A SPECIAL JOINT MEETING BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY
COMMISSIONERS AND THE LAKE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
JULY 27, 2004
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners held a special joint meeting with the Lake County School Board on Tuesday, July 27, 2004, at 2:00 p.m., in the Magnolia Room, at Lake-Sumter Community College, Leesburg, Florida, to discuss impact fees and growth issues. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Debbie Stivender, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell; Catherine C. Hanson; and Robert A. Pool. School Board Members present were: Kyleen Fischer, Chairman; Becky Elswick; Dennis Reid; and Jimmy Connor. Others present were Pam Saylor, Superintendent, Lake County Schools; Steve Johnson, Attorney, Lake County Schools; Jim Drake, Chief Financial Officer, Lake County Schools; Jim Polk, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Support, Lake County Schools; Randy Young, Henderson, Young & Company; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; William “Bill” Neron, County Manager; Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Growth Management Director; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioner’s Office; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
Ms. Kyleen Fischer, Chairman, Lake County School Board, welcomed those present, stating that she appreciated the opportunity to host this meeting, as the Chairman of the Lake County School Board. She stated that she felt it was a great opportunity to have dialogue between the Board of County Commissioners and the School Board and that she felt those present would be impressed with the information that would be presented, at which time she asked that all questions be held until after said presentations. She noted that Mr. Scott Strong, School Board Member, would not be present at this meeting, due to the fact that he was on vacation, and commended Ms. Becky Elswick, School Board Member, who was also on vacation, for taking the time to attend the meeting. She then introduced the other members of the School Board who were present, as well the Superintendent of Schools and the School Board Attorney.
Commr. Debbie Stivender, Chairman, Board of County Commissioners, addressed those present and thanked both the County’s staff and the School Board’s staff for working so well together. She then introduced the County Attorney and the rest of the Board of County Commissioners who were present at the meeting, noting that everyone involved was trying to complete the process and do it properly. She stated that what was not accomplished this date would, hopefully, be accomplished at the next meeting, scheduled to be held in August of this year, and that any questions that might come up that staff could not answer would be addressed again at that meeting. She stated that the purpose of this meeting was to get everyone on board, to see what they have been doing and make sure they have been going in the right direction, noting that they cannot talk to each other about issues involving the County, unless they meet in a forum such as this.
Ms. Pam Saylor, Superintendent, Lake County Schools, addressed those present stating that, on behalf of the students, the teachers, and the staff of Lake County Schools, she would like to thank all the members of the Board of County Commissioners for their continued concern and willingness to seek a solution to the problems that the County’s schools face, with the rapid growth that is occurring in the County and its cities. She echoed what Ms. Fischer and Commr. Stivender had stated, regarding the amount of work that has gone on between the County’s staff and the School Board’s staff, noting that they have met at least seven times regarding this issue. She stated that she feels they have been very productive and the kind of communication that it opened up is outstanding.
Superintendent Saylor stated that a lot has transpired since the first joint meeting was held, in February of 2003, and she felt it was important to recount that meeting and remember how many things have happened since then. She stated that the Board of County Commissioners established a moratorium on new development; the School Board passed a resolution requesting that annexations, rezonings, and developments not be approved, unless an adequate funding source was in place to provide for school capacity; the school impact fee was increased to $3,489.00; the interlocal agreement between the School District and governmental agencies was adopted; the staffs of the two Boards have established a great working relationship; the County and municipalities have shared information and provided information to developers and governing boards, regarding the fiscal and student impact of proposed developments, annexations, and rezonings; the Board of County Commissioners has approved several developments that have offered the gap fee to the school district; and several rezonings, annexations, and future land use map amendments have been denied, or withdrawn, due to the lack of capacity to provide for potential new students.
Superintendent Saylor further stated that the School Board adopted a resolution to support the Martinez Plan and to pursue other alternatives to provide a mechanism to provide classrooms at the same pace as growth; the School District appealed the state enrollment projections for this coming school year and succeeded in amending the projections, to include the rapid growth that the County is experiencing; and the plant survey and five year plan were amended and approved, to include the addition of five elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school in the next five years. She stated that a new elementary school, Leesburg Elementary, will open the week of August 30, 2004, and the School Board has redistricting underway for South Lake High School and East Ridge High School. She stated that they are adding permanent capacity to several of the schools in the County and have updated their Impact Fee Study, to determine the true cost of growth on the County’s school infrastructure. She stated that the problem of overcrowding in Lake County’s schools is not yet solved, so they need to continue to work together on this critical issue that affects every child and every adult in the County, and the School District is prepared to offer any information they have available, or the capability to generate, to assist the Board of County Commissioners in making decisions that are beneficial to all of Lake County.
