The developers should have to pay for evaluation and review of their impact fee credit applications.
Sometimes developers provide land, roads, or other structures that would normally be paid for with impact fees. This is not a gift. It is a money maker for them. They build a road or other structure using their equipment, employees and materials just like any other project. That helps the county because it doesn’t have to hire another contractor to do the job.
When the project is finished, the developer submits an impact fee credit application that documents all their expenses in doing the project. This document may be hundreds or even thousands of pages long. County employees must evaluate those applications to make sure they are accurate and reasonable. The application contains a lot of technical and engineering data, which must be evaluated by county engineers usually from the Public Works Department.
The new Impact Fee Handbook presently being considered by the Board of County Commissioners requires that the developers pay a fee to have their applications reviewed. It is a long, tedious effort to make sure those applications are accurate and fair. Public works personnel spend many hours validating those forms so developers can receive impact fee credits. It reduces their impact fees significantly, and they also earn a profit by doing those projects themselves.
The Public Works Department should be compensated for the many hours they spend evaluating and validating the applications for developers. To not charge for those services would be a misappropriation of tax dollars. Our commissioners must insure this fee remains in the Impact Fee Handbook to insure the developers pay for the services they receive.