PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT II/MANAGER BECKY MILLS: APPROVAL OF FY 2001 COMMUNITY SERVICES GRANT APPLICATION WHICH INCLUDES BOARD OF HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE, HOME CARE AIDE, PUBLIC HEALTH NURSING AND SENIOR HEALTH PROGRAMS
Stutsman: Administrative Assistant II/Manager for the Department of Public Health, and this is regarding approval for Fiscal Year 01 Community Services Grant Application, which includes Board of Health infrastructure, home care aid, public health nursing and senior health programs. Good morning, Becky.
Public Health Department Administrative Assistant II/Manager Becky Mills: Good morning.
Stutsman: Thank you for being patient.
Mills: No problem. This is what we refer to as a single county contract. Years ago, we had to contract each of these programs separately, but theyíve combined them into one contract. We also subcontract with the Visiting Nurses Association for a portion of these monies. The breakout for the Health Department, we use $12,147 for community assessment. We use $17,100 for Public Health Nursing Program and $4,859.19 for Board of Health Infrastructure. That totals $34,106.19 for the Health Department. Visiting Nurses Association, they also use monies for the Public Health Nursing Program, and thatís $39,885. The Home Care Aid program is $165,496. Court Ordered Services are $20,000 and Senior Health is $8,318, for a total of $233,699. This is $8,000 more than what we received last year, and they put that all into Court Ordered Services for the Visiting Nurses Association. The other change that we would like to make is, in the past weíve kept a portion of the Senior Health monies, and weíre proposing to give all of that funding to the VNA this year. In turn, what has been proposed, and what we would like you to consider, is we would reduce the master contract for VNA by the portion that we normally have for the Senior Health money, and then we would use that portion for assessment. The total for this contract is $267,805.19. I donít know if you have any questions or if I can explain any of the programs. Sher Hawn is here to explain the Senior Health Program transfer if you have questions about that.
Stutsman: Sher, if you want to come up. Sher Hawn, who is also with the Health Department. Your official title, Sher, is HealthÖ
Assessment and Health Promotion Manager Sher Hawn: Assessment and Health Promotion Manager.
Stutsman: OK, thank you. Questions for either Sher or Becky? Sher, if you want to explain your part of this application?
Hawn: In the past, VNA and the Health Department has shared that $8,500ÖI donít have the exact amount. $8,700. VNA has done full assessments for seniors, people 55 and older. With our portion, which was almost exactly half, we provided physical fitness assessments, which I provided. What weíve decided is, it would be a better use of funding if we gave all of the money to VNA. Because whatís happened is, Iíve seen a ton of people for fitness assessments, but most of those people are not low-income people who are not connected with the medical system. The whole objective of the Senior Health monies is to get people referred to the medical system, and Iím seeing a lot of higher income people who already have physicians. We think it would be a better use of the money if VNA had all of the money, that they could provide the physical assessments for low-income elderly. If people still want fitness assessments, Iíll be willing to do those with students, but weíd have a minimal charge. Most of the people that I see could afford that. If they canít, I wouldnít charge them. Basically then, with us having that $4,000 through the master contract, we could use that $4,000 for Needs Assessment, which we need some additional funding. It makes sense. We can use the money at the Health Department for our needs and we can still fulfill the needs of the seniors with the VNA.
Stutsman: Sounds like a good way to go. OK, are there any questions?
Thompson: The VNA will have a net increase of $8,000 in the Protective Services money?
Thompson: Is that going to be anywhere near adequate?
Mills: No. Usually there are 2 reallocations a year. In the past couple years, we have received additional monies for Court Ordered. That is a possibility in the middle of the year. We may receive more.
Stutsman: All right. Weíll just put this on, then, for next Thursday for approval.
Stutsman: Thereís no other questions. Becky, you look like you want to sayÖ
Mills: Itís due at the State tomorrow.
Stutsman: Oh, dear.
Jordahl: Next week, tomorrow. Iím sure the State will wait.
Stutsman: Well, Janet?
Assistant County Attorney Janet Lyness: Itís due tomorrow?
