Looking at fire protection impact fees OK with Salem Town Board

fire-hose-mf-kconnors-webStudying whether to implement a fire protection impact fee on new development in the town received the endorsement of several Salem Town Board members.

The matter was discussed at a committee of the whole meeting on Monday.

Town administrator Patrick Casey raised the issue as something that could help the town keep up with the need to upgrade the fire department in the future especially if development picks up again. The time to study a fee and come to a decision would be before that time comes, he said.

Although he needs to research the matter further, Casey said the fee in theory would be similar to park impact fees already in place. Exactly what such fees could be used for is one of the questions that needs to be answered.

The town had an earlier study of the matter done by the town planner but it was not acted on. At that time, fees were to be about $4-6,000 per parcel. There was some sentiment Monday that that might be too high.

Board members seemed to be largely in favor of looking at implementing such a fee.

“It makes sense,” said Supervisor Dennis Faber. “The reason it came up then was we were growing at such a rate.”

Casey said to proceed town staff would need to determine what the fees could be used for and look at models of how similar fees work elsewhere.



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