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Kootenai commissioners delay vote on impact fees

Kootenai County commissioners have postponed for at least 90 days a decision on whether to require developers to pay to extend services in areas of fast growth.

Larry Clark, president of the Northern Lakes Fire District, asked commissioners during a public hearing Thursday to hold off deciding on an impact-fee ordinance until taxing districts can determine how it would affect them.

He said the county’s 12 taxing districts would address the impacts of new developments on fire, highway, emergency services, sheriff and parks. Budgets were developed 17 months ago, and Clark said it’s important they revisit those budgets before the county passes the ordinance.

Commissioner Todd Tondee reluctantly agreed, but noted that the county has worked on the ordinance for close to three years. He and Commissioner Rich Piazza agreed to postpone the vote. Commissioner Rick Currie was absent for the vote.

Tondee said the decision means the districts will spend at least a month working on their budgets, followed by a required public hearing by the county’s Planning Commission. And then, in at least 90 days, the board would hold another hearing before the ordinance could be adopted.

The proposed impact fees would vary by type of district and location in the county. Other Idaho counties are looking to adopt impact fees, to offset the strain on government services due to new commercial and residential development.

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