Columbia County government officials are taking the first step toward looking into impact fees and what they might mean for the county.
That step will involve the creation of an impact fee study committee, something that was discussed in Columbia County's Management and Financial Services committee meeting Tuesday.
Committee members gave the go-ahead to the idea, calling for commissioners to select their appointees to the new board.
An impact fee is a charge made to developers to offset problems arising from new growth.
County Administrator Steve Szablewski told commissioners that to pursue the possibility of such a fee in the future, the county, by law, would need to set up a study committee.
Commission Chairman Ron Cross said he thinks the committee is a good idea.
"We know we've got to face this, and it's something we probably need to do in the future, and so let's get the committee started,'' he said.
Cross said state law requires that at least 40 percent of the committee's members be from the building industry.
He said commissioners will appoint two committee members each, one of them from the building industry.
He said the names would need to be submitted by Nov. 1 and that the study findings would need to be completed by March 31.
"They (the study committee) will make a recommendation to the county commission that we should or should not have impact fees,'' he said. "And if we should, they'll probably recommend an amount for residential and for commercial.''
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