Monday, May 11, 2009

Public Hearing on Impact Fees

The City Council of El Paso has scheduled a public hearing on impact fees for Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. in Council chambers at City Hall. Rather than hearing items 10A and 10B on the agenda in the morning, Council will re-convene to listen to the public at 6 p.m. The later time should make it easier for more members of the public to speak.

Newly re-elected District 2 Representative Susie Byrd has already spoken in favor of impact fees. You can read her full statement on her blog.

Community leader, Charlie Wakeem, sent out the following email:
Dear Friends & Neighbors,

It costs water utility ratepayers, YOU AND ME, about $2,000.00 in water and wastewater infrastructure for every new home that developers built in new subdivisions. That means you and I are subsidizing the developers for every new home they build. We've subsidized new growth to the tune of over $200 million during the past decade. NEW GROWTH HAS NEVER PAID FOR ITSELF IN THE CITY OF EL PASO!!

IMPACT FEES are designed by state statute to correct this inequity. But the developers don't want them.

I serve on the committee, called the Capital Improvements Advisory Committee(CIAC), that makes recommendations to City Council on whether and how much the impact fees should be. The majority of the committee is composed of members of the development community.

Impact fees are going before City Council next week, Tuesday, May 12 (Items 10A & 10B). The majority of the committee is recommending 100% affordability credits for both multi-family and single-family homes, plus another 50% discount from the $2,000.00 cost. I'm obviously on the minority. You and I will have to make up the difference in our water bills.

The developers and home builders are expected to show up in force and bus in their laborers with signs to get their way at City Council next week. They took a page out of the neighborhood associations' book. STRENGTH IS IN NUMBERS!!

If the neighborhoods want to have any voice in city government, NOW IS THE TIME TO DO SO!! Due to the rules and state statute, I'm not allowed to speak before City Council on this subject, since I am a member of the CIAC. Therefore, we must depend on as many of you as possible to support Impact Fees at City Council. Please sign up to speak if you can make it to City Council. The city clerk's email is Ask to speak on Items 10A & 10B. A simple statement supporting full impact fees will be enough.


Thank you!!
Charlie Wakeem
President, Coronado Neighborhood
Member, Capital Improvements Advisory Committee

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