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Fees only the first of many impacts from mall

The developer of the Crystal River Mall will have deposited some fatchecks in local government coffers by the time the mall opens later this year.

Much of that money will come from impact fees, which were set up to compensate local governments for road, sewer and other infrastructure

improvements needed to serve new development.

The bigger the impact of a project, the higher the fees. The fee for a single-family home is $1,330. The Crystal River Mall comes in at a cool $1.2-million, the most for a commercial project since impact fees were introduced in Citrus County in 1987.

The impact fee check probably will be less, because the developer already has paid for some improvements such as widening a section of U.S. 19 to six lanes.

The fee is just one of many impacts expected from the first enclosed shopping mall in Citrus County. Gulf View Square in New Port Richey and the Paddock Mall in Ocala both spurred rapid development in their areas.

That growth brings more jobs, business opportunities, tax revenues for the county and shopping convenience. It also brings increased traffic, pollution, destruction of wildlife habitat and crime.

At right is a look at some of the effects the mall has had and may have after the scheduled opening on Oct. 15. The figures in the chart labeled "Mall Facts" do not include DeBartolo's plans for further commercial development and a 500-unit multifamily residential complex on the same property. Most figures are estimates.

MALL FACTS Impact fees: $1,200,000 Annual property taxes: $412,000 Construction jobs: 305 jobs Mall employment: 983 jobs Annual salaries: 52 percent between $10,000 and $15,000 Local hires: 90 percent from Citrus, Hernando counties Daily sewage flow: 48,000 gallons Daily water use: 53,000 gallons Daily garbage production: 2,000 pounds Daily traffic to mall: 15,602 vehicles Wetlands filled: 5.5 acres Woods cleared: 40 acres Major trees saved: 51 Sources: The Edward J. DeBartolo Corp., Greiner Inc.

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