By Blake Colston
Councilman Vernon Woods argued the 50 cent increase on all new buildings built in excess of 2,000 square feet and a 25 cent increase on buildings in excess of 3,000 square feet would help pay for road improvements in Piedmont. Ordinance 585 brought the most heated debate of the evening. The ordinance provides an amendment to the city code to increase fees on all new construction of residential, private, commercial and public buildings.
“We’ve got problems we’ve got to solve,” Woods said. “How are we going to solve them? Are we just going to bury our heads in the sand and ignore it?”
But Coffman argued that Piedmont’s building fees are already amongst the highest in the metro area, and that any further increase could stunt growth. Currently, only Edmond has a higher building fee than Piedmont.
“Is that what you really want to do?” Coffman asked.
“I’m tired of driving on broken roads that we have allowed to occur in the past,” Woods responded, arguing that new builders have a responsibility to help pay for roads they will use.
Woods contends that because of a lack of sales tax revenue, Piedmont is forced to bring funds in from other places to make necessary repairs to essential infrastructures.
“We do not have a sales tax base to pay for the stuff that’s going to be going on, I guarantee it,” he responded. Read more →