fairground Road.
— Passed an ordinance to annex property on Baldwin 48, where an electric substation is located.
Before the council adjourned, the mayor reminded the council of the Central Baldwin Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours will be held at the Robertsdale Library June 12 at 5 p.m.