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Higher cost for roundabout OK

Nevada County will not yet start collecting fees for the full cost of a proposed roundabout in Grass Valley.

Members of the Nevada County Transportation Commission, in a special meeting late Wednesday, agreed to accept the higher cost of the roundabout in their list of projects they are funding. Estimates for construction rose this spring from the originally anticipated cost of $1.1 million to $1.4 million.

Grass Valley Councilwoman Patti Ingram, who also serves on the transportation board, then asked her fellow commissioners to raise the development impact fees the county charges builders for regional traffic projects.



Fees are calculated based on the cost of capital improvement projects needed to deal with growth. City leaders had hoped the county would start collecting the higher fee amount right away, taking advantage of the start of the summer building season.

“My motion died on the table,” Ingram said. “I was disappointed in that, because development occurs (in the county), the necessary funds to reimburse that project will not be collected.”




The matter could be taken up again at the transportation commission’s regularly scheduled meeting in May, when more members would be able to attend. Four of the seven commissioners attended Wednesday’s session.

The roundabout’s full cost is expected to be included in the general fee update that NCTC has been working on. But that new fee schedule is not expected to be completed until this summer. Then it has to be approved by the County Board of Supervisors and city councils in Nevada City and Grass Valley.

“That update possibly would not go into effect for six months,” Ingram said.

Grass Valley council members may consider updating the city’s regional traffic fees independently to get started on raising the needed money, Ingram said.

Grass Valley will pay for part of the roundabout with regional fees it has collected. The rest it may borrow from the city’s Redevelopment Agency Fund, which would be reimbursed by regional fees from NCTC.

The Nevada County Contractors Association has objected to the funding plan, saying the entire project cost would be born by development fees rather than a share coming from government funds.

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To contact staff writer Trina Kleist, e-mail trinak@theunion.com or call 477-4231.


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