Friday, May 25, 2018
News Roundup

Dade City moves forward on transportation impact fee

DADE CITY — After a two year moratorium, the City Commission has voted to begin collecting transportation impact fees again.

Dade City Commissioners unanimously voted last week to allow an ordinance to expire that suspended collection of transportation impact fees for two years in an effort to spur development. The ordinance expires May 15; it still remains up in the air what rates the city will charge for impact fees once collection begins again.

Currently, the impact fee for a single-family home is $5,222. But that rate is based on an outdated 2006 transportation study. So the city now needs to pay for a new study to examine its transportation needs. It's a venture city staff said project as much as 15 years out.

The study will be costly with a minimum price tag of $50,000, which could go much higher depending on the scope, according to city engineer Gordon Onderdonk.

"It just depends on how in-depth you want to go," he told the commission.

Staff is expected to seek out options for the study and present the costs to the commission with the goal in mind of having a study completed and rates in place prior to the May 15 expiration, City Manager Billy Poe told the Times.

Mayor Camille Hernandez liked the idea of looking far out into the future to assess transportation needs.

"It's looking to the future and that's a good thing," she said.

Meanwhile, the commission also approved $50,000 for an environmental study in an effort to ramp up plans to extend Morningside Drive to make a key connection from Fort King Road to U.S. 301.

The discussion of the extension was of great interest to officials with Bayfront Health Dade City, formerly known as Pasco Regional Medical Center, on Fort Kind Road. Hospital CEO Shauna McKinnon told the commission that the extension would provide another long-needed entry into the hospital.

"I really feel it's a patient access concern," she said.

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