Friday, September 11, 2009
Candidates Respond, Part 8: American Fork City and Developers
LocalCommentary.com: To what extent are developers and city officials who accommodate them responsible for problems in American Fork? Which problems? Will you change how the City relates to developers?
HEBER M. THOMPSON
The city needs to firm with developers, while being "business friendly." We need to be more precise with developers at the outset of a project and add new requirements for them as the process proceeds. Impact fees are outdated and too high and need to be updated, a process I have already initiated. We need economic development in our city so the tax burden is not all on our citizens.
JAMES H. HADFIELD
Developers continue to complain about the city's impact and connection fees. These fees were established after a lengthy study and evaluation process. They are a result of laws as enacted by the legislature. These are "buy-in" fees to connect to the existing infrastructure that has been paid for by residents for years and years. The mayor and city council should not apologize to the developers for these fees. Likewise, they should not lessen or waive these fees, as they are necessary. When waived by some well-meaning officials, these costs then fall back on the taxpayer again. It is not the city's responsibility to make the developer wealthy. If the numbers are not there for the developer to make a profit, it is obvious that the developer paid too much money for the property.
Copyright 2009 by Heber M. Thompson, James H. Hadfield.