PAYSON — Higher park impact fees will be added to the cost of new building permits starting April 1.

The City Council recently approved raising the fee incrementally from the current $488.96 to $2,800 by June 1. The jump to $1,400 is effective April 1. On May 1 it increases to $2,100 and reaches the maximum on June 1.

A recent public hearing on the fee hike, which is expected to raise $7 million for park construction over the next 20 years, elicited no objections from those attending. City officials say the money will help the city buy and develop another 63 acres of park property to maintain the current ratio of 7.09 acres for every 1,000 residents.

City Administrator Andy Hall said the change will put the burden of paying for new parks on builders of new homes, not current residents. The current fee, set in 1997, was sufficient to buy new park land but not to develop it, he said. The new fee is based on a study by Salt Lake planning consultant Bruce Parker, officials said.

Development Services director Glade Robbins said the city may see a jump in building permit requests as builders try to beat the fee increase.

Robbins expects to see an additional 20 to 40 permit requests monthly, especially from those building condominiums and other multi-family structures, which would be hardest hit by the fee increase.

January and February building permit requests were unusually low, numbering fewer than 20 each month.

"We generally have 25 to 30 a month," Robbins said.

In neighboring Salem, city officials have raised park rental fees but not impact fees. Renting a pavilion near the city's popular pond still costs residents $50 a day, but non-residents will now pay $60. Up the hill from the pond, the town's Lions Club building rents for $50 a day for residents, but non-residents must now pay $75 a day, city recorder Jeff Nielson said. The building is more popular in winter than summer, Nielson said.


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