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March 28, 2005: Board of Commissioners' special meeting on capital improvements needs

By Mike Cross
Posted Monday, April 4, 2005

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This is a continuation of the March 21st BOC meeting. I'm sure most have heard that our general tax income-funded debt will be held at $65 million -- far short of our $135 million in listed needs. This meeting was to determine and prioritize capital improvements to fit the $65 million.

* Siler City Elementary: $17,130,00
* North Middle School (in Briar Chapel): $18,540,000
* New cafeteria for Jordan-Matthews: $5,340,000
* Horton Renovation, 5th and 6th grade: $3,890,000
* Siler City CCCC campus: $1,940,285
* Pittsboro CCCC campus and library: $3,700,000
* Chatham Business Park, Phase I: $3,800,000
* Social Services Building: $4,207,336
* Judicial Facility: $7,518,620
* Total: $66,066,241

School Impact Fees (SIF): All commissioners agree that the SIF will have to be raised! We don't like this option as it will definitely adversely impact those of us (especially with lower income) who desire to build or buy a new home. The fact is... we must generate revenue to provide the infrastructure and services required to accommodate our growth and this is less destructive than straight property tax increases. We have citizens who are not in the home market and cannot handle more taxes.

Based on the 1999 review by Tischler and Associates, the maximum we go to is a $3,500 impact fee, determined by needs at that time. Chairman Morgan recommended $2,900. To achieve a level commensurate with the 1% Land Transfer Fee proposal, we would need an impact fee of approximately $5,000!

Tischler-Bise (new company name) is reviewing the 1999 study to determine if a higher cap is warranted. All computations will be reviewed and we expect to vote at our April 4th BOC meeting. This is only one part of the budget review and we are early in the process.

If we can achieve legislative authority to use the 1% Land Transfer Fee, then we can dispense with the School Impact Fee and move forward in a more equitable manner.

Related info:
Mike Cross' Weblog
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March 28, 2005: Board of Commissioners' special meeting on capital improvements needs
Chatham County Commisioner Mike Cross shares his viewpoints with citizens on his weblog.

Related info:
Mike Cross' Weblog