Mr. Jim Drake, Chief Financial Officer, Lake County Schools, addressed those present stating that the purpose for this meeting was to discuss the Impact Fee Study and to deal with the available facilities funding sources that the School Board has at their disposal, at which time he turned the floor over to Mr. Randy Young, with Henderson, Young & Company, who conducted the study regarding impact fees for educational facilities.
Mr. Young addressed those present and reviewed his report, dated July 16, 2004, stating that the subject of impact fees is one that he was very familiar with, having conducted over 120 impact fee studies over the last 10 to 12 years, including a number of studies last year for Lake County. He stated that part of updating the impact fees last year included updating the school impact fee, which had not been updated for a number of years, and, as a result of the study, a substantial change was made in the school impact fee, increasing it to over $3,000 per single family dwelling. He stated that the Ordinance that adopted the fees requires that they be updated at least every few years, but, it also provides that they can be updated more frequently, if circumstances warrant. He stated that the School Board, in looking at the work that they did a year ago and at the impact of things like the class size amendment and the methodology that is available now for school impact fees, decided that it was time not to wait several years, but to move immediately to review the impact fee calculations from a year ago and prepare a new technical study, analyzing the cost of providing schools, the need for said schools, and the financing available to meet the cost of said schools, and put said information together in an updated study.
Mr. Young stated that a presentation was made to the School Board and they were provided with a memorandum that highlighted some of the major changes to the impact fee calculations from last year’s $3,489.00 per single family house to this year’s recommended $10,775.00 per single family house. He stated that there were three principal reasons for the substantial increase in the impact fee, the first being that it is a new way of looking at the so called “credits calculation”, noting that one of the requirements for impact fees is that the School Board has to see whether other money is available to build the same capital facilities that the impact fees pay for. He stated that the impact fee case law in the State of Florida states that, if a county is going to build a new school, buy a new bus, or build a new bus barn, they have to see whether other money is available to pay for it and, if there is enough money to pay for it, there is no impact fee. He stated that, if there is enough money available to pay for part of the facility, then the part that is paid for by other money is used to reduce the impact fee. He stated that last year the calculations they prepared for the School Board indicate that using the old approach of spreading all their dollars across all their needs allowed them to have approximately 40% of the cost of new schools available from their, otherwise, severely stressed revenue source and it meant they were not paying for the cost of replacing the portables, renovating the existing schools, and taking care of problems for the existing school population, at the level that they needed to.
Mr. Young stated that last year, in preparing the impact fee report for the Osceola County School Board, they took a hard look at the question of whether or not it is reasonable to require a School Board to spend some of its money on new schools for new development, or whether the School Board has the legal authority to direct, by matter of policy, where its money goes. He stated that the determination of the attorneys involved in that impact fee study was that the School Board has the right to put all its dollars towards maintaining the assets that it already owns that serve the existing school population and, if, and only if, money is left over after those costs are taken care of, would that left over money be available to pay for new schools to meet the needs of new development. He stated that, in Osceola County, there was not any money left over, so, for the first time since his firm has prepared impact fee studies, they prepared a rate study that said the credit was zero, that there was no other money available to pay for new schools, because all the money was spoken for by the other needs of the School District. He stated that they performed a similar analysis for Lake County and the outcome was the same, noting that the dollar numbers were in the rate study, but, in general terms, the School Board has a little over $200 million available for the next five years, including some additional future borrowing within the policy of the School Board, but it is looking at over $360 million in expenses before it has the first dollar expense of new schools, to serve new development; therefore, the School Board starts behind the eight ball to the tune of over $140 million, meaning that there is not only no money to pay for new schools for new subdivisions, but there is a $140 million shortage to meet the needs of the students in the schools that exist today. He stated that, based on the advice of their attorneys and on their technical analysis, they applied the new credit methodology to the impact fee calculations for Lake County Schools and it is that one change in methodology that produced the largest portion of the change in the impact fee, from the $3,500.00 to over $10,000.00.
