The City of Sealy recently held a public hearing to discuss proposed changes to its impact fees following a year-and-a-half-long intensive study. The study was a broad-based effort that involved collating land use maps and utility master plans for water, wastewater, and natural gas, and creating various hydraulic and hydrologic models. The key focus was on identifying the necessary improvements required to service the expected development in the city over the next decade.

The public hearing was led by Ryan Tansley, accompanied by Morgan Ruiz both engineers with Strand Associates, Inc. — an engineering consultancy firm based in Brenham, Texas.  During the meeting, Tansley presented an overview of the impact fee concept, its development process, and land-use assumptions. An impact fee is essentially a charge imposed by the city on developers to generate revenue for funding or recuperating costs of capital improvements related to new development.

Tansley emphasized that the city of Sealy had meticulously followed an 11-step process as outlined in the Texas Local Government Code Chapter 395 to develop the new impact fees. The process was iterative and interactive, providing multiple opportunities for feedback from city staff and public interaction.

Tansley revealed population projections for Sealy for the next ten years, indicating a significant expected growth. The town’s population, which stands at 8,243 in 2023, is expected to nearly double to about 16,486 by 2033. This surge in population is estimated based on the need for an additional 2,944 water connections over the next ten years, using a factor of 2.80 people per connection. Tansley noted that this growth would predominantly occur within eight known developments, which are expected to account for approximately 71.6% of the anticipated population growth.

The comprehensive study also revealed several water and wastewater Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) projects which include new water plants, elevated storage tanks, water main extensions, and wastewater treatment plant projects. The estimated cost for these projects is approximately $31.9 million for water and $40.3 million for wastewater. The expected recoverable costs from impact fees over the next ten years are $17.8 million for water projects and $20.9 million for wastewater projects.

Ultimately, the study led to the calculation of the new maximum assessable impact fees for water and wastewater at $3,381 and $3,784 respectively, totaling $7,165. This puts Sealy’s fees in the middle range compared to other nearby communities.

The revised impact fees are a proactive measure to ensure that the costs for the necessary infrastructure to service the anticipated development are appropriately allocated. This move is expected to protect the city from any potential strain on its resources and is viewed as an essential step towards sustainable urban development.  You can view the presentation from last night below at the 03:03 mark of the video.



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