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Impact fees to help fire and police

(ran East edition)

The city will soon begin charging impact fees on new construction for police and fire protection.

In a meeting Monday night, City Council members gave the green light on the new fees, which are charged to builders who then pass on the costs to home buyers.

The city probably will adopt a fee schedule recommended by consultant Kimley-Horn. For fire service, it suggests $273 per new single-family home and $175 per 1,000 square feet of new commercial space. For police protection, the numbers are $254 per house and $163 for commercial.

That is in addition to a proposed $144 library impact fee, $890 park fee and the $3,803 the city already assesses for transportation and water and sewer connections. It also collects the county's school impact fee of $1,694 and keeps about 2 percent of those funds.

Altogether, the fees total about $7,000 per new home. But the proposed rates keep Zephyrhills well behind Pasco County on the fee scale.

The county charges more than $8,000 in impact fees per home, including a $3,318 road impact fee that is scheduled to increase substantially.

In other news Monday, council members agreed to pay Heyl Truck Lines Inc. about $20,000 in economic incentives. The company is moving its operation from Dade City to property near the municipal airport and plans to build a 10,000-square-foot office and truck bay facility. It will employ about 100 people.

The money is reimbursement of transportation impact fees and water and sewer connection fees, and will be paid back over five years as long as Heyl maintains its facility at least that long.

Council members also agreed to pay developer Concire Centers Inc. about $80,000 in reimbursements for the frontage road it built from the Wal-Mart Supercenter plaza to Kossik Road. Concire is building another shopping center north of the Wal-Mart, and the frontage road will keep traffic between the two plazas off U.S. 301.