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Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or pgould@freelancestar.com. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or rsidersky@freelancestar.com.

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Kalahari work session — there’s plenty of room here

UPDATE (7:50p.m.): A few more people trickled in, and the work session was mostly a reiteration of things city staff members have already said or written about this project. A few new details:

The water discount– As previously reported, Kalahari will pay a reduced rate for water that equals the city’s cost for the water plus 15 percent. Public Works Director Doug Fawcett said that 15 percent is meant as "Kalahari’s contribution to maintenance and repair of the system." It will fluctuate as the city’s cost of water fluctuates. How does it compare to what everyone else pays for water? The Kalahari rate, based on current costs, amounts to $1.24 per thousand gallons of water. The regular rate for a thousand gallons is $1.75

Building permit fees– Permit fees will also be waived, per the terms of the incentives package. Building and Development Services Director Steve Smallwood said Kalahari estimates its project will total 900,000 square feet. That would mean the city would be waiving $250,000 in building permit fees. The other related fees–erosion and sediment control, site plan review and development–to be waived would be around $60,000. Kalahari will have to pay for overtime inspections and re-inspections. Smallwood also said Kalahari has chosen its general contractor–Ohio-based Rudolph/Libbe. He said Kalahari has pledged to use local subcontractors as much as possible.

Rodenberg also said he has heard a preliminary report from the consultant hired to check out Kalahari’s economic impact claims, indicating that the project is feasible and merits public investment. The council will get a more detailed report before the March 11 public hearing on the Kalahari incentives agreement.

There will likely be more discussion of this as the council meeting continues.

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If you’re still looking for some Tuesday nightlife, there are plenty of seats here at the Kalahari work session. There are only two people in the audience who are not affiliated with either the city or Celebrate Virginia.

The event has lost one of its headliners, though. City Manager Phillip Rodenberg just said that James Prost, the consultant whom the city hired to evaluate Kalahari’s economic impact statements, can’t make it. That means the entire work session will consist of presentations from city staff. Kevin Gullette said you can actually look at most of those here.

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