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Harvard reduces building fees to attract new residential development

Harvard Mayor Michael Kelly
Harvard Mayor Michael Kelly

HARVARD – The city has lowered its building and impact fees in an effort to attract new development in Harvard.

The City Council voted last week to reduce residential building fees for home construction, which includes permit and inspection fees and school, park, library and fire protection district impact fees.

The decision to lower fees is part of an active strategy to bring in new residents as Harvard’s retail and manufacturing industries grow, Mayor Michael Kelly said in a statement.

Kelly noted the 200,000 square feet of new construction underway in Arrowhead Industrial Park, and he said the creation of an enterprise zone could continue to attract business growth.

“The new Harvard-Woodstock enterprise zone has put our community on the radar of expanding companies,” Kelly said.

Fees to build a 1,500-square-foot home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a basement and garage will total about $8,043, which is less than half McHenry County’s average fee of about $20,441 for the same size home, city officials said.

The amount of fees range depending on the community. In Hebron, the cost to build the same house would total about $12,469, and in Huntley, the cost would be $35,540, Kelly said.

“Harvard’s fee structure was already one of the lowest in McHenry County,” he said. “The City Council created this bold new ordinance to make it crystal clear that Harvard has the lowest fees to build a new home in this county by a wide margin.”

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