Stutsman: Yes. We didnít have it down on the agenda for formal approval on our formal meeting. There must have been a communication problem.
Lyness: Go ahead, Carol. You were going to say something?
Administrative Assistant Carol Peters: I was going to say, perhaps this could be taken under the provision of the timeliness factor.
Stutsman: Is the Board comfortable authorizing the Chairperson to sign this contract so it can be forwarded onto the State by Friday?
Jordahl: Iím always a good one for turning things in late and needing special exceptions and stuff, but I guess itís appropriate as a Board member to ask, it says issued March 31. Is there some reason we couldnít have had this last week?
Thompson: Well itís water over the dam now, we need move on.
Mills: (Inaudible) until this week.
Hawn: We just met with VNA last week, and were able to talk about all this. We didnít want to just forge ahead withÖ Especially this change in the Senior funding, before we could meet with Rosalee and make sure that was agreeable to them and they could, in fact, spend the money.
Stutsman: We are going to have to recess from the informal and go back into formal to get a motion on this, right Casie? OK. Why donít we recess the informal and go back into formal meeting.
Recessed at 11:20 a.m.; reconvened at 11:22 a.m.
WORK SESSION: SETTING DATES FOR PRE-EVALUATION AND EVALUATION OF COUNTY ENGINEER AND VISIT TO SENIOR DINING
The Board of Supervisors scheduled an evaluation with MH/DD Director Elaine Sweet on May 9th at 1:30 p.m.; a pre-evaluation of County Engineer Mike Gardner on May 18 at 1:30 p.m.; the evaluation of Mike Gardner on June 1st at 2:00 p.m.; and a site visit to Senior Dining on May 18th at 12:00 p.m.
ASSISTANT PLANNING AND ZONING ADMINISTRATOR R.J. MOORE: PRESENTATION BY DAN SWARTZENDRUBER, LISA GARLICH, JEFFREY SUMMERVILLE, AND SHAWN SIDERS, STUDENTS IN THE "FIELD PROBLEMS IN PLANNING" CLASS FROM OF THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA'S GRADUATE PROGRAM IN URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING, PRESENTING THEIR STUDY OF A PROPOSED JOHNSON COUNTY ROAD IMPROVEMENT FEE STUDY
Stutsman: We will adjourn the formal meeting now and go back into informal. Thank you, Sher and Becky.
Mills: Thank you very much.
Stutsman: I would like to move down to Item 8, business from the Assistant Planning and Zoning Administrator. This is regarding the presentation by Dan Swartzendruber.
Planning and Zoning Intern/Urban and Regional Planning Graduate Student Dan Swartzendruber: Can we have about 3 minutes to set up?
Stutsman: Sure. Letís see. Can we move to business from the County Attorney?
Stutsman: OK, thanks Janet. I wanted to make sure that we had plenty of time for discussions. This will be a presentation by Dan Swartzendruber, Lisa Garlich, Jeffery Summerville, and Shawn Siders, students in the "Field Problems in Planning" class from the University of Iowa Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning, and they will be presenting their study on the proposed Johnson County Road Improvement Fee Study. Iíll turn that over to R.J. Moore, Assistant Planning and Zoning Administrator and Dan Swartzendruber.
Assistant Planning and Zoning Administrator R.J. Moore: Thank you, good morning.
Stutsman: Good morning.
Moore: First off, I would like to see if the Board would be amendable to allowing the students to use the screen behind you. Speaking with Andy, Andy feels that itís better of the cameras if they can use that screen behind you. We had planned on doing it over here. That would mean that the Board would have to be willing to move around.
Jordahl: Actually move?
Moore: Yes, yes.
Stutsman: Move, Jonathan.
Moore: I would like to start out with thanking you for giving us the opportunity to present this study to you today. We know youíre very busy and have very large schedules. One of the goals of your 1998 Johnson County Land Use Plan was that the County should look into impact fees. Another goal policy was that Development should pay the cost for improvements to our infrastructure that was associated with the development. To that end, Zoning Administrator Dvorak presented a proposal to the students at the University of Iowa, asking them to look into these issues. This study is part of a required class, Field Problems in Planning, that people are required to do to graduate. Proposals were presented to the program and the students which projects they would like to work on. Ours was presented and chosen by these 4 students that Sally just named. They are 2nd year students from the University of Iowaís graduate program in Urban and Regional Planning, and all 4 will graduate next week with Masterís degrees in planning. Iím going to turn it over to Dan and the 4 students.