Mr. Young stated that the second largest contributor to the increase in the impact fee is an important addition to the cost side of the calculation, noting that school districts all over the State, including the Lake County School District, customarily borrow money to pay for the cost of school construction. He stated that, in past impact fee calculations for school districts in Florida, including the one that was done last year for Lake County, they had not included the cost for borrowing, however, noted that there is a cost associated with borrowing, which he elaborated on. He stated that it is that substantial expense that has been included in this impact fee calculation that allows for the School Board to continue the practice that it has had in the past, which is to borrow money and then earn the money to pay the interest and to pay for the school itself. He stated that this was not done before, because there was a hope throughout the State, as well as in Lake County, that impact fees would generate enough cash for the County to start building schools for cash, rather than borrowing the money to do so, however, noted that it is quite evident that that date has not yet arrived and is not likely to arrive in the near future. He stated that they based their cost calculations on a detailed analysis of the School Board’s current and future borrowing plan and found that a very substantial portion of the increase in the impact fee from the $3,500.00 figure to the $10,000.00 figure is due to the interest expense and borrowing costs.
Mr. Young stated that the third most significant contributing factor, which is relatively small compared to the first two, but sizeable enough to be noteworthy, is the analysis they performed on what they nicknamed the “student generation rate”, meaning the average number of students per dwelling unit. He stated that they performed this analysis in every school impact fee study and performed it in Lake County’s impact fee update last year, however, noted that last year the School Board brought to their attention the fact that Lake County has a rather substantial portion of its housing units that are deed restricted for residents that are age 55 and over and, as a result, those kinds of housing units do not generate impacts on the schools, because they are not allowed to have school age children. He stated that the School Board asked them last year to consider that fact, so they looked at the data that was available at that time and recommended back to the School Board that they did not think they had enough data to support such an adjustment, but this time around they looked at the County’s records - the deed restrictions on file that indicate with great specificity exactly which subdivisions and which mobile home parks are deed restricted and they counted the number of dwelling units in each of those properties and subtracted those dwelling units from the total inventory of dwelling units in the census, so that what they calculated was the student generation rate - the ratio of students per household, based on the number of households that generate students, rather than the total number of households, including those that do not generate students, which led to approximately a 13% increase in the number of students per household, which translates into a significant increase in the fee.
Mr. Young stated that, by preparing a much more detailed analysis, they have an even higher confidence in their calculations for the cost of land and the cost of ancillary facilities that are central to the system, such as school transportation facilities, storage buildings, warehouses, maintenance facilities, the school district offices, etc. He stated that some of those costs went up and some went down, but they are confident that they have an even more accurate picture than they had a year ago. He stated that the impact fees they calculated have a substantial increase and would, if adopted, reflect the true cost of surveying each of the new developments, subdivisions, mobile home parks, condominiums, etc. in the County. He stated that, if these fees were adopted, he feels there would be no need for a gap fee, because this number calculates and closes that gap. He stated that these were the principal changes that his firm identified and included in the recommended fee of $10,775.00 per single family house. He stated that Lake County’s adoption of a school impact fee requires and actively engages a very deliberate and public process, noting that it did last year and will again this year. He stated that the School District assigned a substantially larger group of staff to assist in preparing research for the impact fee than what was available last year and hundreds of hours more this time around than last were available from staff to work hard at getting the numbers and getting them right. He stated that he was very sensitive to getting it right, because, in the 120 impact fee studies that his firm has conducted, last year the number got past him and Mr. Drake and had to be fixed at the end. He stated that the $3,489.00 figure that was adopted in Lake County takes into account the fact that a proposed new elementary school was listed twice in one of the spread sheets, which his staff caught, but the change was not made after it was caught and Mr. Drake did not notice that the change was not made, so they are determined this time around to have the most transparent process possible for the development of the school impact fee.
Mr. Young stated that early next week he and Mr. Drake would be putting onto a disc, for anyone that wants a copy of it, every piece of raw data given to his firm by the School District, every table that he prepared from that raw data, and every spreadsheet that he developed to calculate the impact fee, as well as a copy of the report itself. He stated that they would welcome any questions from the School Impact Fee Advisory Committee, knowing that they will put it under a microscope, as they did before, and would welcome the very detailed review that the Lake County staff has already begun. He stated that it would be an even more open process than it was the last time and last time was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a closed process. He stated that they would welcome questions from the entire community, not just people who are members of advisory committees, members of the Board of County Commissioners, or members of the School Board. He stated that they feel, if they do the process properly, with the full participation of all communities, including the development industry, the need for litigation will go away, because all will understand what it really cost to provide new schools for new subdivisions and mobile home parks and that that number is needed, because the School Board does not have enough money from other sources.
