HIGH SPRINGS – The City of High Springs has received a letter demanding $56,200 for infrastructure installed for a local development.

It is the amount of money the city would have received from the developer of the Oak Ridge subdivision from impact fees, the fees the city charges developers in order to pay for the improvement of utilities. The demand letter from Capital City Bank is being made based on a 2005 agreement between the city and two other entities, High Springs Hills and Northend Homeland, LLC.

Lee Holloway, vice president of High Springs Hills and owner of LDM Construction, reportedly agreed to build infrastructure improvements for his proposed 220-property subdivision in place of paying the impact fees.

The letter claims the amount of money due is for properties developed during the impact fee moratorium at a rate of $2,960 per property for 20 of the properties. The letter claims that because the infrastructure improvements accommodate 20 more properties than they needed to, the city owes them for those properties.

According to city sources, the subdivision owner went bankrupt and Capital City Bank took it over and now assumes they have the developer’s agreement rights. City Manager Ed Booth disagrees. “The city made an agreement with Lee Holloway. That doesn’t mean we have an agreement with the bank,” he said. “How an agreement we made with one developer, who is no longer in business, transfers to a bank is a mystery to me,” said Booth.

“I think this is outrageous,” he said.

“A larger lift station was required to accommodate construction of 220 new homes in what is now Oak Ridge subdivision. We agreed not to charge the developer for impact fees if he built a larger lift station to accommodate his construction project,” he said. “The bank is assuming the agreement is now with them and we now owe them for reimbursement of those fees, which I believe is incorrect.” A lift station pumps liquid from one place to another.  

“It appears the developers want it both ways. They ask for a moratorium and now want to turn it around and take advantage of the city because we gave them the moratorium they requested,” he said. I’m not going to let developers take advantage of our city. Development should pay for itself and should not be paid for on the backs of the citizens,” he said.

Asked how he will respond to the demand letter, Booth said, “I will deal with the president of the bank on that matter.”

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