Impact fees reduced

Published 10:11 am Monday, July 10, 2017

AHOSKIE – In an effort to attract residential growth, Town of Ahoskie officials are significantly lowering its most costly pre-construction permit fee.

At their most recent meeting, members of the Ahoskie Town Council unanimously agreed to a recommendation from newly hired Town Manager Kerry McDuffie to reduce the water/sewer impact fee from $15 per gallon to $1 per gallon.

At the previous $15 per gallon rate, the builder of an average size home (1800 square feet; three bedrooms; three bathrooms) in Ahoskie pays $4,050 in water/sewer impact fees. Under the newly adopted schedule, that fee is lowered to approximately $300.

Ahoskie Mayor Jimmie Rowe said he felt this lowered fee would be pleasing to individuals wanting to construct a home in Ahoskie as well as to local building contractors.

“We plan to have a supper meeting at a later date with the general public and our contractors to talk about lowering this fee,” said Rowe.

By reducing the water/sewer impact fee, it places Ahoskie in an attractive position to encourage those planning to build a new home to look at choosing the town for their place of residence.

Under the old schedule, constructing a new home in Ahoskie would cost $6,590 in permit fees (based on an average size home as listed above) before the first shovel of dirt is turned on the project. Thusly, Ahoskie’s fees were significantly higher than Murfreesboro ($2,705), Bertie County ($2,715), Northampton County ($1,580) or Hertford County ($1,455).

With the newly adopted schedule, those wishing to build an average size home in Ahoskie will pay $2,835 in permit fees. The majority of that ($1,600) comes in new taps to access town water and sewer services.

“This also helps us on construction of multi-family apartments,” noted McDuffie. “The last major project cost over $100,000 in impact fees alone; this newly adopted rate drops that to roughly $7,000.

“This new fee opens the door for new residential construction, use the capacity we have at our wastewater plant, and build some needed tax base,” McDuffie added.

The idea to lower Ahoskie’s permit fees came at the June 13 meeting of the Ahoskie Town Council. There, Councilman Justin Freeman expressed concern over what he termed as “significant costs for those choosing to build a new home or business in Ahoskie.”

Freeman, who has since resigned from the town council after moving to Greenville, challenged McDuffie to study ways to lower Ahoskie’s permit fees….an action the Council approved at last week’s meeting.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal