PHENIX CITY, AL - "We only had 51 building permits last year, there were no fee increases last year," said Phenix City Council Member, Steve Bailey. "Why was there no more building done?"
It's a complicated question to answer said the Phenix City Board of Realtors. But part of it involves fees.
"Adding additional fees, on top of it are not a way to encourage additional development," said Home Builders Association of Alabama representative, Jason Reid.
On top of an already existing indemnification set in place, which the Phenix City Board of Realtors said is preventing builders from getting their job done of building homes in Phenix City.
"I'm going to recommend that we do away with the indemnification agreement," said Phenix City Attorney, Jim McKoon within the first minutes of the meeting. "I've talked to [the committee] and they are going to be in favor of that. So we are going to get that out of the way."
But the Board said that's only one part of the problem. Issues such as high tap fees still stand in the way of successful home building in their opinion.
"These fees not only are they higher but they disproportionately affect a Phenix City home, because the price of the home is not as high in the other areas," said Phenix City Board of Realtors Association Executive, Chris Lammons.
Without more homes being able to be built, the board said Phenix City is on a dangerous path with prosperity.
"What we need is more rooftops, because with rooftops everything you want to happen for a city will follow, as far as commercial development," said Reid. "You know a Target super center is not going to commit and build where the folks are not coming to that city. And it's in that case, as well, that's exactly what the folks here tonight are trying to tell you is a problem."