Swartzendruber: Bear with me for just a moment here. As R.J. just got through saying, he gave you guys the names of everybody, but let me introduce you. This is Shawn Siders, Lisa Garlich, and Jeffrey Summerville. Weíll get strutted.
Stutsman: Dan, do you have some of your instructors here, too.
Swartzendruber: Yes, we do.
Stutsman: I recognize Peter Fisher, if you want to introduceÖ
Swartzendruber: Peter Fisher and Scott Hochstrasser, John Fuller, who am I missing? Paul Hanley, and Alan Peters, clear in the back.
Stutsman: Thank you.
Swartzendruber: Again, we want to thank Rick and R.J. and the Board for allowing us to present and prepare this study. Itís been a good learning experience for all of us, and we really appreciate the effort here. OK. As R.J. mentioned, the investigation of development impact fees was called for in the 1998 Johnson County Land Use Plan as one implementation strategy to look at paying for new development in the county. Prior to going to more detail about development fees, alternative revenue sources in addition to development were examined to see if they hold promise for generating significant revenue to pay for new development. Lisa here has explored some of those alternatives and sheíll be looking at them and review them for you shortly. Jeff has looked at some of the legal considerations of the improvement fee, and will also look at some case study examples in Iowa of these types of development fees. Shawn, then, is going to go into some of the technical details of the design of the road improvement fees and the expected revenues that can be derived. At the end of the program, weíll make some recommendations that the County may want to consider prior to adopting such a fee. Lisaís now going to talk about some of the alternative revenue sources.
Urban and Regional Planning Graduate Lisa Garlich: OK. I first looked at fees. Some of these were impact fees, transportation, utility fees. Those are currently not being used in Iowa. Iím not sure Johnson County would want to start using that. Special services fees. Weíre currently using that, itís with the building permit fees. Itís just to pay administrative costs that are associated with development. Vehicle registration surcharge. That is currently not being done in Iowa because of legislation and you need to enact that to get that started. Itís not looking good to use that. The connection linkage fee, thereís been a confusion of that and impact fees, so Iíd just like to clear that. A linkage fee was used as a response to exclusionary practices of jobs and housing, moving out into the suburb region. They were requiring those job-generating developments to also include low to moderate income housing, so it was a linkage between the jobs and the housing market. Low-income housing was in the urban center and was not able to come out to these new job-generating areas. Then I looked at County improvement district. That also has to go through Iowa legislation to get that enacted. Itís not currently there. Special assessment district. There was also a confusion on this one too, so Iíll go into this. An improvement fee, what weíre looking at is, it takes into account everybody that uses that road, so we did it based on the number of trips that are generated from this road and from this development, so the development pays a proportion of it. On the other hand, an assessment district, those who are benefiting from this road would pay for it, and it would be distributed among those who benefit, so itís not a proportion. Itís a smaller geographical area and itís a higher cost to the individual. I also looked at special requirements for developers or exactions. They donít produce a lot of revenue but they do reduce the need for road funds. The concern is using frontage as a measurement of impact. Itís more about improvement rather than new infrastructure. I looked at property taxes, sales taxes, use taxes. Local option gas taxes are not currently legal in Iowa because itís competitive between counties and they donít want to mess with that. I looked at excise tax. Federal grants, thereís the Federal Highway Commission, Federal Transit Administration grants that can be used. State grants, thereís the Bridge Replacement, and that currently is at $425,891. Not a whole lot of revenue there. RISE is Revitalized Iowaís Sound Economy. Federal grants are more competitive, harder to get those. State grants are less competitive but it is difficult to get those.
