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Impact fees raised; percentages shifted

Pike County commissioners increased the residential impact fees future builders in Pike will pay, increasing impact fees from $2,404 to $6,775.

County manager Brandon Rogers noted that Paragon recommended the increase in residential impact fees four years prior when not as many houses were being built in Pike.

“The funds the county is bringing in are not significant enough for the growth we are seeing in the county,” said county manager Brandon Rogers. “We just weren’t ready for this kind of growth. The easy fix is to use what Paragon has already provided with changes to some of the departments who receive impact fees.”

Commissioners also approved changes to the percentages allocated to seven different areas, including 3.01% for the library, 15.605% for the fire department, 12.57% for the sheriff’s office, 35.77% for detention facilities, 12.95% for E911, 12.145% for parks and recreation and 7.95% for roads. The impact fees for parks and recreation were increased from 3.5% to 12.14% and roads was decreased from 22.4% to 7.95%.

“What we’ve found is that are better funding sources for roads, including LMIG grants, other large grants and SPLOST funding,” said county manager Rogers.

Rogers noted that public services and parks and recreation are far behind on improvements to handle the number of children and families who use their facilities.

“You already can’t find a place to park out at the recreation department most days of the week,” he said. “Also, our 911 services, sheriff’s department and jail facilities are reaching their end of their usefulness and it’s time to start re-building. We also need to fund the future growth of our fire department.”

Commissioner Jason Proctor noted if the impact fee doesn’t increase, it will mean an increase for citizens on their property taxes.

“In Pike County, we just don’t have the businesses to pick up the tab,” he said.

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