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Editorial: City needs to defer fees for Habitat

Habitat for Humanity is coming to New Richmond in a big way.

The non-profit organization has apparently acquired seven residential lots in the community and plans to construct at least two new homes over the next year.

This is great news for families who are having a tough time moving into their own home.

Those chosen to participate in a Habitat home are required to provide some sweat equity in the project, alongside volunteers who oversee the overall construction of the home.

The eventual homeowners are given a good start in establishing their household as expenses are kept at a minimum and mortgages are made more affordable.

Habitat officials have asked the City to help out in the project. The organization hopes the City will pay the $7,200 in impact fees currently being charged for new homes or at least defer the repayment of those fees.

At Monday's City Council meeting, it appeared local officials were leaning toward a deferment plan. That makes sense.

If the original owners of the property ever sell the home, the City would receive its impact fees from the proceeds of the sale. It seems like a fair compromise -- one that will ensure that the Habitat homes will be affordable for the families building them.

Habitat for Humanity has done a lot of great things in western Wisconsin and across the nation. It's great that New Richmond will soon be a bigger part of that powerful organization's success stories.