KILLEEN, Texas — The city of Killeen began discussing impact fees all in 2010. Progress slowed, but for the last year, the city has worked to move forward with the fees. At Tuesday's city council meeting, the council voted 7-0 to establish a public hearing on August 27 for the impact fee plan.
Impact fees raise revenue from new city developments to pay for the cost of improving roads and utilities nearby. The improvements must take place within 5 miles of the new development. The fees could be paid by the developer or builder of the new development depending on who applies for the building permit.
The fees can only go toward infrastructure improvements, such as adding lanes to a road, upgrading water lines, or adding new traffic signals. They could also help address congestion issues in the city.
KCEN Channel 6 found out in late 2018 that the Goodnight Ranch neighborhood off Bunny Trail in Killeen was originally designed with another exit road called Mohawk Road. It was not built because the city had made a deal with the developer to pay for part of the road, but did not have the money at the time. Residents in the area said they spend 20 minutes in traffic just to leave their neighborhood.
Killeen Executive Director of Public Works Danielle Singh told Channel 6 the new impact fees could go toward that road project.
"Yes absolutely, Mohawk is on the initial list of capital improvements and that will be on the list that we put on our website for the public to look at," Singh said.
The money could also be used to improve other main thoroughfare roads in the city.
Killeen Councilman Jim Kilpatrick told Channel 6 Tuesday the fees are a useful tool for the city to have at its disposal, but there are still a lot of discussions to set the fee amount and decide who pays for it.
"It could be as low as $900 per property, per home, or it could be as high as $3,000 per property, per home," Kilpatrick said. "I don't know. We won't have any idea until we establish whether it goes to the landowner, developer, or builder."
Kilpatrick said he wants to see the public turn out to learn about and comment on the impact fees plan on August 27.
"The citizens owe it to themselves to understand what the impact could be," Kilpatrick said.
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