In a surprise turn Tuesday, the Killeen City Council voted to restart the implementation process for developer impact fees after a council consensus Feb. 21 to halt the fee schedule.

The fees are one-time charges that would apply to building permits for developers by geographic zone for roadway fees and citywide for water and wastewater fees.

According to a 2015 study by Kimley-Horn & Associates, the fees would be used over a 10-year span to fund capital improvement projects, such as road upgrades and water- and sewer-line improvements.

Kimley-Horn predicted the fees could recover $27.5 million for roadway projects and more than $13 million for water and wastewater projects over the plan’s lifespan.

During discussion on the item at its regular meeting Tuesday, the council followed the same voting lines as it did during the original consensus, but with one major exception: Councilwoman Shirley Fleming.

On Feb. 21, Fleming said her constituents in District 1 said they weren’t in

favor of the fees, leading her to vote against continuing the fee schedule.

Councilmen Jim Kilpatrick, Juan Rivera and Gregory Johnson again voted against the fees.

Rivera, who read a statement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Feb. 21 in opposition to the fees in general, repeated his argument and said fees on building permits were bad for business and growth.

“Even the governor of this great state said impact fees are destroying the state,” Rivera said.

Kilpatrick echoed Rivera’s argument, saying the estimated revenue from impact fees is based on out-of-date projections and would not bring in the wished-for funds — all on top of stifling growth.

“For the first time in history, Temple has more (single-family residential) building permits than Killeen — and they’re 40 percent the size,” he said. “We’re not going to raise the millions of dollars projected by these fees.”

Johnson said he was adamant developer impact fees should not be imposed on commercial builders to avoid stifling business development. Councilman Richard “Dick” Young said the council could assess at a later date whether the fees should be levied from commercial or residential developers, or both.

Other business

At the meeting, the council also voted to table an agreement with SCS Engineers to draft a request for proposals to outsource the city’s solid waste department.

Young, the chairman of the ad hoc solid waste committee in charge of directing the outsourcing effort, said Feb. 21 he believed City Manager Ron Olson should be given a chance to increase efficiency in the department before putting it up for competition to an outside company.

In his Tuesday script to introduce the ordinance, Public Works Director David Olson requested the council table to item so the department had time to put its best foot forward in the process.

The council voted 5-2 to table the ordinance with Johnson and Councilman Jonathan Okray voting in dissent.

The item will come back before the council during its first workshop in September.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(3) comments

Alvin
Alvin

This is the opinion of this writer.
If this city is to grow, then the use of impact fees will not significantly reduce or change with or without the introduction of impact fees. The fee should be charged on both residential and commercial enterprises, they will have an impact on the use of both water and sewer connections and also have an impact on the roadways the use of those facilities.
It was just the other day that a spokesperson for the city of Waco talking about 'what defines a city growth patterns and this gentleman was quoted as saying 'the infrastructure of a city is what is looked at as the predominant feature when company's look at/for growth patterns for a city'. What does Killeen have as to this pattern????
@Armain: I tend to agree, they should not have tabled this agreement with SCS Engineers. If one wants to 'give the city manager a chance to 'increase the efficiency in this department', by delving into this program on a simultaneous effort does not mean that the city manager can not work towards the same effort. By delaying this effort, this only means that the council, once the city manager has his say, then I would think that this council be instructed as to what the overall cost/savings will be following the discourse of 'going back to the SCS Engineers to develop what cost/savings could be developed from both directions.
I agree that the simultaneous operations would have been the most advantageous arrangement, as this does nothing but cause another 'delay'. I agree with councilmen Johnson and Okray in their view.
One of the few who voted.

Armain

Of course they don't want to talk about outsourcing the solid waste department. Based on past transactions, one of the solid waste department functions is to act as a slush fund for the council and the city of Killeen.

Citizen360

Regardless of how much Impact Fees actually generate, it's certainly a step in the right direction. Personally I would prefer to see commercial Impact Fees taken off of the table simply because of economic development and the fact that residential developments are the ones who dedicate public infrastructure such as streets, water lines, sewer mains, drainage features, traffic signs, sidewalks, etc for perpetual maintenance. Therefore whatever these fees can generate from residential developments would only free up other funds to be utilized elsewhere. Georgetown and Bryan/College Station both have Impact Fees and neither have seen a decrease in development.

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