Minooka cuts fee for residential developers
By Kris Stadalsky For The Herald-News September 4, 2012 9:58AM
Updated: October 6, 2012 1:43PM
MINOOKA — Residential developers building in Minooka will get some relief from the drop in land values now that the village has lowered the land site donation fee by $30,000 per acre.
Minooka trustees recently approved a resolution reducing the amount developers pay from $75,000 down to $45,000 per acre. The fee is used to offset the impact that residential growth has on local school districts and the village.
“Residential developments are essentially the ‘driving force’ for school and park land improvements and directly tied to the land valuation used for the associated fees,” Village Engineer Sean Kelly of Robinson Engineering wrote in a memo to Village Administrator Dan Duffy earlier this month.
The village splits the impact fee from the developers with Channahon School District, Minooka Grade School District and Minooka High School District. The village’s portion is used for parks and recreation.
Six years ago, when residential growth exploded, the land site fee was raised from $50,000 to $75,000 due to the increased value of land.
With land now worth significantly less, developers requested a reduction in the fee from both Minooka and Channahon.
The amount suggested by developers in a letter to the villages was $22,000 per acre.
After a review of land values and the cost to improve an acre to build on it, Kelly recommended a fee of $50,000 per acre.
“While this is higher than requested in the developer’s letter, it appears to be a more realistic valuation,” he said.
Trustees approved a fee of $45,000 per acre.
Trustee Terry Houchens said he believed it should be closer to $47,000, an amount considered by the board, but he voted in favor of the final resolution.
The main reduction is in the land value, factoring in current sales, Duffy said.
The village board also approved a custom sales tax incentive that should help to encourage more retail and commercial businesses to set up shop in Minooka.
The incentive program will target specific types of businesses that are not already located in Minooka, said Duffy.
Village officials would like to see more clothing and shoe stores, as well as other retail outlets.
“Kohl’s would be a good example,” Duffy said.
The incentive program will be tailored to each company that applies and the package will be considered based on the size of the business, how many jobs it brings to the community and the amount of sales tax it plans to generate.
A typical package might be a 50 percent sales tax abatement for five years, Duffy said.