Swartzendruber: The North Corridor of Johnson County was the study area we focused on, primarily because in order to establish a fee, you need to identify a specific geographical area that defines your service boundary. The North Corridor is a logical choice because of the growth that is currently taking place in this area. It should be noted that a geographical service boundary could be added to include other parts of the County like the rural village areas, for example. Development fees can fund capital improvement facilities such as roads, sheriff and fire protection as well as for schools. It should be mentioned that it is necessary to evaluate each of these facilities separately and support these with applicable study documentation and implementation. The goal for the Road Improvement Fee is to protect the taxpayers that do not reside in the North Corridor from bearing the costs of improvements that primarily benefit the residents living in the North Corridor. The rationale behind a Road Improvement Fee is to have new development pay its proportional share for the new facility, in this case, for the fair share of the road improvement. If new development causes the capacity of the road to be exceeded in a proportionate cost of the necessary upgrading the road can be aside of the development question. Road Improvement Fees cannot be used to pay for routine maintenance expenses. For example, if after adoption of a Road Improvement Fee Ordinance, one of the roads in the North Corridor is slated to be improved because the traffic count is 1,200 vehicles per day and the capacity limit is established at 1,000 vehicles per day for a chip seal surface road is now necessary to upgrade the road to a paved surface road. To help pay for this upgrade, development, which uses the road, will be charged a fee, typically at the time of the building permit is applied for. The reason why a single development will not pay for the entire cost of the upgraded road is that there will be an excess capacity on the new paved road which will designed to serve a greater number of homes than would be developed at a particular subdivision. These residents are only paying their proportionate share for their use of the road, not for the extra capacity that the improved road may handle. Jeff is not going to talk about some of the legal issues concerning the Road Improvement Fees.
Urban and Regional Planning Graduate Student Jeffrey Summerville: There are about 6 general issues we need to keep in mind when weíre talking about the legality of Road Improvement Fees. Generally, they are statutory authority. This refers to the power granted localities to enact such fees. There is the issue of whether the fee is considered a tax or a regulatory nature. This is the primary issue in the Courts in case a fee is ever challenged. Thereís proportionality and geographic relationship, and this really refers to how you design a fee. Thereís some constitutional issues involved in (inaudible) due process and equal protection, and they also have something to say about how we actually design a fee. Specifically, statutory authority. Is there legislative authority for local governments in Iowa to enact fees such as a Road Improvement Fee? Well, thereís not explicit authority, but arguably, thereís a basis in the County Zoning Enabling Statutes and the Home Rural Implementation Statutes, or perhaps other statutes governing financing of public facilities. Real quickly, there are examples. Improvement fees such as our fee are existent in several states. There are, exactly, over 20 states that handle these extensively. It is a common use. The issue of whether an impact fee is considered a tax or a regulation is critical in terming the validity of the fee, in case itís ever challenged in court. The difference really lies in the purpose and authority. The tax is obviously a revenue generating measure. Itís deposited in the general fund, itís used for general purposes, and it comes from explicit taxing authority from the state. A fee, on the other hand, is regulatory. Itís used only for the purposes for which it was collected and placed in a separate fund, and it stems from the police power granted to the counties. Proportionality and geographic relationship, now, as I said, this really gets to the heart of how you design a fee. The test involved in doing this is called a Rational Nexus Test. It really poses 3 questions. Does the development create a need for new public facilities? The best way to handle this is to document it in a specific study or plan. You have a good start on that on the Road Management Study performed by JCCOG. That was a primary source of a lot of the data that we used. Does the fee represent a proportionate share for new facility capital costs and not more. The fee must be placed on new development, must be proportional to the need they create, and then the benefits they receive. Shawnís going to get into that later, and heís going to talk about the real specifics of that. Does that fee benefit the development that pays for it, both in time and geography? Time is typically the Capital Planning Improvement Cycle, so improvements need to be made by that time, at that length of time, typically. The developers who pay the fee need to receive benefit specifically in terms of place. This is handled through establishing a district in the North Corridor, where fees are paid only for those developments in the North Corridor or they go into a specific fund and theyíre spent only in the North Corridor. The constitutional issues of takings, due process, and equal protection. Now, the tests involved in looking at these are very similar to the rational nexus test I just mentioned. It basically states that the fees not exceeded developmentís fair share of the cost for providing the new facilities, that the fees are a reasonable exercise of police power, if thereís any classification or distinction in fee pairs that have a rational basis. We do, in our recommendation, have a classification of fee pairs. Some people pay more than others, but itís based on their traffic generation, so itís rational and itís connected to the fact that the fee is for roads. These are some of the contingencies you need to