Where has the money gone?
The City of Grass Valley has collected more than $5.6 million in different kinds of development impact fees, plus interest, between 1990 and 2005, according to city financial reports.
Of that, fees to pay for traffic improvements and the interest they have earned total $2.2 million.
Where the mitigation fee money has gone and where it will go continue to stir controversy among the developers who are paying the fees and those concerned about the rising traffic at some key points in the city.
Fees collected for traffic mitigations are divided between local traffic and regional traffic projects. Regional projects are built in the city limits to deal with traffic from throughout the region.
The city has spent nearly $1.1 million out of its traffic fund on projects between 1990 and 2005. Projects include:
– Improvement of Mill Street, $648,202, completed in 2004. It was part of a $3.5 million project to improve a gateway corridor to the city’s downtown.
– Presley Way/Catherine Lane improvements, $77,721, completed in 1998. The project allowed traffic along Presley Way to change from one-way to two-way for better access to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital.
– Dorsey Drive rehabilitation, $51,709, completed in 2000. The project included building sidewalks and improving the street between the freeway overpass and Pampas Drive.
– Sutton Way/Brunswick Road intersection, $43,684, in progress. The project will include changing the configuration of turning lanes from Sutton Way onto Brunswick Road.
– East Main/Idaho-Maryland intersection, $13,430. Money has been spent over the years to study different options, including a traffic signal, a two-lane roundabout and a wide, single-lane roundabout.
Of the $2.2 million the city has collected, slightly more than $1.1 million is still in the bank.
Of that, $500,000 of the regional fees collected by the city is earmarked to pay for the roundabout planned for the East Main/Idaho-Maryland/Golden Center Freeway intersection. The Nevada County Transportation Commission has another $600,000 set aside for that project.
Another $123,507 from the city’s local traffic fund, which came from a 1986 bond issue related to development of the Whispering Pines business area, also is set aside for the intersection.
If approved by both the city and the state, the roundabout would cost around $1.4 million and take about 18 months to build, city traffic engineer Tim Kiser estimated.
Both the city and the county are in the process of updating their traffic mitigation fees. As part of that process, staff and members of the public are revising existing lists of capital improvement projects, updating the costs of those projects and reworking the formulas used to spread out the costs of new development.
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