The Town Council has ordered the refund of impact fees this week for money collected through Dec. 31, 2007.
Town Councilor Joe Green read into the record an order that will refund $15,100 in impact fees with an accrued interest of $2,674.14, for a total of $17,774.14.
At the Monday, Dec. 23 Town Council meeting, Green stated that impact fees collected through Dec. 31, 2007 that have not been encumbered or legally bound to be spent in accordance with the ordinance and were to expire Dec. 31, 2013 were to be returned by the town treasurer, on order of the Town Council.
The second reading of the order was waived that evening, and the Council voted unanimously to approve the disbursement.
According to the town’s impact fee ordinance, any impact fee that is collected must be returned with interest if the town does not use it within six years. The refunds released this week fulfill that obligation.
In a Superior Court decision dated Dec. 31, 2012, the court found that the impact fee program in place in Londonderry since 1994 has at times been illegal and that refunds are due to parties who paid the illegal fees. “The court sees that a full accounting of the impact fee program to be the only solution to the town’s widespread misfeasance,” the decision stated. The court ruled that the town employ an independent auditor to fully audit the town’s impact fee collections and expenditures since the program’s creation in 1994.
That audit was concluded in August and found many faults with the impact fee program. Town Attorney Michael Ramsdell recommended suspension of the impact fees at that time, and they remain suspended while the issue continues in litigation.