From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 104, Number 37 - September 13, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Council considers impact fees

by Jennie Oemig

At Monday’s Town Council meeting, Carson Bise, representing TischlerBise, approached the council with a presentation regarding impact fee feasibility studies, which he recommended the Town of Pinedale consider due to its continuous growth.

Not intended to be a revenue-raising device, impact fees are implemented to maintain existing levels of service, promote comprehensive planning and growth management and encourage a disciplined capital improvement plan, among other things, Bise said.

Listing some of the common misconceptions of impact fees, Bise said all developers and builders do not despise them, nor do they cover the entire cost of new facilities in town.

“By paying impact fees, you’re guaranteeing there will be growth in the future,” Bise said.

Having discussed the possibility of implementing impact fees with town staff and county officials, Bise said with the present growth situation, development pressures are likely to continue at the current rate or potentially increase.

Bise also said the population may triple and the annexation of subdivisions and other property on the outskirts of Pinedale is likely to continue.

In talking with local officials, Bise said the town’s revenue structure lacks diversity and the town is finding it harder to maintain current service levels.

After collecting and reviewing all the information, Bise recommended the town calculate its capacity fees and recalibrate current rates.

He also recommended the impact fees for fire services, municipal services and parks and recreation be calculated.

Bise said he would be against the town implementing a road impact fee, though he suggested other analyses be considered. “I strongly encourage the town to take a fiscal impact analysis,” he said.

Bise said the town should look at possible annexation scenarios that might occur in the future and determine whether that growth will create enough revenue to support the town’s growth.

Mayor Steve Smith questioned Bise about how impact fees tie into state and federal grant plans.

“To the extent you know you’re going to get a grant, you reflect that in your impact fees,” Bise said.

Council member Gary Heuck asked Bise if it would be logical for the town to use impact fees to pay for chlorine costs for the water system, to which Bise had no definite answer.

“That’s gray area,” Bise said. Having been all over the west, Bise said he’s seen more than 10 towns in several states that used to be similar to Pinedale and have since grown exponentially.

“Most communities update their impact fees every three to five years,” he said. Though it did not take any action on entering into an agreement to begin phase two of the impact study, Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Administrator Meghan Jacquet suggested the council discuss that possibility and make a decision in the near future.

In other council news:

• Kelly Frink, representing the United Way, asked the council to proclaim the week of Sept. 17-21 as United Way Week. “Very good,” Smith said. “It’s a good cause.”

Hearing no objections from the rest of the council members, Smith signed the motion of approval.

• Julie Land, who is in the midst of launching Happy Endings Animal Rescue, approached the council with the proposal of what her intentions are with the new shelter. Land said she is already fostering some animals and is in search of land and a building for a permanent home for the shelter.

Having received support from County Commissioner Bill Cramer and two other commissioners, Land said everyone is interested in how the animal rescue will unfold once it gets off the ground.

• The council also reviewed the petition for annexation of the Split Diamond Meadows subdivision.

“Every issue that was shared between the Planning and Zoning board and the Town Council was addressed,” Jacquet said. “ … It went through the Planning and Zoning board unanimously for approval.”

After minimal discussion regarding the new snow storage facilities, the council voted unanimously to approve the annexation petition. A public hearing for the annexation will be held Oct. 22.

• Brian Gray, representing the Sublette County Recreation Board, went before the council to discuss the pathways project. “We prepared a pathway plan for the recreation board about a year ago,” he said, adding that a new route, G, which will extend behind the school, had since been proposed. The proposed route will start behind the school and connects at Willow Lake Road, and eventually, the path will extend across Pine Creek.

“That’s our hope,” Gray said. After discussing the route and the areas where irrigation lines are located, the council gave Gray the nod to continue on with the plans.

“I think it’s a good idea and will benefit the town,” Smith said.

• Sublette County Recycling Coordinator Marti Seipp announced that the Pinedale Recycling Center has received its new baler and will be having an open house at 4 p.m. tonight.

“Come have some refreshments and check out our new toy,” she told the council ers, acknowledging their support for the recycling center.

• Terrie Swift, executive director of the Sublette County Chamber of Commerce, said a temporary sign will be put up in front of the building and asked the council to waive the fees associated with posting signage. “We’re waiting on grant money,” Swift said of the delay in posting a permanent sign out front.

If the grant money doesn’t come through, Swift said other arrangements will be made for another sign.

“I don’t have a problem with waiving it …,” Council member Nylla Kunard said. The council then voted unanimously to waive the $500 signage fee.

• The council voted unanimously to appoint John Fogerty to the Planning and Zoning board to complete the unexpired two-year term of Robert Brito.

Town Attorney Ed Wood said he will try to work something out so the terms will be staggered from now on.

• The council voted unanimously to appoint Susan Kramer to the Joint Powers Recycling Board.

• The council, though a bit apprehensive about the cost, unanimously approved a bid for Public Works to purchase a loader for $164,747.

Having budgeted $167,000 for the loader and received only one bid from a CAT dealer, Council member Chris House was a bit uneasy about approving the bid.

“I’d certainly like to see more than one bid,” he said.

Because Public Works specified that they wanted a CAT, only one bid was received because there is only one dealer in the area and they cannot compete against one another. Public Works also requested that a John Deere loader be tested out, but the dealer never brought one up.

Though the bid was approved, House asked that in the future, more than one bid be submitted, especially with such an expensive purchase.

• Rachelle Ricotta filled the council in on the current status of the Town Master Plan. The draft of the plan will be published in the Sublette Examiner today along with a public comment section that can be returned to Town Hall. Those comments will be due Sept. 19.

A public hearing will be held Sept. 19 at the library to discuss the Master Plan. A special meeting of the P&Z board to review the comments will be held Sept. 20 and the Town Council will review the comments Sept. 24.

• Two ordinances were read at Monday’smeeting. Ordinance 422 – relating to the modification of the definition of restraint; ordinance 423 – relating to the enhanced penalty for nuisance dogs within the town limits.

The Town Council will hold its next meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 at Town Hall.

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