Perry fire impact fee dropped, for now

chwright@macon.comFebruary 5, 2013 

PERRY -- An impact fire fee will be removed from some Perry residents’ monthly bills, according to a Tuesday City Council decision.

The council voted unanimously to lift the impact fee, effective March 1, because the fire station it was meant to help fund will soon be completed. Mayor Jimmy Faircloth said it’s likely not the end to fire fees altogether though.

Lee Gilmour, city manager, said council enacted an impact fee six years ago on properties within the newer area of the city to help build the fire station now under construction near Ga. 127 and Langston Road. Mike Beecham, community development director, said the fee was $6.02 for residents.

“The reason for the station was new growth, so they should be the ones to held fund it,” Gilmour said, adding the fee raised about $200,000.

Over the past few years, Perry City Council has reviewed service fees as a better general fund revenue producer. Council members seriously considered a fire fee Lee suggested last budget season.

“I still feel the same,” Faircloth said. “It’s something we need to consider. It will come up again in the (upcoming) budget season.”

Council also voted Monday to pay for a water well improvement, ban large trucks from residential neighborhoods and essentially create a new department.

They unanimously voted to establish Mary Beth Bass, economic coordinator, as economic development director. She was hired a year ago as the city point person for all economic and commercial needs.

Since then, council has approved a part-time position to help with the development efforts. Jonathan Smith met council for the first time.

Bass will not receive a salary increase, Gilmour said.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

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