Developers of recent projects were refunded over $1 million in water impact fees


The Appalachian Online

Anna Dollar, News Reporter

The town of Boone refunded over $1 million in water impact fees to developers of recent projects.

“Impact fees are fees imposed on property developers by municipalities for new infrastructure that must be built or increased due to new property development,” according to the website “Investopedia,” a website that focuses on finance education.

The Standard of Boone, Clement Blowing Rock Road, King Street Construction of Boone, The Winkler Organization and Howard Street Ventures had claims disclosed in the agenda at the Nov. 13 Boone Town Council meeting.

These claims were stated against the town for the recovery of water availability fees because fees similar to these are considered illegal impact fees under the N.C Supreme Court’s Quality Built Homes, Inc. v. Town of Carthage in December 2016, according to the court documents.

“When you do new construction they charge this impact fee, which is the impact of that building on the system, so they charge you a fee,” Forte said.

Back in 2013, developers sued Carthridge, North Carolina, because they did not want to pay these fees, Paul Forte, vice chancellor of business affairs for the university, said.

“The fees that were required to be refunded were to developers and not to general water and sewer customers,” John Ward, Boone town manager, said in an email. “This was a result of a case that involved the Carthridge, North Carolina.”

“Refunds were only provided to developers who paid the fee as part of new construction,” Ward said.

Because App State has its own water department, this does not impact us.

“We have our own water department. We’d be more impacted if it had to do with uses of sewerage,” Forte said.

The refund is more about impact fees and making changes within the places charged on new construction, Forte said.

Story by Anna Dollar