In reference to the controversial decision made by the mayor and commissioners to allow a credit or transfer of the major facility fees, one of the concerns expressed by citizens was that they had no way of knowing about the action or being able to comment on it until after it was approved. Well, the town has now posted its minutes from the public meeting where the policy discussion occurred and a straw vote was taken to award the transfer. Since the town doesn’t stream the public meetings where these discussions occur, one has to wait until the minutes are published at some point after-the fact.
Whatever the case since that record is now available, we’ve clipped the portion of the minutes pertaining to the decision and copied it below.
For a full discussion on the subject once it was officially ratified click on the links below the clip of the minutes.
From the Minutes of the Mayor and commissioners Workshop Meeting, Dec. 09, 2009
Mr. George stated the Town received a request from a property owner on behalf of a developer regarding a transfer of major facility fees from an existing, vacant apartment building at 110 Collins Street, which was slated for demolition, to a proposed Senior Housing apartment building project located on East High Street. Mr. George stated the Town did not have a mechanism in place to transfer hook up fees. Mr. Trostle added the Town had not previously transferred hook up fees from one property to another, adding that, in the case of a demolished building, credits were given for previously paid hook up fees for new construction on the same property.
Mayor Fisona stated the developer of the new apartment building offered to demolish the old building at no cost to the Town. He stated the building was an eyesore and needed to be removed from the neighborhood. Commissioner Jablonski questioned the cost for demolition of the building. Mr. Trostle estimated the costs between $30,000 and $50,000. Commissioner Jablonski stated the developer planned to create a parking lot at the site. Commissioner Givens questioned who would utilize the proposed parking lot.
Discussion ensued regarding who would benefit from the proposed parking lot. Mr. Wilson stated the developer’s plans were contingent upon the Board’s decision. Commissioner Piner stated the building was a blight on the neighborhood and expressed support for its demolition. He suggested that the Board consider alternatives for the site, such as a playground. Commissioner Storke expressed concerns regarding the parking lot. He stated the neighborhood was zoned Residential, which did not permit parking lots. He questioned if the Board planned to change the Ordinance to permit the lot.
Commissioner Jablonski questioned if a policy could be created to address requests regarding hook fee credits, adding a time limit for using the credits should be incorporated into the policy. Commissioner Piner suggested a 2-year time limit to utilize the credit. Mr. George suggested a Blight Reduction Program which would provide incentive for developers to improve blighted properties. Mayor Fisona queried the Board regarding placing the request to transfer water and sewer hook up fees from the Collins Avenue address to the proposed Senior Housing apartment project on the December 16, 2009 meeting agenda for a decision.
It was the consensus of the Board to place the request on the December 16, 2009 meeting agenda. Commissioner Storke opposed bringing the matter before the Board. Mr. George stated the Town received a request from the Cecil County Public Schools for a $52,000 reduction in fees related to renovations at the Elkton High School. It was the consensus of the Board to reduce the fees related to renovations at the Elkton High School.
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