[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wallkill 7-22-2004 by L.L. No. 6-2004. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board enacts this chapter to put in place a system for the reimbursement of fees and expenses which would otherwise be raised by assessments of the taxpayers of the Town to defray the costs of the Town consultants, including, but not limited to, engineering, planning and legal with respect to the review of projects as defined in § 248-3 of this chapter. It is the intention of this chapter that the cost of such consultants should ultimately be paid by those who seek approvals from the Town, rather than from Town funds raised by assessments paid by taxpayers of the Town.
The Town also wishes to establish a procedure to be followed requiring the deposit of those funds in a separate account and requiring that payments from that account be made only upon receipt and approval by the Town Board of itemized vouchers from its consultants following the determination by the Town Board as set forth in § 248-5 of this chapter.
This chapter is enacted under the authority of Subparagraphs a(1), (2), d(3) of Municipal Home Rule Law § 10(1)(ii), and Municipal Home Rule Law § 22. To the extent Town Law §§ 274-a, 276 and 277 do not authorize the Town to require the reimbursement to the Town for its consultants' expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the review and consideration of projects as hereinafter defined in this chapter. It is the expressed intent of the Town Board to change and supersede such statutes. More particularly, such statutes do not authorize the deferral or withholding of such approvals in the event such expenses are not paid to the Town. It is the expressed intent of the Town Board to change and supersede Town Law §§ 274-a, 276 and 277 to empower to the Town to require such payments as a condition of such approvals.
As used in this chapter the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation or entity of any type, kind or nature, who requests the Town, the Town Board, the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals or any other board or agency of the Town for approval of a project.
- Any person or entity of any type which is retained by the Town to provide consulting services for any project.
- Means and includes a subdivision, site plan, special permit, variance, interpretation, improvement district formation or extension of such other similar action where the Town Board determines to refer the action to a consultant.
All applicants for approval of any project in the Town shall reimburse the Town for all reasonable, necessary and appropriate consulting expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the review and consideration of such project.
Simultaneously with the filing of an application for approval of a project with the appropriate official or board of the Town, the applicant shall deposit with the Town Supervisor a sum of money as determined in accordance with the provisions of this chapter which sum shall be used to pay the costs described in § 248-4 of this chapter.
In the event that the deposit amount does not appear on the schedule of deposits referred to in § 248-6 of this chapter, upon the Town computing the deposit amount pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and advising the applicant in writing of the appropriate amount, the applicant shall deposit that sum with the Town Supervisor in accordance with the above provision.
Upon receipt of such monies, the Town Supervisor shall cause such monies to be placed in a separate noninterest bearing account in the name of the Town and shall keep a separate record of all such monies so deposited and the name of the applicant and project for which sums were deposited.
Upon receipt and approval by the Town Board of an itemized voucher from a consultant for services rendered on behalf of the Town pertaining to the project, the Town Supervisor shall cause such voucher to be paid out of the monies so deposited and shall debit the separate record of the account accordingly.
The consultant shall furnish copies of such voucher to the applicant at the same time such voucher is submitted to the Town.
The Town Board shall review and audit all such vouchers and shall approve payment of only such consulting fees and disbursements as are reasonable in amount and necessarily incurred by the Town in connection with the review, consideration and action on the project. For purpose of the foregoing, a fee or part thereof is reasonable in amount if it bears a reasonable relationship to the average charge by consultants to the Town for services performed in connection with the review of similar projects in the Town, and if there are no similar projects in the Town, then for similar projects located in Orange County, to the extent that such similar projects may exist. The Town Board may take into consideration the size, type and nature of the project, together with such special features, including topography, soil conditions, water, drainage conditions and any special conditions or considerations as the Town Board may consider relevant. The approval of the voucher by the Town Board shall be deemed to be made by the Board after taking any or all of the foregoing into consideration when so acting.
If at any time during or after the review of any project there shall be insufficient monies on hand to the credit of such applicant to pay the approved vouchers in full, or if it shall reasonably appear to the Town Supervisor that such monies will be insufficient to meet vouchers yet to be submitted, the Town Supervisor shall advise the applicant who shall deposit additional sums as the Town Supervisor deems necessary or advisable in order to meet such expenses or anticipated expenses.
In the event that the applicant fails to deposit such monies, the Town Supervisor shall notify, as applicable, the board or officer of the Town of such failure, and any review, approval, building permit or certificates of occupancy may be withheld by the appropriate board or officer of the Town until such monies are deposited.
After conclusion of the review of the project and after payment of all approved vouchers submitted, any sums remaining on account to the credit of such applicant shall be returned to such applicant along with the statement of the vouchers so paid.
The amount of the initial deposit for various projects covered by this chapter shall be set forth in a schedule of deposits from time-to-time by resolution of the Town Board. Said schedule shall remain in effect and shall apply to all applicants until amended or revised by subsequent resolution. In the event the Town receives an application for a project for which the amount of the initial deposit has not been established on the schedule of deposits, the Town Board shall forthwith establish an amount of the initial deposit for such project and the Town Supervisor shall notify the applicant.
No monies deposited pursuant to this chapter shall be used by the Town to offset the Town's general expenses of consultants' services nor for its general administration expenses.
The deposits required by this chapter shall be in addition to any application fees which may be required by any other regulation of the Town.