Proposed Fee Could Hurt Franklinton Business Development
Posted September 12, 2007 8:40 p.m. EDT
Updated September 12, 2007 10:17 p.m. EDT
Franklinton, N.C. — Another Franklin County town is considering using capacity fees to help pay for infrastructure, but opponents say the measure might keep businesses away from the area, which is already struggling to attract new economic opportunities.
Town commissioners will continue debate next week about whether to implement the one-time fees for water and sewer hookup for new businesses in new buildings.
Louisburg and Creedmoor already have capacity fees.
"We certainly don't want to discourage business, but as business is born, it passes on their cost to their consumers," said Franklinton Town Manager Sharon Garner.
For locally owned, small businesses, the fee could be thousands of dollars.
Franklinton Commissioner Al Barbour, a former restaurant owner himself, still has reservations small businesses won't be able to afford the fee.
"Mom-and-pop days are over with," he said.
Calvin Allen, who recently opened a new restaurant, said that if the fee had been in place then, he would have had to find "other places, other small towns that don't charge the fee."
Allen said Franklinton should consider offering incentives rather than putting up obstacles, but Garner said the town is not in a position to offer any incentives.
She said she understands people might be upset by capacity fees, but added that they are a necessity if business owners want water and sewer lines extened to their new buildings.
"We just don't have the money to do it and not recover," she said.