By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Greenville Town Ordinance 235, placing a moratorium on the impact fee, was the subject of a second hearing Monday, July 14, as town council members considered whether to enact the moratorium or repeal the measure altogether. The impact fee was originally enacted to help defray the cost Greenville would incur to provide water service hookup for new construction. Jim Parrish, Town Consultant and acting town manager, recommended the moratorium, which would remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2019, unless the council decides otherwise. “If the economy doesn’t get any better, it (the impact fee) won’t do any good,” Parrish said, pointing out that there has been very little new construction in Greenville since the measure was enacted. Only a handful of fees have been collected and most of them were being paid over time. Collecting the fee “wasn’t even worth it,” in his opinion. In at least one case mentioned by a council member, someone who was supposed to be making payments was not doing so. Council member Calvin Malone then stated that the town should “just do away with it. We have no ability to enforce it.” Trish Hinton, seated in the audience, asked if repealing the fee meant that Greenville would have to reimburse fees already collected; Parrish replied that the town would not have to repay anything, it would simply not collect any new fees. Public Works Director J.C. Fead pointed out that the new hook-ups did cost the town money, especially if there wasn’t a stub already in place. If a city crew had to dig down to the main tap, which was sometimes under the middle of a road, the cost, including man-hours and materials, could run $400-$500. Greenville already has a connecting fee of $300. The council discussed increasing the connecting fee, asking Parrish to take a look at the issue and come back with some recommendations at the next meeting. After debating whether or not to repeal the impact fee altogether, the council decided to adopt the moratorium, since they could always come back at a future date and vote to lift it, if necessary. Council member Elesta Pritchett moved to enact the moratorium, seconded by Barbara Dansey. The motion passed.