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Ascension Council passes new impact fee unanimously

8 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, April 07 2016 Apr 7, 2016 April 07, 2016 9:45 PM April 07, 2016 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Kristen Althouse

DONALDSONVILLE- Soon it will be more expensive to buy a home in Ascension Parish.

Wednesday evening, the Ascension Parish Council unanimously voted to add an "impact fee" to the cost of buying a home in the parish.

This extra money, will go towards maintaining roads in the Parish.

The Council talked about implementing a fee like this for 18 months before gathering enough support to pass it. The Council even threatened to halt construction work in the parish until the impact fees would be approved.

New homes, usually mean new people moving to the area. Parish leaders, like Terri Casso want to take advantage of that fact, by charging them to keep the roads in good shape.

"The rapid growth.. If you call 10, 20 years rapid in Ascension Parish, that period of growth has led to serious infrastructure problems - traffic being one of the most serious - and people aren't willing to pay more taxes," Casso said.

Transportation Impact Fees are a last resort, for a council that does not want to raise taxes. And they are determined to start charging new homeowners, even if it means putting a moratorium on home construction.

"That's the only way to get there. If we have to have a carrot and a stick, then so be it," Casso said.

But home builders are worried, an impact fee will hurt business, and keep people from moving to Ascension Parish.

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