keep in mind in addressing the legal issues, and how youíd actually, specifically go about designing the fee. These are all principles that weíve incorporated into our design. Thereís the issue of earmarking, which is basically a separate fund. Thereís the issue of benefit, meaning that the development that pays it must also have the benefit of the fee. Timing, it needs to be Capital Improvements Planning Cycle, typically. Proportionate calculation, and again, Iím going to let Shawn get into the specifics of that. Refund appeals and individualized determination of fees. This really gets at and addresses some of the constitutional issues, especially due process. Now Iím going to talk briefly about 2 case studies, 2 actual fees of this type that were in Iowa, one successful, one unsuccessful. In West Des Moines, this was a Neighborhood Park Fee, whereby development paid a fee into buying the neighborhood park system. It was taken to court and challenged. In November, the City lost. The court deemed the fee to be a tax, and therefore not specifically authorized by the legislature. The most important part to keep in mind here is that the fee, in this case, lacked many of the true aspects of what makes an impact fee a regulatory fee. In our design, weíve tried to incorporate as many aspects of that as possible, and I think we did a very good job of that. Iowa City has a Neighborhood Open Space Plan which enacts a fee to fund their neighborhood park system, and so far, to date, it has not been challenged. There are 3 things that really make this a good fee, in that the City clearly defined the standards that they used to determine the fee. A credit to the fee is provided if the developer provides open space themselves. The City clearly defined how the fee would be paid and who will benefit.
Urban and Regional Planning Graduate Student Shawn Siders: OK, if you can bear with me a little bit here, Iím going to talk about the boring part. Thatís the actual design of the Road Improvement Fee and how we actually came up with the series of fees that we did. If you noticed, the Road Improvement Fee we used was based on a demand-driven model, which is conservative, legally sound, and relatively simple. This model generally underestimates the full cost of develop, and it only charges a new development their proportionate share of the cost of replacing of capacity that it will consume. Before we get into the calculation, I want to talk briefly about the study. This study focused on 6 roads in the North Corridor that, based on the discussions with staff and some other people, we came up with a short list of priority projects. Those were Sugar Bottom Road, Newport Road, Lake Manor Road, 12th Avenue extended, Mehaffey Bridge Road, and Sandy Beach Road. These roads, combined, consist of 30.88 Lane Miles, and they account for 6,000 vehicle miles capacity during the peak hour. It was projected in the JCCOG Secondary Roads Management Study that to upgrade these roads, it will cost approximately $17 million, of which the local share will be $8 million. Now weíre going to get into the actually calculation, but before we do that, thereís a couple things that need to be defined, and the first is what exactly is a service unit? The service unit creates a link between roadway capacity and the traffic generated by new development. We feel appropriate service unit for the Road Improvement Fee is vehicle miles of travel. Vehicle miles of travel are a combination of the number of vehicles traveling during a given time period, and the distance in miles that they are traveling. We felt that peak hour VMT is the most appropriate service unit for the Johnson County Road Improvement Fee, because this is when the capacity of the road is most in question. The next sets of definitions are the travel demand factors. These are trip generation rates, percent primary trips and the average trip length. The trip generation rates are simple to get. They from the Institute of Transportation Engineers Trip Generation Manual. This figure represents trip ends or driveway crossings. The percent primary trips are based discussions with JCCOG staff and County staff and some of our own feelings, more or less. What this is trying to do is to adjust for trips that are on a road for another reason. For example, stopping at a convenience store on the way home from work does not necessarily count as a trip for the convenience store. Thatís a passby trip. Itís not a primary trip. Finally, the trip length. This was the most difficult to determine based on discussions with staff again. We determine that 8 miles was appropriate for the average trip in the North Corridor. Now weíre going to get in the actual calculation, and the first is the proportionate cost per vehicle miles traveled, or the cost per service unit. This is equal to the plan improvement cost divided by additional created capacity times the percent local cost. As you can see, weíve assumed that itíll cost $17 million to upgrade these roads divided by 48,000 new vehicle miles capacity, which will be the increased capacity if these roads were upgraded, times 48%, which is actually a state credit against the actual fee. We found that historically, 52% of the Johnson County Secondary Road budget has been provided by state and other intergovernmental transfers. This ultimately determines a fee of $189.71 per vehicle mile capacity or service unit. The next calculation is the peak hour vehicle miles traveled by single family home or other land use. Or number of service units, which are being consumed by the type of land use. I forgot to mention, but I should tell you now, the rest of this calculation is based exclusively on a single family home because thatís primarily the development thatís occurring right now. This number is exclusively for single family homes. As you can see here, this is found by taking the peak a.m. trip rate, which is defined by the ITE manual, times the percent new trips times the average trip length. You can see that the .75, which I said was stated by the ITE manual, times 100%, because all new trips in a single family development are considered new trips, new primary trips, times 8, which was the average trip length we determined.
