Silt considers transportation impact fee |

Silt considers transportation impact fee

John Colson

SILT — The town’s trustees tonight will discuss whether to impose a “transportation impact fee” on new development as a way to ensure the town can cover the costs of future road improvements necessitated by residential or commercial growth, and its share of the potential costs of building a new interchange on I-70.

“We need a new interchange,” said town planning director Janet Aluise on Friday, explaining that the existing interchange is older than the typical projected lifespan of 30 years for such an interchange, and has been closed down twice when it was hit by passing trucks.

And, she said, the town has been told by the Colorado Department of Transportation that there is not money for a new Silt interchange, and that the town “has to get creative” in coming up with a way to pay for such a project.

“We’re pretty much just asking for direction” from the trustees, said Town Administrator Pamela Woods, regarding a staff request for ideas on how, or if to proceed.

The town has on its shelves a 2008 Transportation Impact Fee Study, put together by two out-of-town consulting firms using data from 2006. The study laid out the justification for the town to assess a transportation impact fee, and what that fee might initially have been under economic conditions in 2007, before the onset of the recession.

At the time, according to the study, the town would have been justified in assessing transportation impact fees of $2,686 per single family home, and $1,861 per multi-family unit.

But the town, though it accepted the study, never implemented the fees.

Also at the time of the study, planners were predicting that given economic and population trends, Silt would grow from roughly 955 housing units and 225 square feet of business space in 2006, to as many as 14,400 housing units and 3,000 square feet of commercial and business space in 2027, according to a copy of the study included in the trustees’ packets of information for tonight’s meeting.

Given all that, the study continued, “It is apparent … that Silt should expect an increase in traffic volume over the next 20 years,” and should prepare for the costs of dealing with that increased traffic volume by building up its cash reserves to take care of street maintenance and repairs among other costs.

“Had the fee been in place since 2002,” the study adds, “Silt would have garnered over $700,000. This is an average of $150,000 per year.”

Aluise said the town needs to decide whether to update the old study with more current information, pay for a new study, or “get creative” in coming up with ways to pay for both the new I-70 interchange and any new road improvements or repairs in the future.

In addition to the discussion about the impact fee, the agenda calls for a presentation by Woods on the town’s revenues and finances for November 2013.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at Town Hall, 231 N. Seventh St., and is open to the public.

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