Millsboro council cuts impact fees more than 80 percent

While the town of Millsboro may be getting older, its residents keep getting younger.

That’s the kind of growth that the Millsboro Town Council would like to see continue, as made evident by the council’s unanimous decision to cut the Building Fund portion of the building permit rate by more than 80 percent — opening the door for new businesses, new developers and new potential.

“This is basically the council showing a renewed commitment to be a pro-business, business-friendly town,” said Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson.

“I think the council has a progressive vision and wants to see the town go to the next level,” he continued. “They want to honor the past, but at the same time they want to be welcoming to younger and middle-aged families and some of the people that are new to the area.”

The rate reduction will take the previous rate from around $2,600 down to just $500 per equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) — a roughly 25 percent decrease in the total building permit-related impact fee paid by commercial and residential developers.

The Town estimated that the cost avoidance for typical anchor-store investors could be up to $25,000, or more.

With major renovations made to the Town’s Millsboro Town Center five years ago, the only potential Town building projects on the foreseeable horizon include possible upgrades to the police station, providing a cushion in the fund and making the drastic rate reduction possible.

The Town is also well positioned in terms of infrastructure, even taking in consideration the likely growth that the reduction will bring.

With the only major hotel in town limits being the Atlantic Inn, Hudson said that new hotels, groceries stores and restaurants are potential businesses that the council would like to see come to Millsboro as it aims to be more accommodating to younger and middle-aged families, and to events such as the Little League Softball World Series in August.

“I think the Town just wants to have a little bit more of a competitive advantage. We just want to give residents and visitors some more options,” Hudson explained.

The economic impact could potentially also attract homegrown Millsboro residents to come back to the area to start careers.

“They can go away to college and come back and, hopefully, have more job options that are attractive to them,” Hudson said.

“Millsboro’s population is already on track to grow to double in less than 10 years, and the stock market and U.S. economy in general have seen significant improvement over the past few months,” he continued. “The town council took this bold step in order to ensure that Millsboro is in the best possible situation to take advantage of growth taking place both nationally and locally.”

The approved plan is scheduled to go into effect on March 1.

The next regularly scheduled Millsboro Town Council meeting will be held on Monday, March 6, at the Millsboro Town Center.