Duffy: Iím going to ask thatÖ 8 trips a day?
Siders: No, 8 miles per average trip.
Duffy: But how many trips from a development though.
Siders: 6. We ultimately come up with a figure of 6.
Duffy: I see itís going down. Somebody said 8, (inaudible) myself, and itís not 8, Iíll tell you that.
Siders: No, the 8 is the average trip length within the County. Itís a loose assumption. Thatís just the average trip length fromÖ
Duffy: But Iíve heard (inaudible) that itís 8 trips per day of anybody that lives in the rural area.
Jordahl: What Charlie is referring to, thatís what JCCOG has asked us to use is 8 vehicle trips per day. Thatís been represented to us be JCCOG. Thatís an actual reduction from what this manual youíre referring to would recommend. A good question is how did you get to 6?
Siders: This calculation takes into account that itís only based on the peak hour trips, so thatís the reduction from the 8 to 6 because itís only based on the a.m. trip rate.
Jordahl: The 6 a.m. trips or 6 peak hour trips, but maybe the total trips per day would be more.
Siders: Actually, what this is getting at is defining the number of service units that a single family home is consuming.
Jordahl: In terms of road capacity.
Siders: Yes. Capacity and vehicle miles traveled. Was that OK?
Siders: Finally, you come upÖ We actually calculate the actual fee and this is just done by taking those prior 2 calculations, the proportionate cost per vehicle mileís capacity, or cost per service unit times the peak hour vehicle miles traveled by single family home or the number of service units which is being consumed by the single family home. It ultimately gives you a fee of approximately $1,138 per home. The next slide addresses the fee schedule. I should mention that some of these are from the light industrial down, none of us were transportation planners and the percent primary trips are based on a very loose set of assumptions, and that would be taken care of in some of the recommendations weíve done. Those fees may be a little high, actually. But based on exclusively a single-family projection in North Corridor at build up, we determined that the County could expect to receive approximately $2 million at build up. This was the proportionate and non-arbitrary cost assessment to each, because each of these is based on trip generation rates and the percent primary trips within the North Corridor. Iíd like to conclude with some conclusions and recommendations that we think will make this a legally defensible document in the end. We feel that itís necessary to have a well-defined Capital Improvements Plan or Road Management to base the Road Improvement Fee on. Included in that, the County also needs to conduct an Origin/Destination survey, which will actually determine the average length of a trip in the North Corridor. If these 2 things are done, we feel that, in a tie to this document, that everything will beÖ It should be a legally defensible Road Improvement Fee, and the County can start generating revenue when itís passed. Questions?
Thompson: When you calculate the length of the trip, do you only count the miles they travel on the roads that are going to be improved or the miles they travel altogether.
Jordahl: What was the answer to that question?
