FAIRFIELD — Solano County will use a development fee to pay back $1.5 million of a $3 million loan it made available in 2006 for regional transportation projects.
Of that $3 million available, the county gave $1 million to help build the North Connector and $1 million to help build the Vanden Road segment of the Jepson Parkway. With interest and other expenses, the general fund was due $2.28 million.
The county Board of Supervisor unanimously approved the $1.5 million payback on Tuesday.
“I think it’s fiscally responsible for us to refund money that was given as a loan,” Supervisor Skip Thomson said.
County officials in 2006 discussed repaying the general fund loan with a yet-to-be-enacted countywide transportation development fee. This fee would become part of the public facilities fee the county has charged since 1992 to pay for growth-related impacts. The public facilities fee has such components as health and social services and libraries, but not transportation.
The county never added a transportation component to the public facilities fees, despite that 2006 discussion. Supervisor John Vasquez said the cities didn’t want higher development fees charged within their borders.
Yet the county finally found a way to get at least some of that transportation loan paid back by its public facilities fee.
The public facilities fee has a component for administrative expenses. This fund had $1.5 million more than needed for that purpose. Supervisors decided to take this $1.5 million to pay back part of that 2006 general fund loan for transportation.
That leaves more than $776,000 still owed to the general fund in connection with the North Connector and Jepson Parkway projects. A county report said the balance is to be paid from the future establishment of a transportation development fee.
Supervisor Linda Seifert said the report shouldn’t assume the Board of Supervisors will pass that fee.
But the issue looks likely to rise again, just as it did briefly in 2006. The Solano Transportation Authority has asked that the county consider establishing such a fee for regional road projects.
Supervisor Jim Spering said the idea is to create a transportation component of the public facilities fee, but keep the overall fee the same as it is now.
The Board of Supervisors is to discuss its public facilities fee program in late September or in October. It will likely take up the idea of a transportation component at that time.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.