The City Council this week approved spending $60,000 on a consultant to come up with detailed plans for imposing impact fees on new development projects.

The fiscal consulting firm TischlerBise will prepare reports detailing how the city can recover costs for the additional burden new developments place on parks and recreation and library services as well as water services and roads.

The city staff estimates the impact fees could raise between $1 million and $15 million for the city over the next 10 years.

The staff says the additional money could be used to update park facilities more often, improve the library’s book collection, recover capital costs of expanding the city’s water plant and improve the quality of its road network.

Those programs were identified based on a preliminary report by the same consultant. A staff memo says that impact fees can only be used for capital improvements and not for hiring additional staff.

For that reason impact fees for fire and police services are not being included in the study, since those two departments have primarily staffing rather than capital needs.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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