The first reading of the transportation impact fee ordinance occurred during the Sept. 26 Bastrop City Council meeting.

The ordinance would require developers to pay an impact fee when building new residences, which would be used to offset some of the projected need for road improvements in Bastrop.

Kimley Horn engineers were hired by the city to conduct a study of Bastrop’s need for impact fees.

According to the study, $64.7 million worth of improvements in west Bastrop and a further $46.6 million of improvements will be necessary to serve the projected growth in the city over the next 10 years.

Looking ahead

According to Kimley Horn Civil Engineer Jake Gutekunst, without planning ahead for the projected growth, Bastrop will experience increased traffic congestion.

“When you’re talking about going from a community of 10,000 to above [25,000 or 30,000] in a short time like that, the amount of traffic you have on your roads today is not going to compare very close to what it’s going to be in 10 years,” Gutekunst said.

Zooming in

Council also discussed whether the fee should be added to the construction of additional dwelling units. If approved, the fee would not only apply to developers, but also residents building additional dwellings for family or rental purposes.

“We want to make the fee an amount that’s going to be beneficial or else what’s the point, right,” Lee said. “But we also don’t want to price people out of being able to live in Bastrop.”

If implemented, the fee would prevent the need for substantial tax rate rises in the future.

“The choice for paying for it is either going to be these impact fees at a high enough rate to cover enough of the expense to make it worth doing it or it’ll be covered by taxing our residents.” Mayor Pro Tem John Kirkland said.

The second reading of the ordinance will be held at the regular council meeting at 6:30 p.m on Dec. 12 at 1311 Chestnut St., Bastrop.