At this time, Mr. Young was questioned about various aspects of his presentation.
Regarding the issue of schools in the County being over capacity, Ms. Fischer informed those present that, if they were to access the School Board’s website (www.LakeSchools.com), it gives a listing of every school in the County and indicates whether it is over capacity, or at capacity. She suggested that any questions regarding the issue of overcrowding be directed to Mr. Drake, or to Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Growth Management Director. She noted that the next joint meeting between the Board of County Commissioners and the School Board regarding this issue is scheduled for August 11, 2004, at the Lake County Public Safety Complex in Astatula.
AVAILABLE FACILITIES, FUNDS, AND RESOURCES
Mr. Jim Drake, Chief Financial Officer, Lake County Schools, addressed those present and gave a slide presentation regarding Available Facilities, Funds, and Resources, at which time he distributed a handout containing said information, for their perusal. He stated that the Lake County School Board has several (12) funding sources, which he reviewed, as follows:
1. PECO (Public Education Capital Outlay)
The funding source is from gross receipt taxes and is annually appropriated by the Legislature. The funds are distributed to the District based on a specific formula. These funds must be encumbered, or under a general construction contract, within twenty-one months from the effective date of the appropriation; otherwise, the funds revert to the State. These funds can only be used for construction projects recommended by an educational plant survey.
Amount appropriated for the 2004/2005 fiscal year...................... $0
2. Capital Outlay Millage
• Board may levy up to two mills.
• The district is required to advertise in the newspaper indicating the intent to levy taxes up to the two mill maximum.
• Projects must be advertised and a public hearing held.
• Authorization: Florida Statutes, Section 1011.71(2)
Amount appropriated for the 2004/2005 fiscal year...................... $22,412,835
These funds may be used for the following purposes:
• New construction and remodeling projects included in the District’s educational plant survey.
• Maintenance, renovation, and repair of existing school plants. Such as roofing repairs.
• School bus purchases. Twenty-five with FY2004/2005 funding.
• Purchase of new and replacement equipment. The law was amended to restrict expenditures to those directly related to the delivery of student instruction effective July 1, 2003.
• Payments for educational facilities and sites due under a lease-purchase agreement up to an amount of 75% of the proceeds of the millage levied. For example, a Certificate of Participation was used as the primary vehicle to finance the construction of Leesburg Elementary School.
• Payment of loans approved, pursuant to Section 1011.14 or 1011.15, Florida Statutes.
• Payment of costs directly related to complying with state and federal environmental statutes and regulations governing school facilities.
• Payment for leasing relocatable educational facilities for up to three years.
The district is authorized to issue tax-exempt bonds, or tax-exempt certificates of participation, under agreements with not-for-profit entities. This debt may be repaid from:
• Florida Education Finance Program funds
• Public Education Capital Outlay funds
• Up to 75% of funds derived from two-mill capital outlay levy
Present bonding capacity is approximately....................................$29,000,000
(based on 50% of District’s total 2 mill capital outlay levy)
4. Capital Outlay and Debt Service (CO & DS)
Known as “tag money”, motor vehicle license revenue.
These funds must be spent in order of district’s approved project priority list, as recommended by the Educational Plant Survey.
Amount appropriated for the 2004/2005 fiscal year...................... .$ 211,000
5. Section 1011.14 Loan - Section 1011.15 Loan
The Board is authorized to borrow up to one-fourth of the preceding year’s ad
valorem tax revenue for the operating fund. The loans may be renewed for a period not to exceed five (5) years.
Authorization: Florida Statutes, Section 1011.14 and Section 1011.15
Lake County Schools does not have any of these type borrowings outstanding at the current time.
6. General Obligation Bond Issue
State statutes permit the school district to hold a bond referendum, for voters to fund capital projects that cannot be funded on a current basis. The amount of millage increase is dependent on the amount of funds borrowed and assessment necessary to pay the debt service on the bond issue.
Lake County Schools has no General Obligation Bonds outstanding at this time.
7. State Board of Education Bonds
Amount available, based on bonding capacity of district, as determined by State Department of Education.
