LOCAL GOVERNMENT

A lack of public interest in serving on a city of Killeen advisory committee is responsible for a long delay in the implementation of builder impact fees approved in August 2016, according to the city’s top administrator.

Killeen City Manager Ron Olson said only two residents have applied for a Council Impact Advisory Committee to determine the feasibility and implementation of the fees, which are assessed on building permits and help pay for new infrastructure.

The Killeen City Council directed the city to seek out applications for the committee in June, but the city has yet to receive the required number or makeup of committee members to proceed.

Olson said the committee, per state law, must have one representative from the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, two from the development/real estate industry and two resident representatives.

“Staff has reached out to potential applicants, but have not received interest,” Olson said.

At a council workshop in June, the council reached a consensus to accept outside applications for the committee, rather than using the city’s nine-member Planning and Zoning Commission, due to concerns over a conflict of interest.

The council approved the implementation of the fees in August 2016 as the city looked for new sources of revenue to help pay for new road and water-sewer infrastructure. By state law, impact fees cannot be used for maintenance of existing infrastructure.

According to a 2015 study by Kimley-Horn & Associates, the fees could recover $27.5 million for roadway projects and more than $13 million for water-sewer projects over the plan’s proposed 10-year lifespan.

The council has also floated the possibility of a transportation utility fee, which unlike impact fees would be assessed on resident water bills and could be used to pay for deferred maintenance on roads and water-sewer infrastructure.

With little public interest, Olson said the city had pursued other priorities, but he intended to bring the item back up for discussion.

“I will be bringing the impact fee discussion back to City Council this summer to establish a timeline and next steps,” he said.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact city secretary Dianna Barker at dbarker@killeentexas.gov or 254-501-7717.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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