Wednesday, November 29, 2000
Impact fee problem to get attention next week
By DAVE HAMRICK
A stalemate between Fayette County and local cities over plans for impact fees to help pay for a new county jail will be a hot topic as the Fayette County Commission meets next Wednesday.
The FUTURE (Fayette United Team to Use Resources Effectively) committee took up the issue in its meeting at 8 a.m. Nov. 29 at the County Administrative Complex.
And county commissioners will discuss the county's agreement with local cities to house municipal court prisoners during their work session at 3 p.m. next Wednesday.
County and city leaders in recent weeks appeared ready to approve the paperwork and send a plan for impact fees to state agencies. The fees are charged to developers to help pay the costs of new government facilities and services made necessary by growth, and are expected to reduce property taxes for existing residents of the county.
But when cities took up the matter last week, Fayetteville included a new provision in the intergovernmental agreement that obligates the county to provide space for municipal detainees for the life of the impact fees, probably 20 years.
Providing space is not a problem, county officials say, but they interpret the new language to mean that the county would never be allowed to charge a fee for that service, and that's a sticking point for them.
In the Nov. 29 FUTURE meeting, officials came to no conclusions after more than two hours of heated discussion.
City officials said there is no way they'll approve impact fees for the jail unless there is language in the accompanying intergovernmental agreement guaranteeing that the jail will house city prisoners. Commissioners continue to insist that they won't approve the agreement unless the language specifically states that the county may charge fees for city prisoners if they are sentenced by municipal courts.