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3 percent SDC cap could wind up on November ballot

City Councilor Michele Conditt is planning two Government 101 forums on the topics of system development charges and streets.

During the council meeting on Monday, Feb. 24, Conditt asked her fellow councilors whether the purpose of the forums should be education or advocating ballot measures or both.

As the City Council discussed the forums, several councilors hinted that the current 3 percent charter limitation on system development charges could wind up on the November ballot.

Mayor Brent Dodrill explained that the city charter once required system development funding to come solely from developers.

Currently, the charter requires voter approval of all proposed taxes, fees and charge increases of more than 3 percent.

With that cap, system development charges are only being partially funded by developers. The difference is coming out of citizens’ pockets.

“I think it’s important for our existing citizens to know that unless we do something to increase SDC charges, our existing citizens that already have their homes here are funding the development... I don’t think our citizens understand that,” Dodrill said. “They need to understand that they’re going to pay for development because the infrastructure has to go in.”

Dodrill said it would be good for people to understand the condition of the city’s streets and the cost of repairing them.

Councilor Sean Drinkwine mentioned that there have been some discussions of a seasonal gas tax to help boost the city’s street fund.

According to the council meeting minutes, “It was council consensus to both educate citizens regarding SDCs and discuss a ballot measure to change the three percent limitation of SDCs. Regarding the streets, it is education at this point and possibly a ballot title later.”

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