Traffic fees won't increase

March 21, 2003 12:00 am

By SUNNY LOCKWOOD

Despite the city administrator's recommendation, traffic mitigation fees will remain the same, and the Angels Camp City Council will seek federal money to extend Angel Oaks Drive/Greenhorn Creek Road.

The council decided Tuesday to seek outside funding for the extension.

Traffic mitigation fees are paid by people who get permits to build new homes or businesses. City Administrator Tim Shearer told the council that by raising fees and saving part of the revenue for the street extension, the city was in a good position to win government grants to build the road extension out to Highway 49, south of Angels Camp.

However, Councilman Curly Middleton, who has been a strong advocate of the road extension, said he was against raising the traffic mitigation fee.

"The city has already built two-thirds of that road," he said. "The federal government is adding a bunch of campsites and new water systems at New Melones. They're creating the (traffic) problem.

"I think if we sell it like that to Ose (Rep. Doug Ose, R-Sacramento), chances are, the feds will have some money we can get."

Councilman Bill Hutchinson, who lives in the annex section of town, where the narrow, winding Highway 49 snakes between historic homes, said he opposes increasing the fee because, "young people can't afford a house here now, and that's sad."

However, "the extension would help the annex ... (and) we definitely have to get the funds," Hutchinson said.

The average traffic mitigation fee is $3,000 for a new home, and varies widely for business construction because it's based on the size of the building and other factors.