Park impact fee stopped

Village nears limit on how money may be spent

 

By MITCH MAERSCH

Ozaukee Press staff

The Belgium Village Board on July 11 unanimously agreed to create an ordinance to discontinue collecting park impact fees, but it may restart them later.

Village Treasurer Vickie Boehnlein said the village has collected $50 less than it is allowed to spend with the fee. Any money collected over the limit will have to be given back to taxpayers with interest costs.

The only thing left in the park improvement plans is adding stadium lights to Heritage Park for $80,000. To raise that amount, Boehnlein said, would likely require 10 new houses.

Director of Public Works Dan Birenbaum said that cost estimate is old and the price tag for the lights would likely be much higher now.

Beyond that, there is no urgency to install lights right now.

More than $26,000 is left in the park impact fee fund. Boehnlein said $22,000 of that will be spent to replace the shelter and add restrooms at Community Park, a project the board earlier that night approved to be put out for bid. About $2,000 will be spent on trees at Heritage Park and $2,000 on landscaping in Bares Park.

The impact fee money may not be used to maintain existing facilities.

Reinstituting a park impact fee can be done at any time, Boehnlein said. The first step is to conduct a study, typically done by the village engineer, to determine the need for parks and a cost estimate. A formula is used to determine how much money is attributed to new homes.

Once a cost and the number of houses are expected to be built have been figured, the board may create a new ordinance to collect park fees.

“It’s a little bit of a process but we can do that at any time,” Boehnlein said.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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