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Date of Issue: May 10, 2007

Lawmakers OK impact fee hike for fire district

The Florida Legislature passed legislation authorizing the West Manatee Fire Rescue District to increase impact fees on new construction.

The state House of Representatives voted April 25, passing the bill with 119 yeas and zero nays.

The Senate voted for the measure 30 to 0 on May 2, two days before the session ended.

The legislation, which district voters endorsed in a referendum last fall and still needs the governor's signature, would allow an increase in new construction fees to pay for new facilities and equipment.

The current impact fee schedule, set in 1985, is $100 for new residential construction and $200 for the first 5,000 square feet of new commercial construction.

The proposed fees would be $500 for new residential construction and $980 for 5,000 square feet of new commercial construction. New commercial construction would be charged 25 cents per square foot for construction over 5,000 square feet.

Past impact fee funds have been used to purchase thermal-imaging equipment, computers and training equipment.