Construction in Jonesboro is a regular site as the city grows.
Ray Osment has been a developer here for nearly 20 years. Currently there are no development impact fees in the city. But Osment is not opposed to the idea.
“As long as the impact fees are spelled out specific where they were going and they were not going into payroll or additional expenses that we’re just incurring adding on to what we have but actual quality of life. I don’t think I’d have a problem with it,” said Osment.
The city of Jonesboro has been talking about adding impact fees for new commercial and residential developments as a way to generate more revenue.
Jonesboro’s Finance and Administration Committee has just forwarded a proposal to have mayor Harold Perrin put out an ad searching for a consultant.
Perrin says the consultant would be in charge of making a plan for the impact fees that would give developers some clarity.
“Number one: where is the money going? Why are we doing it? And what will it do for the city?” said Perrin.
This is just the first step to possibly adding impact fees.
Mayor Perrin says Jonesboro is just considering their options.
“That’s not to say we want to do that, we’re saying we want to look at it. Then I want to go back for a year and have my finance department to say okay if we had that plan in effect, how much money would that have generated?”
Since the fees would only be on new developments, Osment believes it could encourage developers to rehab older areas.
“We already got fire trucks, police cars, and garbage trucks going by those older properties every day. When we go to develop something out in the middle of nowhere we got to bring those services out to it and it’s more overhead on the city. So, it makes more sense if we can just figure out a way to make it where it’s attractive to developers. I mean I think everybody wins,” added Osment.
Perrin says this process could take anywhere from 9 months to a year before impact fees would actually be put in place.