More trails, restrooms and shelter houses will be the top priorities for Franklin parks, and the owners or developers of new homes being built will pay a slight fee increase to cover the cost.
The park impact fee, an extra charge when a new home, condominium or apartment building is built in Franklin, is going up next year in response to the expected number of new homes during the next five years, said Franklin Parks and Recreation director Chip Orner.
For homes, the park impact fee will go up $10 to $376 per housing unit starting in July, he said. The park impact fee for new apartments, duplexes and condominiums also will rise $6 to $244 per housing unit.
The fees are rising slightly since fewer homes or apartment buildings are expected to be built in the next 10 years, Orner said. Peters Municipal Consultants estimated that about 75 homes will be built in Franklin per year, according to the park impact study. Based on the estimations, the park impact fee fund is expected to collect nearly $300,000 by 2025.
Every five years, a group of parks and recreation employees and residents identify the needs of the city parks. Once the park impact study is re-evaluated, the city council has to approve the impact fee. City council members are slated to vote on the higher park impact fee later this month.
Park impact fee dollars are set aside for new features in city parks, such as building a new structure or adding trails.
The study showed the city needs more trails and restrooms in the parks. For example, the goal is to have one restroom available for every 4,300 residents, but the current ratio is one restroom for every 4,902 residents, according to the study.
The two restrooms in Province Park are small, especially for one of the busiest parks in the city, Orner said. A restroom used to be next to the skate park in Province Park, but was destroyed in the 2008 flood and never rebuilt. A restroom could be added there, as well as another spot within the park, Orner said. Construction costs range from $40,000 to $150,000 per restroom, he said.
Shelters and trails will also receive the bulk of park impact fee dollars during the next five to 10 years, Orner said. Orner eventually wants all of the trails to connect in a circular loop, he said.
This year, parks and recreation employees will construct the largest shelter house in Franklin at Blue Heron Park, which is paid for through the previous years’ park impact fees, Orner said.
Here’s a look at how the park impact study fees will change in July:
For a new single-family home
2016-2020: $376 per housing unit
For new apartments, duplexes and condominiums
2016-2020: $244 per housing unit
2006-2010: $558 for duplexes; $484 for apartments
Here’s a look at how the parks and recreation department plans to spend money on improvements by 2025:
$161,029 on trail system
$115,208 on restrooms
$96,006 on shelters