Killeen Councilwoman Shirley Fleming and her advisory committee said they will conduct a petition drive for the city to reconsider charging developers and builders impact fees.
The fee is intended to pay for all or a portion of the costs of providing public services to new private development, according to the American Planning Association. This could include infrastructure leading up to the development. Infrastructure within the development is paid by developers.
Starting Wednesday from 1 to 5 p.m., any resident who is in support of the one-time fee, can sign the petition that will be located at 1808 E. Rancier Avenue. It will be available every Wednesday and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. until further notice.
“We want to make this work,” Fleming said.
The Killeen City Council had voted 4-3 against the city staff’s recommendation to impose the one-time charge. The vote came after almost 10 years of discussion among the council.
The city’s taxpayers currently pay for roads and water and wastewater pipes leading up to a new development. At the same time, cash-strapped Killeen had a backlog of repairs needed on older streets in front of residents’ existing homes.
One of the District 1 advisory board members, Reginald “David” Cole, said residents “no longer want to pay for future growth.”
Jack Ralston, also a District 1 advisory board member, said that until the city comes up with an alternative idea about how to pay for growth, he will support impact fees.
According to the group, the petition will read: “We the citizens of Killeen, Texas, petition the city to bring back impact fees on the agenda.”
“It is straight and to the point,” Fleming said.
Another local is thinking of starting a petition on the same subject.
Former council candidate Leo Gukeisen told the Herald Friday he is looking into starting a petition in an attempt to also have the council reconsider the matter.
Gukeisen is on the council agenda today but it’s to clarify nationwide construction statistics he cited during last month’s discussion on impact fees.
Those who wish to sign Fleming’s petition but are unable to go to the location can call Fleming at 254-290-0521 or committee member Ed Brown at 254-681-1300.
Fleming said either herself or Brown “can come to them so they can sign it.” There will also be an online petition to sign as well. As of Monday, no link was established.
Across town Monday evening, Councilwoman Debbie Nash-King held her monthly forum.
Nash-King, who voted against impact fees, told the Herald “as a councilwoman I respect each of my council member’s decision that was made. At this time, I am still against impact fees.”