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Raleigh leaders suggest water fee as builders add demand to system

Posted June 4, 2008

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— Some city leaders are proposing a new fee that would have builders pay for upgrades to the water and sewer system and future utilities projects.

Every municipality in Wake County, except Fuquay Varina and Raleigh, charges such a fee.

City Councilman Russ Stephenson says Raleigh should charge developers what is known as a capacity fee. He said that would give current water customers some relief.

Stephenson said the fee is a way of not putting all the cost of water and sewer growth on current ratepayers.

Now, when new homes are constructed in Raleigh, builders pay an impact fee that goes toward new roads and parks, and the city recently raised the fee.

With that increase in impact fees and the housing market in a downturn, home builders say the timing is not right to add more fees.

“We ought to be having a discussion about how we can help the housing industry. It’s a leading driver of the economy here,” said Tim Minton, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County.

Minton said additional fees usually mean an increase in costs passed on to buyers.

“You’re gonna get to a point where people are not gonna build in Raleigh anymore,” Minton said.

The City Council plans to talk about capacity fees at its next budget meeting on Tuesday.


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  • Beachnut Jun 5, 2008

    "luvbaily" would have us believe that if you're not growing, you are shrinking. He (or she?) has evidently never visited one of the tens of thousands of communities across the U.S. that are neither growing nor shrinking at significant rates. Indeed it is far more common to find towns and cities that have moderate or low levels of growth (or shrinkage). It is perfectly healthy. Just because it hasn't been evident in the triangle for the last twenty years doesn't make it a foreign concept.

  • Adelinthe Jun 5, 2008

    Buildings shouldn't be approved to be built until the ways and the means to provide all of those utilities is already in place.

    Doing otherwise (like they've been doing) is just plain nutz.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Raydianse Jun 5, 2008

    Yes, lets blame everything on the developers & builders. They are the ones causing all this "bad" growth. They are what is leading the economy here - many of you fail to see the trickle down effect that stopping growth has. Architects, engineers, land surveyors, brick masons, landscapers, carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians, graders, draftsmen, equipment suppliers, your local printer, even lowes & home depot are thrown into the pot when they don't have work they don't have money, they lay off employees, employees don't have money for their families, for going to the movies, for shopping etc so retailers get hurt everyone is brought down by cutting off one of the biggest employment groups. Look at how Charlotte has had home prices rise during this awful housing market - because do not push away growth of new families & therefore growth of new jobs come to the area as well. Raleigh is the capital it should be a place with dominance not a place that is just so so.

  • chfdcpt Jun 5, 2008

    So let me see if I have this right. A month or so ago, Raleigh said that it would raise its impact fee ot $2,500.00. The impact fee is supposed to pay for things like parks etc. According to Meeker, they should be able to raise $8 million for parks, etc. Too bad that in order to raise that $8 million they need to build 3,200 new homes.

    And why are you falling for the old "we need the impact fee to pay for schools" ad nauseaum? The schools are built by the county, not the city. Do you think that the city will give any of that money to the county for new schools?

    So go ahead and jack the impact fee to $10K for a new home. It will only be passed on to the buyer, and those willing to pay for it will.

  • coolwill Jun 5, 2008

    Veyor you are right this is the most embarrassing place to live however if we did give the local government all the money we have they would still increase spending over and above what they asked for last year. The next election for city council and mayor please vote theses people out, and find away to “fire” the city manager. theses people are worst than the mafia, because they control the law, at least with the mafia you may loose your life or a leg or arm and then the debt is paid, this government comes for you beyond the grave.

  • dbcooper41 Jun 5, 2008

    It's about time!! while the development industry does drive PARTS of the local economy the reality is that the residential property taxes don't cover the required services for the new homes. the end result is growth will always cause a property tax increase for existing home owners. the cost of buying a new home should cover all the infrastructure expansion. and an added bonus is the price increase for new homes will add equity to existing houses.

  • veyor Jun 5, 2008

    I wish they would just go ahead and raise the rates sky high and put on all the fees they can dream up, then suddenly we'll have plenty of water. Don't come up with something like digging a hole or some SOLUTION like that. This is one more embarrassing place to live.

  • bkahuna Jun 5, 2008

    How does charging fees solve the problem? It does not discourage new construction, and the money does not go towards creating a larger water supply, I think it's a stupid idea.

  • starglow2005 Jun 5, 2008

    “You’re gonna get to a point where people are not gonna build in Raleigh anymore,” Minton said.

    Boo Hoo....We'll take our bulldozers and dump trucks and go home! Oh My...cry me a river Mr. Minton!

    And for the pro-growth crowd like luvbailey, if you think more growth is better, go visit the concrete jungles of South Florida with it's overcrowded roads and schools, higher housing costs and property taxes in addition to higher crime rates. Then we'll talk about more growth being better for the community.

  • bs101fly Jun 5, 2008

    oh no, not the builders again, it's always THEIR fault!


    Make 'em pay!! Sorry Tim Minton, your days of backroom controlling IS OVER!!!!