The Huntingdon Planning Commission gave an update on their plan to revise the county’s subdivision and land development fee schedule at their monthly meeting Thursday night.
“I’m still working on compiling all of the research but I believe that we do need to raise the fee schedule,” Jim Lettiere, county planning director, stated. “In 2020, it cost us $8,312 for 66 plans while we were only paid $5,245. That’s almost a $3,000 difference, there needs to be some adjustment to the fee.”
Lettiere suggested they look at changing the fees for minor subdivisions.
“Minor subdivisions are what we mainly deal with,” Lettiere said. “We should consider getting rid of the first fee of $35. It needs to be eliminated immediately because it is always abused and figure out a different method.”
Lettiere gave a tentative plan for how they could go about raising the fee.
“I don’t know when a good time to raise the fee is because no matter what, someone will say that it isn’t a good time,” Lettiere said. “However, I think a good idea is to give everyone time to adjust to the fee after we approve it and do not apply it to the fourth quarter of the year and even then, we should raise it incrementally.”
Lettiere is unsure of exactly how much the fee would increase but hopes to find out and give more details at next month’s meeting.
Also during the meeting Thursday night, planning commission member Larry Mutti discussed the controversy of leveraging a fee on mortgages to pay for blight removal.
“We were told to go slow on leveraging a fee on mortgages to pay for blight removal,” Mutti said. “However, I recently discovered that Blair County has also adopted a similar plan. I find it interesting that our neighbors moved forward with this plan to generate revenue for a community good.”
Lettiere explained exploring that would be a process.
Kylie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.