In 2004, Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. (R/M) prepared an impact fee study for the City of Oconomowoc. The study included impact fees for new fire stations. In 2009, Oconomowoc completed Fire Station No. 2 in the Pabst Farms development.
Development drove the need for Oconomowoc to provide new municipal facilities. Impact fees helped Oconomowoc meet the need by providing facilities, such as Fire Station No. 2, to fuel development.
R/M’s impact fee study defined service standards for fire station staffing based on population and floor space for equipment and fire trucks. We inventoried Oconomowoc’s existing fire station facilities and equipment and forecasted new development. We analyzed how the geographical distribution of new development impacted response times. Together, response times and the need for more space drove the need for new fire stations. The impact fee study separated the facility cost to serve existing residents from the cost to serve new development. To ensure that impact fees are fair to new residents, municipalities may not use them to fund projects that are needed to serve existing residents.
This impact fee study allowed Oconomowoc to fund facilities to attract development. A fair assignment of costs between current and future residents ensured that developers and new residents benefitted from the fees they paid.
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About the Author
Andrew J. Behm
Andrew is responsible for finding financial and management solutions for public utilities at R/M. Before joining R/M, he provided management and financial assistance to municipal water, wastewater, and energy utilities in Wisconsin and around the country, including work as an analyst at the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.