The City of Sun Prairie is set to reduce traffic impact fees for a proposed daycare center after the developer complained the amount was too high.

The Learning Experience—a 10,000 sq. ft. facility set for construction at 2750 Ironwood Drive—will get a $20,770 reduction in its Westside Traffic Impact Fee, if the city council OK’s it.

The fee program assesses developers for 58 percent of the cost for new westside streets and traffic signals. City taxpayers pay the remainder.

Developers are charged fees based on how many trips the business will generate.

In the company’s fee appeal to the city, attorneys contended the city used data from an outdated Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Trip Generation Manual and that the current edition has lower trip generation rates for daycare centers.

The Sun Prairie Finance Committee reviewed the appeal at its Oct. 8 meeting. City staff recommended approval of a trip generation rate of 47.62 trips per 1,000 sq. ft. for the daycare, resulting in a fee reduction. The committee recommended that the city council approve the fee reduction.

The developer argued for a further reduction in the fees, citing traffic studies from another of its daycare center in New Jersey. But city staff said that wasn’t comparable to the City of Sun Prairie and didn’t recommend approving another fee reduction.

Community Development Director Scott Kugler said the city should review the entire Westside Traffic Impact Fee program in the next couple of years to make sure rates cover costs.

“We want to make sure, in the end, what we collect in fees is equivalent, or very close to the actual cost of the construction of the project,” Kugler said at the Oct. 8 Finance Committee meeting.

Kugler said the city has had around four appeals since the Westside Traffic Impact Fee program was adopted in 2006. He said if the fee reduction is approved by the city council it will have minimal impact on the program.

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