The Rigby City Council voted July 18 to approve a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with FOX Investing regarding the hook-up fees the company would incur.
“As part of doing the negotiations for doing that LID (Local Improvement District), we have postponed the collection of the hook-up fees from FOX (Investing),” Rigby Mayor Jason Richardson said.
Richardson said outside of the meeting that the LID meant FOX Investing became responsible for some infrastructure improvements. He said this meant the city did not have to pay for the improvement of the road, sidewalk, lighting, etc.
“We’re excited about the developers that are investing in Rigby,” Richardson said. “And we want to make sure that past mistakes are handled in such a way that it’s not sacrificing the growth that we can have today.”
He said FOX Investing will likely contribute more to improvements in the Rigby development than the city will give back through withholding hook-up fees.
“They’re paying more in the LID, significantly more than the postponement would look like,” Richardson said.
According to the memorandum of understanding — which city attorney Robin Dunn said had not been signed and was subject to change as of July 30— FOX Investing would not have to pay water and sewer hook-up fees for up to 10 years from July 1, 2018. However, if the hook-up fees were to exceed a certain amount before the 10-year mark, FOX Investing would then have to begin paying, according to the MOU. That amount would be the total cost of the LID, Richardson said.
Richardson said the postponed hook-up fees would be recovered through the sale of the Willard Price property at Sunnyside in Idaho Falls. Council Member Kirk Olsen asked what that meant.
“What does that have to do with this?” Olsen asked. “Because the Willard Price thing is — numerous times I left away with the feeling that we’d never get anything out of that, so to tie this with Willard Price, that’s kind of uncomfortable.”
City attorney Robin Dunn said they were not exactly tied. Further discussion occurred and Olsen said he understood.
“They (FOX Investing) have elected to waive any repayment if that Sunnyside property sells,” Richardson said later.
As part of the draft agreement, FOX Investing would waive any rights to reimbursement from any third parties or the city of Rigby.
Willard Price owned the property in Rigby where FOX Investing is currently developing and a property in Idaho Falls, Richardson said outside of the meeting. He said the city has a lien on the property located on Sunnyside.
“So when that sells down there, that lien will pay for all the expense for putting better roads, better lighting, etc. in that development that he (Willard Price) did,” Richardson said.
He said there is a possibility the property would not sell.
At the time the council members saw the MOU, they did not know the exact amount of money FOX Investing will put into the LID, though it was included as around $146,000. Council Member Doug Burke motioned to approve the MOU with the stipulation that an accurate cost be included, and the council approved. The MOU must be signed by both the mayor and a representative of FOX Investing to become official.