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The Sanpete Messenger

Ephraim considering revisions to impact fees, will seek public input

Ephraim considering revisions to impact fees, will seek public input

 

By Lloyd Call 

Associate publisher

1-30-2020

 

EPHRAIM—Changes need to be made in Ephraim’s impact fee ordinance, and based on recommendations from Sunrise Engineering on Wednesday, Jan. 22, the task is daunting.

Impact fees are charged by a city for new construction, to offset the impact to the utility and other infrastructure expenses, mostly water and sewer fees, that current homeowners have supported with taxes over the years.

Following a work meeting, Robert Worley from Sunrise advised the city that the current impact fee of $6,584, defined in the Impact Fee Ordinance, 2013, needs to be modified. There are complex formulas for impact fees, such as whether fees will be assessed through growth, or city fees, or a combination of both. The Sunrise proposal said the maximum allowable impact fee based on current growth is over $23,000. “That doesn’t mean impact fees will be raised that high, but those fees reflect the amount of money the city needs to offset services for about the next 20 years,” Worley said.

The council will need to decide details on proposed changes, then will schedule public hearings for citizen input.

The city also heard a presentation by Six County Association of Governments, discussing Community Impact Board (CIB) grants, and other services offered to cities and specialists on aging and housing gave a synopsis of programs Ephraim residents could take advantage of, such as H.E.A.T. and weatherization. Ephraim City will make a decision in the next couple of months which CIB grant it wants to apply for.

Ephraim decided to retain the services of Chase Andrizzi, a lawyer with Cowdell and Wooley of Sandy. The council will save money by contracting for two to three days of services, instead of paying by the hour. The contract terms do have a 90-day trial period.

The council discussed but did not approve a proposal by Bryan Kimball to hire another recreation board employee to help with summer programs, and tabled the request for more discussion.

The city agreed to make a final payment to Montgomery Archaeological Consultants for a study just before it began to snow in the mountains, to evaluate any possible archaeological site impacts in the future $2 million project to repair the city’s main water pipeline. The surveyors discovered seven possible sites that should be avoided in the project, but gave a finding of no significant impact, which will pave the way for the project to proceed in the spring.

Finally, the council forwent department reports to move into closed session to discuss future or pending litigation. The next council meeting will be Feb. 5.