At its Jan. 8 meeting, Punta Gorda City Council reviewed a draft ordinance pertaining to recommended rates for parks, mobility (transportation) and public safety impact fees.

The council made the decision to bring forth an ordinance amendment that will phase in the increases to the recommended level. The first year the impact fees will be increased to 50% of the recommended rate level, the second year impact fees will increase to 75% of the recommended level and year three the impact fees will be at 100%.

The council also recommended an exemption for affordable housing, which is in alignment with the City’s Strategic Plan and the 2019 Plan Punta Gorda Citywide Master Plan. At the 100% recommended rate level, a 2,500 square foot single-family home will increase from $1,273 to $3,820. General office per 1,000 square foot will increase from $330 to $610, and retail/restaurant per 1,000 square foot from $770 to $990. Impact fees are charged on new development and assist in paying for a portion of growth-related impacts on parks, mobility and public safety. The ordinance will be prepared for public hearings in February.

I’d like to invite all of our Hounds on Henry dog park patrons to stop into our “Barkshop” at the dog park on Jan. 17 from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.

City staff is seeking feedback from dog park users regarding what features, configurations and changes they would like to see at the dog park to enhance their experience. For those unable to attend feel free to email your comments to mreichert@cityofpuntagordafl.com.

Finally, congratulations are in order for the City of Punta Gorda Finance Department. The city has received the Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 2018 comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in government accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by government and its management. The CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

Howard Kunik is the Punta Gorda City Manager.

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