County aims ship of state at reinstating impact fees

The Citrus County commission decided on Tuesday to begin public discussion of an ordinance that could reinstate all deactivated impact fees with a single vote in favor of that ordiance.

The commissioners voted 4-1 to advance that ordinance discussion.

Citrus County Commissioner Jeff Kinnard brought the subject to the floor of the BOCC, and his justification was that the fees were needed, in light of current needs. Those needs included getting revenues to help with school safety by funding some of the Sheriff’s Department school activities.

The impact fees affected will be those for EMS, law enforcement, parks and pubic buildings.

“Rather than address each one of those things indiviudally,” Kinnard said, “these things the previous board put in place to stimulate construction – it’s stimulated. At this point, the construction industry can’t keep up with demands.” Kinnard said the subcontractors have told him they can’t get enough people to keep up.

Citrus County Dommissioner Scott Carnhan, however, had a different view of reinstating those impact fees.

“It’s quite interesting that we just had a conversation about this about a meeting ago, when we decided not to do law enforcement. Now it’s back in front (of us). I’m sticking to my guns on where I’m at. When you can come back and tell me where you’re going to spend EMS, where you’re going to spend law enforcement … what parks (we are) going to build, and what public buildings we are going to do … I won’t support it.”

Citrus Springs resident Janet Barek agreed with Carnahan, and said so during the Open to the Public portion of the ordinance discussion. “It blows my mind that two months ago, (you said) you weren’t going to look at it until January.”

Kinnard responded, “Again, it shouldn’t blow your mind. Things have changed. The Sheriff and school board have come to an agreement. The sheriff has come to us with the set number he needed ($87,000). There are additional issues and impact fees that need to be addressed in the county, and I think it’s appropriate to set the hearing.

“So, there’s a strategy,” Kinnard said.

At the end of the discussion, all commissioners, except Carnahan, were in favor of reinstating the impact fees.

A public meeting on the ordinance has tentatively been set for July 11.

 

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