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Bluffdale Council backs impact fees

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BLUFFDALE — Add Bluffdale to the list of cities in favor of allowing school districts to assess impact fees to pay for schools in fast-growing areas.

The Bluffdale City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday night supporting the use of school impact fees and encouraging state lawmakers to adopt legislation that will help schools meet the educational demands of new development.

"We need to make sure that in the future we've got enough schools to house our kids," Councilman Craig Briggs said.

Rep. Steve Mascaro, R-West Jordan, has requested a bill to allow schools to assess impact fees by putting it to a public vote, much like a bond election.

Under Mascaro's bill, consumers would pay impact fees on new homes as part of the closing costs. A title company would collect the money and then issue a check to the school district.

"It makes sense to us," Briggs said. "It's money that's sorely needed and schools that are sorely needed. We're in full support of that."

The boards of education for the Jordan and Nebo school districts have passed resolutions in support of the impact fees, and the Alpine School District Board of Education is considering its own resolution.

Several cities in western Salt Lake County have been considering similar resolutions, said Lincoln Shurtz, legislative analyst for the Utah League of Cities and Towns.