FERNANDINA BEACH WEATHER

Public hearing on July 16 to discuss Nassau County impact fees

Office of the Nassau County Manager
Press Release
July 8, 2020

Nassau County, Florida, July 8, 2020  Impact Fees are a one-time fee collected when building permits are issued to fund future construction and improvements needed to accommodate growth. `

There are currently five types of impact fees collected by the County: educational impact fees, recreation impact fees, administrative impact fees, fire impact fees, and law enforcement impact fees. The County also collects mobility fees to fund road improvements. While not an impact fee, it is still a fee charged during the permitting process to ensure that the builder bears the costs for improvements necessary to accommodate extra vehicles or “trips” to a home or business. 

In August 2018, the Board hired a consultant to review recreation impact fees to ensure that adequate funds are being collected for construction of parks and recreational facilities to meet the demands created by residential development. The study is still underway and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020.  

In February 2019, the Board directed staff to move forward with ordering a study to review Fire Rescue Impact Fees, Sheriff Impact Fees and Administrative Impact Fees. This is being done to ensure amounts being collected are sufficient in comparison to counties of similar size and to ensure that any needed improvements are paid for by the individual pulling the permit rather than burdening taxpayers by using ad valorem revenues.

Sheriff Impact Fees are Fire Impact Fees are based on the knowledge that public safety needs are directly proportional to the presence of people. With growth comes the need for new fire stations, larger jails, and equipment for public safety personnel. Administrative Impact Fees are used for building, renovating, and/or expanding public buildings such as courthouses, maintenance facilities, and administrative offices. Sometimes a project will require use of multiple impact fee funds for a project. For example, the Sheriff’s Administrative Building was partially paid for with a combination of Law Enforcement and Administrative Impact Fees. 

The County secured Tischler Bise, a fiscal and planning consulting firm, to perform an update/calibration of the County’s Fiscal Impact Model used to assess the fiscal impact of proposed development projects and rezonings in the County. The preliminary results were presented to the Board of County Commissioners at their meeting held on December 9, 2019. 

Below is a chart reflecting the total impact fees currently being collected by Nassau County, as well as the maximum supportable fee for each development type: 

The study also included projections for future facility and equipment needs such as fire stations, 911 call centers, sheriff vehicles, rescue vehicles, fire trucks, etc., based on a 10- year projected growth trend. Pursuant to these projections, it is anticipated that the County will need an additional 117,798 square feet in facilities at a cost of $28,308,912, and 64 new emergency apparatus (vehicles) at a combined cost of $5,762,521 to meet future needs. If the maximum supportable impact fees are adopted as recommended by Tischler Bise, it is anticipated that there will be enough impact fee revenues to cover approximately 67% of these growth-related costs.  

Below is a chart showing the current and proposed fees to be considered by the Board: 

 

The Board will hold a public hearing to consider these changes on Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Commission Chambers located at 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, FL 32097. The meeting is open to the public. The County has implemented additional procedures to allow proper social distancing to protect individuals wishing to attend in person. The meeting can also be streamed live at www.nassaucountyfl.com/watch-meetings. Anyone wishing to participate remotely can submit comments to [email protected]. You can also call (904) 530-6009 and submit a verbal comment for the record. Individuals wishing to be called during the meeting can email or call as directed above and request to be called. Please provide your name, address and the topic you wish to speak about and you will be called when that item comes up for discussion. 

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If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the County Manager’s Office at (904) 530-6010.

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