Dawson County impact fees inch closer to reality


DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners moved closer to reinstatement of impact fees on developers by holding the first of two public hearings Thursday. The second is scheduled for Aug. 16.

County commissioners approved impact fees in 2006, but suspended them during the recession of 2009 when new development was practically non-existent. The fees are imposed on new development projects to pay for all — or a portion of the costs — of providing public services to those developments.

Bill Ross whose company, Ross and Associates, has been working on an impact fee program for the county outlined that program during Thursday’s commission meeting.

Ross pointed out that the county’s population is expected to double in the next two decades and that there will be 2,700 more housing units by then. “By 2040, almost half the traffic on your roads will be generated by new development that has moved into the county,” he told commissioners.

The program looked specifically at the impact growth will have on library services, parks and recreation, fire protection, law enforcement and road improvement.

By 2040, it is projected that the county will require one new library and twice the volume of books, computers and DVDs. Four new fire stations will need to be built and 16 firetrucks purchased. The county, Ross said, will need 137 additional acres for recreational facilities.

The maximum fees the county could impose of various types of development include $3,400 for a single-family home, $1.64 per square foot for a shopping center and $1.88 for a super market.

Following the Aug. 16 public hearing, commissioners are expected to vote in favor of the reinstatement of the fees.

Commissioners also held the first of three public hearings on the county millage rate for next year. The proposal is to leave the rate the same as it has been the last 10 years, at 8.138 mills. However, at the end of the public hearings, the Board could choose to set the roll back rate of 7.393 mills.

The next public hearings are set for Aug. 9 and 16 at 6 p.m.

Commissioners also approved:

  • The purchase of four new vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office under the Georgia Department of Administrative services Vehicle Cooperative for a total of $125,563.75
  • Phase 1 of the three phase county wide computer replacement program. The total estimated cost for 2018 is $145,000 with funds coming from SPLOST VI. The total estimated cost for the three-year period is $435,000;
  • A new professional services contract that will extend the number of years the contract can be extended from two one-year renewals to four one-year renewals;
  • The appointment of Kara Wilkins as the new executive director with an annual salary of $5,000 to be prorated for the remainder of 2018.


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