Jordahl: The Land Use Plan refers to requiring that development pay the cost of associated infrastructure improvements that they necessitate. It seems to me there are 2 scenarios here, one more so the case in the North Corridor, where you have ground thatís already zoned for development. There you could say that the County has decided that that area should be residentially developed, and so ultimately, the need for improved roads there has already been decided with the decision to develop. But if you go to an area perhaps outside the North Corridor but perhaps within it that the County has not yet rezoned all this land in. The Land Use Plan, as I recall, its writing was intended to speak to the question of making sure that if someone wants to rezone a bunch of land there were the County has not decided to necessitate its own road, that we be sure that they pay the full cost of that associated infrastructure development. If they make it necessary to improve the road, if the only way the development could be approved by us, would be to have the road improved at some significant expense that exceeds where the other people living on the area wouldnít need the road, than the question is raised, shouldnít that development, in order to be approved for, in order to be zoned, shouldnít they pay the whole cost of the improved capacity rather than spreading it around equally?
Siders: Actually, no, because those existing residents are still going to be benefiting from that road and theyíre not paying anything for that. If you do build the road, itís kind of the old adage, they will come.
Jordahl: Can you kill that projector thing?
Stutsman: Oh, the light on the projector.
Jordahl: Itís like Wilson on Home Improvement here.
Stutsman: The plug. When all else fails, just pull it.
Jordahl: There you go. You could work for Information Technology.
Jordahl: The point that Iím making here is that the County might have no plans to improve a road. So the residents who are already there, although they would benefit from the improvement, they might be just fine with having it stay a gravel road, especially if they had to pay a whole bunch of money to get it changed.
Siders: Those residents who are already there donít have to pay anything. This is only new development that would have to pay this fee.
Thompson: The residents who are already there keep paying their regular property tax.
Siders: Their regular property taxes.
Thompson: Some of which goes for roads.
Stutsman: I am most impressed with study and this presentation. Itís just a lot of good information that the Board certainly can use. Obviously, weíre going to have to have a work session, or this is just the beginning of a process to evaluate the information we have here, and if itís something that the County wants to do. Just brought up a lot of good things that really will help in that process, things that we really need to look at. Excellent product. Just excellent.
Thompson: Let me clarify. Youíre saying that you considered a number of kinds of ways to generate funds for this, and itís your recommendation that the Road Improvement Fee is the best choice if we wanted to do this?
Siders: Yes. Itís just because you haveÖ Itís been tried in Iowa and you have the documentation pretty much in place. It wouldnít take a whole lot of effort to get everything you need. Just basically putting those roads in the Capital Improvements Plan will tie this document to that and I think, from what I understand, R.J., that an Origin/Destination survey is quite easy to conduct. Once you have that all the assumptions have been pretty much (inaudible). Maybe a couple meetings with JCCOG just to look at the numbers and Jeff Davidson, specifically, and everything would be fine.
Thompson: Would we incur a lot of additional administrative fees to collect it?
Siders: You can actually charge on top of the fee an additional 2 to 3% of the fee to cover those additional administrative costs. Per permit, you can charge an additional 2 or 3 percent. Initially, youíre going to have, yes, a high administrative fee to get everything in place, but over time itíll pay back.
Duffy: Can I ask one question.
Duffy: Not giving you a hard time, but did you keep in mind that out in the North Corridor that last year I read in the paper that the land thatís owned by the Federal government, the power dam and then Lake MacBride in that area had a million visitors last year that are using these roads, these roads that you described.
Duffy: The gas tax now is 36 cents a gallon to buy a gallon of gasoline. People that live out there have a job in town, theyíre using more gas, and also about a fifth of their taxes go to the County roads system. It looks to me like weíre coming up with a triple taxation type of thing.
Siders: I guess what this is doing, is itís charging new development, probably residents that donít already live here. Existing residents will never see this fee unless they decide to build a new home in the North Corridor specifically.
Duffy: It looks to me more like a plan to not build. Itís a no growth type of thing or am I wrong?
Siders: No, itís a way for the County to recoup some of the costs that itís obviously going to have to incur in the next few years. There are some roads that weíve identified that we have identified from JCCOG that are already at or above capacity. Theyíre going to have to be done anyway, and this is one way to get some of the cost back to the County.
Duffy: Yes, but a lot of that is funded by, again, by their gas tax.
