Re Vikki Ferris letter, "Residents don't want ill-timed impact fee," April 26:
I do not agree that the impact fee should be repealed. It should have been enacted long ago. I would, gladly, have paid a fee when building my house if it meant that community services and roadway infrastructure benefited. For far too long, developers enjoyed free rein - building without caring for the impact it made on a given area. A drive along the Neck certainly reveals that local development continues, albeit at a slower pace - which is good, following the building/buying frenzy that existed for over a decade and ended a couple of years ago. The creation of an impact fee had little to do with the collapse of the local real estate market, and its repeal is not going to revitalize housing/commercial development.
While there are some indications that our overall national economy is slowly improving, the local real estate market will not likely return to previous growth levels. This is a sad situation in our nondiversified local economy, which has relied too heavily on the tourist industry and real estate sales for job creation. South Carolina, like most states, is facing severe budgetary constraints that affect even basic programs such as funding for Medicaid. To expect the state to allocate adequate funds to this area for community services improvements is ridiculous. Meanwhile, we in Georgetown County benefit from this fee - not a tax.
The writer lives in Pawleys Island.