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Higher Construction Fees to Manage Cary Growth?

Posted January 28, 2008

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— Fees charged for new construction could triple under an option that is on the table in Cary.

The town recently studied how much it could raise fees on new dwellings and businesses to meet the town's future needs.

The results of the study:

  • increasing water development fees by a maximum of 43 percent
  • increasing the irrigation meter fee from $374 to a maximum of $1,548
  • increasing sewer development fees by a maximum of 75 percent

The Town Council is expected to consider how much it would want to raise the fees, if at all, at its Feb. 14 meeting.

With the maximum increase, for example, a builder would pay approximately $700 more for water service and nearly $2,000 more for sewer service at a new 2,500-square-foot home.

"I definitely think that it will make people think twice," said Suzanne Harris, with the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County. "I think our builders and developers will feel that."

And in return, home buyers will feel the impact, she said. "The costs do get passed down to the buyer."

Town leaders say the fees have nothing to do with the drought or an attempt to slow growth. It's simply a way to raise revenue for future water plants, waste-water facilities and new pipelines, Cary budget director Scott Fogleman said.

"And (also, they're about) ensuring there's an adequate balance between new growth, helping to pay for that capital infrastructure, balanced with the needs of existing customers," he said.

For Cary resident Susie Dwyer, she is prepared to pay the increased fees.

"I'm going to want to build a new home, and would I be responsible for contributing to that? I think I should. I think it's fair," she said.


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