Hoschton water towers

The Hoschton City Council is set to move forward on imposing impact fees on new construction in the town, funds that would be used to build new facilities for recreation, fire protection and for a police department facility.

The council held its first public hearing on the impact fees on Aug. 10 and is slated to hold a second hearing and final vote on Aug. 31. The council will also have the first "reading" of the fee ordinances at its voting meeting on Aug. 17.

According to city planning director Jerry Weitz, the fees would add about $2,900 to the cost of a new home in  the town. Around $1,079 of that would go toward parks and recreation facilities; $940 toward fire protection; and $791 toward building a facility for a police department.

The creation of a town police department is on the agenda for the council's retreat meeting next week at Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris. The town had a police department at one time, but that was disbanded a decade ago during a financial crisis in the city.

One citizen, Tammy Ranus, spoke during the hearing about the police department and impact fees.

"Don't you think it would be fair to the public to let them know that following this impact fee, there more than likely will (have to) be city (property) taxes to pay for ongoing expenses (related to the police department)?" she said. "That's inevitable."

The town doesn't currently levy a city property tax.

The impact fees will be assessed at the time a building permit is issued. The fees will also apply to commercial construction in the town, but at a different pay level, officials said.

OTHER BUSINESS

The council also previewed items for its upcoming Aug. 17 voting session. Among the items on the agenda to be voted on are:

• accepting two rights of way along two streets in the town.

• a setback variance for a private swimming pool in Creekside Village subdivision.

• a proposal to raise the performance bond for builders to 135% of the project's cost.

• a maintenance contract for the town's existing water tank that would save over $13,000 over three years.

• a utility dump trailer for the city's departments to use.

• a new sewerage pump replacement quote.

• a new HVAC system for the town's water plant.

• a repair of a generator for a sewerage lift station.

• a re-codification of the town's codes, something that hasn't been done since 2012.

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