James Rada Jr.
(4/19) Thurmont is seeing a slow down in
new housing construction that could reduce its revenues by more than $126,000.
A look at housing permits issued by the
Town of Thurmont over the last three years shows that this fiscal year housing
permits may only be a fraction of what they were projected to be in the budget.
The town’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to
June 30. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005, 29 permits were issued. The
following year 34 permits were issued. As of February, only 10 had been issued
for this fiscal year.
“And we’ve only got five houses left in
the pipeline,” Burns said.
This means the town is not likely to see
more than 15 houses get permits this fiscal year.
However, since the town introduced impact
fees to help pay for capital projects for roads, sewer, water and parks that
are created by growth, Mayor Martin Burns has estimated fees for 25 houses in
his budgets. These impact fees means the town receives $12,660 for each house
A shortfall of 10 houses below the
estimate could mean the town will see a shortfall of $126,600 that was planned
on when money was allocated in the budget.
“We don’t know how it will affect the
budget yet,” Burns said. “We have to see how the other revenues come in.”
His hope is that other revenue streams,
such as property taxes come in higher than expected. This would help make up
any shortfall in the impact fee revenues.
“Also, since we did increase the fees, we
can do with a little less and still have the same result,” Burns said.
He does acknowledge that the shortfall
could impact the $1.8 million capital budget. He is hopeful that since the
budget was “conservative,” any such impact will be minimal.
For future budgets, Burns said he is
budgeting for only 15 houses a year being built in town. Even this could be
higher than actual construction if the town has to rely on only infill
construction. The town’s planning and zoning commission, in its growth
discussions over the past year, only ever planned for 10 infill house projects