Jordahl: Thatís a 52% state stuff thatís not in this fee. Itís specifically taken out.
Siders: Theyíve been credited for specifically, those gas prices.
Duffy: Yes, I know, but still, like I said, thereís 3 different kinds of tax there. Do other counties do this?
Siders: Itís used extensively throughout the country and there are counties inÖ
Duffy: I mean in Iowa or close by here.
Siders: Not specific counties, but there are 2 cities, specifically West Des Moines and (inaudible). Illinois and Wisconsin both use them. Lake County and DuPage County both use them.
Duffy: But in Iowa they donít and Polk County.
Siders: No, youíre blazing a trail if you feel like it.
Lehman: We could be the first.
Jordahl: It has to with the fact that a lot of Iowa counties arenít experiencing the same kind of growth pressure that we and Polk and larger cities are.
Duffy: Iím not so sure, Jonathan, aboutÖ
Jordahl: A lot of smaller counties are actually shrinking.
Duffy: This is not the time to discuss it. I appreciate your work.
Siders: We appreciate the opportunity.
Stutsman: Well, it is for discussion.
Jordahl: This is the time to discuss it.
Stutsman: There are a lot of philosophical things that the Board has to deal with in going down this route. Itís something that weíve not done before and obviously other counties in the state havenít either. But weíre constantly faced with the demands and pressures from increased growth and development in the rural areas. This is one way that we could pay for some of those infrastructure costs.
Jordahl: Youíre referring to the executive summary on page 4 here, the last complete paragraph, 2nd to last sentence. The amount of the fee must be proportionate to the need for public facilities generated by the new development. So the existing public facilities are fine. The new development wants to come in and the County says, well, itís going to cost you because weíre going to have to make some improvements, if you come in, that we donít have to make if you donít come in. Thatís why itís reasonable to impose a fee.
Stutsman: Well, quite frankly we have a zoning application coming up next week that the road is at itís maximum and the developer wants to be considered to upgrade the road. Heís willing to do that in order to get his development in place. This kind of gives us the tools to begin that process. I think somebody in the back had their hand up?
Urban and Regional Planning Instructor Scott Hochstrasser: Iím Scott Hochstrasser, Iím the instructor for the program, and I wanted to thank you Chair and Board and the all the staff for their help with the students. I think this was a very good project and I have personally and professionally been drawn away considerably over this year, instructing these students. I think theyíve done an outstanding job, and I think that youíre absolutely right, that their report really starts the discussion and gives you, I think, a good research product to sort of step forward. Thank you very much.
Stutsman: We just feel very fortunate to be the benefactors of a project like this. But I say that, too, I think you probably learned a lot.
Siders: Yes, we did.
Stutsman: A real life scenario aboutÖ Then understanding that we need to consider with the policy part of this now and where we go from here.
Siders: This whole TV thing is entirely new.
Jordahl: Youíve got TV on both ends, going out and coming in.
Stutsman: Put your VCR on later.
Jordahl: This is something that we have been talking about for years, but we have not had aÖ Never able to get off the dime with it because what are the facts? Who else is doing it, what would a law look like, what would a policy look like, what would be fair? Those have all been kind of unknowns and you provided us with a set of concrete things to work with. Iím personally very grateful to you for that, and grateful to Rick and R.J. and the rest of the Board for allowing this to go ahead and making it possible. People have been involved at all levels.
Thompson: I sat in on the earlier discussions that kind of clarified what question you were going to study. Iím very impressed with how you narrowed that down throughout stuff that was irrelevant, focused it and provided information that weíll need to use to make a decision like this.
Siders: Weíre glad.
Thompson: Weíd hire you, I think, if you were proposing it.
Jordahl: They probably already have jobs by now.
Thompson: Yes, I bet they did.
Stutsman: Any other questions, comments?
Siders: Thank you, again, for the opportunity. We appreciate it.
Stutsman: Iím curious as to what grade you got on this project.
Jordahl: If itís an F, weíre going to want to have a conference with the faculty.
Stutsman: Thank you very much, we appreciate you coming in and being patient with our agenda.
(Continued in Part 4)