I have read with interest letters and editorials about the predictable arrival of the stormwater utility fees. Many builders and developers used to ignore the fact that excess runoff water from their developments would cause an increased flood problem. Well, now, the homeowners are saddled with the repair bill.
The Columbia County Planning Board and County Commission have in the past been pretty much dominated by the builders' and developers' lobby. Any suggestion of setting aside a small green space - like a playground for children in each development - was rejected. (Not to mention sidewalks or bike paths.)
When it comes to impact fees most people don't realize that when a new home is sold to a couple with one or two children, the average $145,000 home provides only a little over $1,000 in county taxes. However, the cost of providing county services and schooling to this particular family may run $3,000 to $4,000. So, if an initial impact fee to the county of, say, $1,500 was tacked on to the price of the house it would reduce the burden on the other county taxpayers to come up with the difference.
The argument of the builders/developers was that this would price their homes out of the market or perhaps make people move to McDuffie County. Do you believe that?
S.G. von Schweinitz, Appling