Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Kudos to DeKalb County Builder and Developers Ass.

Glad they're thinking about the taxpayers and their bang for their bucks (additional $16,000 fee/dwelling!?! It pays to stay on the farm sometimes.)
Members of the DeKalb County Builders and Developers Association have told city staff they don’t want to play impact fees.
Out-of-step with neighboring communities, area builders have denounced the city’s proposed fee, saying the formula used to develop it is flawed.

City staff proposed a more than $16,000 single impact fee per dwelling, with all costs melded into one, rather than separate fees for schools, parks, roads and other city services. The services are provided for a new development and its residents. The new fee is three to four times the prior rate.

In a letter to the commission, the builders said, “The household population charts...are outdated and grossly overestimate the number of school-aged children in new construction.” They also said the U.S. Census Bureau data “shows gross overestimating” and added that DeKalb’s method doesn’t allow for students who will attend parochial schools or will be home-schooled.” They also said DeKalb staff plan to use impact fees for items that are not allowable.
The formula for this plan was devised by a Northern IL University fella. I thought this was entertaining regarding the University's past benefits gained.
Pat Bragg, a school board member many years ago, warned that the district once overestimated its expected student population and had to sell Roberts School, which now houses NIU’s School of Nursing. “Don’t overbuild,” said Bragg. She also said she was married to an NIU faculty member and added, “I’m suspicious of university research;” the comment prompted laughter from the large audience.
In the Land Of Lincoln, we are all being over-fee'ed. What is the deal with non-representation of 'the people' but going for the money instead? Joyce Morrison covered this a bit in this IL Leader piece:
A referendum vote showed over 70% of the people opposed building two new schools but it was ignored by the school board and school superintendent as they just couldn’t resist grant money. Like many other small districts, we are now saddled with new schools we didn’t need at a cost that far exceeded the grant.

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