PHENIX CITY, Ala. — Members of the Phenix City Board of Realtors want the city’s new home construction market to expand. But they feel before it can happen, the city needs to reconsider some of the steep fees associated with construction and development.
Nothing would please members of the Phenix City Board of Realtors more than to see many more new homes going up in Phenix City. But they say for the new housing market to really take off here, it’s a matter of lowering fees associated with new construction, specifically tap fees involved with tying into water and sewer systems.
“We did some research that shows on basic tap fees and system fees that Phenix City is about $2,000 higher than the next highest city that we compared to. Auburn, Opelika, Smiths Station, Columbus, are all involved in that. Phenix City is considerably higher with those base fees,” says Chris Lammons, Association Executive with the Phenix City Board of Realtors. “We understand that there are a lot of other fees that go along with that, but it’s simple to compare the base fees, and then everybody has the same add-ons, if you try to compare apples to apples.”
Members of the Phenix City Board of Realtors say another area of concern for them is the current indemnification agreement that engineers and surveyors must sign before they can develop in Phenix City. It requires that they be responsible for any and all occurrences on the property for up to seven years.
“Currently, the engineers cannot get insurance if they sign the form, and the engineers are the first step in development when comes to new home construction,” says Lammons.
New home construction, Lammons adds, brings a wealth of benefits to the entire economic picture.
“There’s nothing else that touches more sectors of the economy than new home construction,” says Lammons.
Those involved in construction and development say they want to be sure those dollars stay in Phenix City.
We did contact Phenix City officials for a comment, but they declined an on-camera interview for now.
However, a special session of the Phenix City Council will be open to the public to discuss the concerns raised by the members of the Phenix City Board of Realtors. The meeting will be held on May 5, at 5:30 pm ET, at Idle Hour Community Center.