While impact fees can been seen as a deterrent to foster new economic development, Killeen City Council member Steve Harris does not believe this will be the case.
“That would be a perfect thing for us to use,” Harris said by phone on Sunday, adding that he believes such fees will help take the financial burden off Killeen residents.
According to Investopedia, an online real estate investing guide, impact fees are imposed on property developers by municipalities for new infrastructure that must be built or increased due to new property development. These fees are designed to offset the impact of additional development and residents on the municipality’s infrastructure and services, which include the city’s water and sewer network, police and fire protection services, schools, and libraries.
In addition to impact fees, increased commercial and industrial development in Killeen’s southern corridor is another topic Harris has called for to be discussed at Tuesday’s council workshop.
Harris cites Killeen City Manager Kent Cagle on this issue, specifically how Cagle has said how if such fees had been in place in the past, more funding would have been available for new water lines, repairs and related expenses, which is what Harris wants such fees to go towards in the future. He also wants Cagle to reiterate the point he has made about how such fees are believed to have little to zero impact on whether or not new businesses decide to relocate to Killeen to set up shop.
Under Harris’s proposed plan, developers would pay an up front fee when starting and/or building a new business inside city limits. There would also be a grace period, or time for businesses to come into the city to set up shop before the fees to take effect.
“Anyone who comes in before the effective date would not have to pay them,” Harris said, adding that such a date could be as much as a year off.
Harris also reiterated his earlier point about a bottling company which set up shop in Temple, due to it’s inability to easily find enough land to do so in Killeen, with respect to development in Killeen’s southern corridor.
“I think the southern corridor needs to be looked at more for large commercial development,” Harris said.
Harris also said if you can get businesses to relocate to this area before residential homes are built near or around them, property taxes on those lands will be more stable, and this will be better for homeowners who would otherwise run the risk of having to pay higher taxes at some point.
He also mentioned that it was council member, and Killeen Economic Development Corporation Chair, Jim Kilpatrick who has given the go ahead for such an initiative, saying that all the council had to do was give direction.
“That’s where we’re going,” Harris said.
Tuesday’s workshop meeting will be at 5 p.m. inside the council chambers in City Hall, 101 N. College Street in Killeen.
The council will also discuss other agenda items for the Oct. 13 council meeting, including potential approval of the Killeen Arts Commission grants to seven applicants in the total amount of $85,000.
For those unable to attend the meeting in person, it will be web streamed live and archived for playback on the City’s web site, KilleenTexas.gov. It will also be broadcast live on Spectrum Cable Channel 10.