The Sykesville Town Council swore in Michael H. Burgoyne as its newest member last night and discussed increasing the impact fee for new homes to $900, nearly double the current $475.
"Based on the proposed new development, we have substantial justification for raising the fee," said James Schumacher, town manager. "Just the improvements we need on our roads justifies raising it."
The impact fee is levied on each new home to help defray the cost of roads and other expenses associated with new residents moving into an area.
Councilman Garth Adams said he would agree to the increase after a line-by-line review of the proposed capital improvements budget.
Members scheduled a workshop for 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Town House.
"The numbers could change after our review," Mr. Adams said.
The impact fee ordinance will be introduced at the Nov. 14 meeting. A public hearing will follow Nov. 28.
About 500 more homes are set for construction in the next few years. The town would like to maintain services at current levels without increasing taxes, now the highest among Carroll's eight towns.
"Keep in mind the capital improvements budget is strictly an educated guess as to what the town wants to do down the road," Mr. Schumacher said.
Mr. Burgoyne, appointed to fill the seat vacated when Councilman Jonathan Herman became mayor last month, is a resident of one of the town's newer developments.
He said he favors an increase in the tax base without a corresponding increase in the tax rate. He did not comment on the impact fee.
The 37-year-old husband and the father of three said the greatest problem the town faces is "how to meet growth and keep the same level of services without raising taxes."
Mr. Burgoyne, a partner in a Baltimore law practice, has been active in several Carroll community organizations. Now a town resident, he has served as president of the Shannon Run Homeowners Association.
The appointment is effective until the municipal election in May, when the newest councilman must run if he wants to retain his office.