MOREAU — Fees for planning and zoning board applications may soon go up substantially.
Town Board members agreed Tuesday that they need to increase the fees, though they have not yet voted on a specific rate hike.
“We’re on the precipice. There’s going to be projects that require deep review,” Supervisor Todd Kusnierz said. “The taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot that entire review.”
Board member J.D. Donohue looked into the fee schedules for neighboring municipalities and towns of similar size. He told the board that no one had fees as low as Moreau.
The data was convincing, Kusnierz said.
“What we have found is in Saratoga County, for a town of our size, our fees are very minimal as compared to the work required in reviews,” he said.
He is in favor of increasing fees “across the board” for all development-related applications.
That will help when the town begins receiving applications, which officials expect soon, for the Route 9 commercial corridor. The Town Board just approved the bid for the construction company that will spend the next two years installing sewer along Route 9. That is expected to drive development, and one parcel has already sold for $1.424 million. The company, BCR Route 9 LLC, bought 1265 Route 9, an undeveloped 5-acre parcel. The land is assessed at $275,000.
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BCR Route 9 LLC intended to build a medical industry project, but has not yet filed any applications.
Also, two companies have expressed interest in moving into the town’s industrial park, one of which might involve rebuilding a railroad spur in a residential neighborhood.
Projects like that might require an engineering review.
“They’re going to be more complex,” Kusnierz said.
The Town Board has contracts with three engineering firms to provide those reviews, but they are not cheap. The increased fee could pay for contractual engineers to review the proposals and send a report to the Planning Board.
“Other towns of similar size, they actually have a full-time engineering staff,” Kusnierz said.
But Moreau is “not there yet,” he added.