Elbert County has contracted with Greenwood Village consulting firm Raftelis to assess the county’s growth impact fees. The county will pay the firm up to $56,260 for the study, with hopes to conclude the work by the end of October.

Last year Elbert County received $425,000 from growth impact fees. The fees are paid by developers, residents who build a new home, or residents who build an accessory dwelling on their property.

Collected fees are distributed between the road and bridge department, the recreation department, public facilities and the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office. According to Elbert County Manager Sam Albrecht, the last official assessment of what to charge in the form of impact fees was 1999.

“The study we currently base our impact fees is based on a 1999 study,” said Albrecht. “I’m not sure when the last time the fees were raised, which is why we’re contracting with Raftelis to do this study.”

Current growth impact fees for a new single family home include $1,967 for road and bridge, a recreation fee of $263, a public facilities fee of $506 and a $523 fee for the sheriff’s office. The fees, which are flat-rate and one-time fees based on the type of development, are placed in the county’s growth and development fund, and must be used for development of new roads, new building, new facilities or new equipment to support the impact of each development.

Albrecht said the fees themselves are nothing new, but reviewing the fees every 10 years is good practice for local governments.

“It’s important to have these evaluated because the county is changing, and our basic philosophy is that development pays for development,” said Albrecht. “For us to build new roads and facilities, we need to assess these impact fees. Over time our goals have changed, and we need to look out for the next ten to twenty years, and have a study that is fair and reasonable and defendable to those folks paying those fees.”

“According to the State Demographer’s Office, Elbert County’s population is projected to grow by more than 17% in the next five years; by nearly 60% in the next 20 years,” said Deputy County Manager Eileen Krauth. “More people and more businesses mean more cars and trucks on our roads. Carefully constructed impact fees ensure that the strain new development places on county roads and public safety services is paid for by those causing the strain; current residents don’t have to subsidize future growth.”

A full list of current impact fees can be found on the Elbert County website at www.elbertcounty-co.gov. Click on “Government,” then on “Departments,” then on “Community & Development Services,” then on “Fees.”