Sykesville to raise impact fee on homes Planned projects spur increase

December 21, 1992|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Six developments, set for construction soon, will add 370 residences to Sykesville and increase the town's population of 2,300 by 28 percent.

To pay for the ensuing strain on municipal services, the Town Council has decided to raise its $225 impact fee. Sykesville charges the fee, in addition to the county's $2,700 fee, for each new single-family home.

"All six subdivisions will impact the need for capital projects collectively," said Town Manager James L. Schumacher, in a report on capital projects and infrastructure improvements necessitated by the construction.

Impact fees help Sykesville pay for general municipal administration, road construction and maintenance, and police and fire protection.

"In the next several years, we are looking at an overall $4 million cost for all the improvements," Mr. Schumacher said.

Improvements include realigning Oklahoma Road and other road work, transferring state ownership of Main Street to Sykesville, sidewalk construction and minimal improvements to a 2.2-mile stretch of Route 32.

"We could ask each new resident for a $1,059 impact fee to pay for all these improvements," Mr. Schumacher said. "To provide some measure of relief to home buyers in the South Carroll area, I recommend raising the fee to $425."

Council members are considering asking for the maximum.

"I would tend to go for the $1,059," said Councilman Walter R. White.

New homes are selling for an average of $180,000. Members argued that an additional $1,000 would make little difference to buyers in that price range.

Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr. said he would recommend an increase, but he would not specify an amount. He proposed amending the ordinance to read "the amount of the impact fee will be amended from time to time as needed."

"Let's advertise our proposed increase and inform the developers of our intention," he said.

The council will vote on a figure on Jan. 11.

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