Brown Homes

Work continues on new homes being built in Coolidge.

COOLIDGE — Coolidge is preparing to potentially raise impact fees to help the city adjust to incoming growth.

The city previously lowered the fees in an effort to attract new businesses. However, with corporations expressing growing interest in Coolidge, officials now believe the community may just be gearing up for a boom.

Impact fees are charged to builders and provide city government with the financial means to support new capital facilities. The capital projects fees can be used in areas that support growth, including the library, parks, police, fire, streets and wastewater.

On the construction of a single-family home, Coolidge charges developers a total of $6,380. Of that figure, $296 goes toward libraries, $839 is given to parks, $743 to police, $751 is allocated to fire and $2,067 is designated for streets. The remaining $1,693 is intended for wastewater treatment.

The present-day rate was adopted by the council in 2014, Development Services Director Gilbert Lopez said at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

The new fee schedule proposes an 8% increase, raising the amount to construct a single-family home to $6,902.

The proposed changes would actually zero out the fees associated with library and police and cut fire costs down to $426. The rates for parks, streets and water would all rise.

“If we collect money for (impact fees) we have to put into the (general) plan what we are going to do with them,” Lopez said. “We can’t use the money to support existing uses that are already in the city.”

Since impact fees can only be used on capital projects, the city would need to plan for developing a new library or adding another police station — expansions the city currently does not need, Lopez noted.

Should Coolidge see growth that would warrant those additional facilities down the line, the council has the opportunity to revise the impact fees in five years.

But Coolidge is not the only community examining its impact fees. According to Lopez, neighboring communities are also proposing changes to their fee schedule.

Casa Grande, for example, is looking at a proposed rate of $9,941, while Florence is also contemplating a similar overall charge of $9,357. By comparison, in the northern region of the county, Pinal County charges developers $9,214 per single-family unit.

In August, the council will hold another public hearing on the proposed changes before moving to adopt the schedule in October. If the current proposed rate is adopted, the adjustment would go into effect Jan. 1.