Minturn adopts Eagle River Fire impact fees
How they voted: 4-to-1 in favor of approving the fees, with Mayor Hawkeye Flaherty opposed. Council members Matt Scherr and Lorraine Haslee were absent from the meeting.
Who they talked to: Eagle River Fire Protection District Chief Charlie Moore and representatives from the district and Board of Directors.
What happened: The Minturn Town Council adopted Eagle River’s proposed impact fees Wednesday night.
The fees are in place to fund the increased needs fire and emergency services. The fees can only be used for tangible items, like building a new fire station in the county or buying new equipment.
And only new development or existing homes that make modifications that impact their water meter size would be charged the fees, which will be $1,671. The Town Council has the authority to make changes to the fee amount.
“What we’re trying to do with this is have growth pay its own way. Otherwise, everybody pays,” Moore said.
The only opposition the district faced in getting the ordinance passed was from Flaherty, who has been against the fees from the time it was introduced to the council. He maintains that it isn’t fair to charge people who may have owned vacant land for a long time and may decide to build on it. He also believes the amount of the fee is too high since developer who want to build a private ski resort in town has already pitched in more than $2 million to the district’s projected $12 million in needs for the next 16 years.
However, the district said the developer will be reimbursed for that money and the impact fees will help to do that, as well as pay for the district’s needs.
“It will be as if Mr. Ginn never paid when he’s reimbursed for those fees,” said Ed O’Brien, chairman of the fire district’s board of directors, referring to the developer.
Flaherty held his position and said the numbers needed to be reevaluated.
“I still don’t agree with you Charlie, but I support you when I can,” Flaherty said to Moore.
Dustin Racioppi can be reached at 970-748-2936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.