The Greeley City Council voted 5-2 to adopt new capital improvement fees in March 2015. John Gates and Charlie Archibeque voted against the proposal in the public hearing on Jan. 20th. Sadly only two members of the public spoke at the hearing, including Neal Jandreau, GARA’s chairman.
John Gates voiced concern with the decision by the Water Board to increase the water and sewer plant improvement fees (PIF). He argued that an 8 percent increase in these fees was too much. Archibeque didn’t explain his vote but it can be assumed he had similar thoughts.
The current impact fees for a single-family home are $22,355. The new fees proposed by staff would’ve been less — $21,828. However, the Water Board enjoys a unique responsibility to set water and sewer fees. According to the City Charter the City Council cannot decrease fees set by the Board, it can only increase them.
The Water Board favored a conservative methodology of calculating future needs and wanted to ensure that the City is able to pay off its bond debt for water infrastructure. In the end, the City Council had no choice but to accept the Water Board’s decision. That’s why the total for single-family impact fees will be $24,278 as of March of 2015.
GARA supported the proposed fees because the leadership understood the quality of life issues at stake, in particular the need to maintain and improve major streets in town. At the same time GARA did voice concern over the increasing costs of owning a home and offered to help the City investigate means by which to keep an affordable inventory.