Authorization: School Capital Outlay Amendment, Article XII, Section 9, Subsection (2), Florida Constitution of 1968, as amended in the General Election of November, 1972.
Principal amount outstanding as of 6/30/04...................................$9,300,000
Bond issue for 2003/2004...............................................................$ 995,000
(2004/2005 Bond Issue Amounts are not yet available from FDOE)
8. Impact Fee
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners approved a School Board request to impose an impact fee. Prior to October 1, 2003, Lake County was divided into three areas, for the purpose of collecting and expending impact fees. Effective October 1, 2003, the fee became a single district fee, when the fee rate changed, as noted below. During the period of July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004, a total of $11,202,563 was collected.
Impact Fee Rates Effective October 1, 2003:
Single Family $3,489
Mobile Home $1,379
Amount anticipated for 2004/2005................................................ $15,000,000
9. Sales Tax
Based on a vote of the electorate, in November of 2001, for the renewal of the existing penny sales tax, the School Board began receiving a third of the penny, effective January 1, 2003. These tax moneys were then bonded to fund the major new construction, remodeling, and renovation at the District’s existing older high schools.
Sales tax collections are expected to equal the debt service payments over the 15-year life of the tax.
Projected revenues for FY 2004/2005 are $10,462,474.
• Sales Tax Revenues $ 7,807,064
• Interest Revenues $ 197,490
• Bond Proceeds
2003 Bond $45,990,000
2004 Bond $15,500,000
10. Classrooms for Kids
Funding provided by the State Legislature to aid the District in increasing capacity, resulting in reduced class sizes. This program was a direct result of the Class-size Amendment to the State Constitution that was passed by voters.
Funds can be used to construct, renovate, remodel, or repair educational facilities to meet the new class size requirements. There is also a provision that allows for the purchase of relocatable classrooms to achieve that goal. Projects must be identified as being in excess of those identified in the District’s 5-year work program adopted prior to March 15, 2003.
The District has been awarded $19,181,286 that will be used in the 2004/2005 Fiscal Year.
11. District Effort Recognition
Funding provided by the State Legislature, in recognition of efforts made by the District to meet class-size reduction goals promulgated by the Legislature, in accordance with the Class Size Reduction Amendment to the State Constitution.
This statute directs the District to use these funds to first address any unmet class- size reduction needs, and then for any other lawful capital outlay needs.
The District has been awarded $676,016 that will be used in the 2004/2005 Fiscal Year.
12. School Infrastructure Thrift (SIT) Program
One-time funding provided by the State Legislature, as an incentive for districts to build schools with construction costs that fall below the State averages, while maintaining safety, functionality, and quality.
The District was awarded $2,819,603 in FY 2002/2003.
This concluded Mr. Drake’s slide presentation, at which time he answered questions from the Board regarding same.
REVIEW OF AUGUST 11, 2004 MEETING AGENDA
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Growth Management Director, addressed those present stating that a couple of questions that were asked are on the Agenda for the meeting scheduled for August 11, 2004, specifically those questions dealing with school capacity and portables. He stated that staff tried to anticipate questions, however, noted that, over the course of the next two weeks, should any questions come to mind, to get them to Mr. Drake, Mr. Polk, or himself, and they will try to get the answers to said questions before the next meeting.
Mr. Jim Polk, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Support, Lake County Schools, addressed those present stating that he had provided them with two handouts (Student Enrollment Summary Drafts) containing information that they had received, piecemeal, in various meetings that have been held. He stated that they tried to put said information into one document, so that all of it could be reviewed at one time. He stated that it was distributed to them this date, to give them a chance to look at it and study it, prior to the next meeting. He stated that one handout contained information about student enrollment in the County’s schools and the second handout contained the same information, but broken down by each district in the County. He stated that the School Board and its staff is committed to providing the Board of County Commissioners with any information they need to make a decision regarding the impact fee issue and that, if there was anything else they desired, to let the School Board and its staff know. He stated that he appreciated working with the County’s staff, noting that he feels it has been a good experience for everyone involved, in that he feels both sides have learned something from each other regarding the issue and have an appreciation for what each other’s staff is doing.
Commr. Pool stated that he has heard many times that to build a school for a particular area there has to be a demand or need for said school, therefore, questioned to what degree the Lake County School System could plan and prepare for growth. He questioned whether the State would allow them to build for 1,000 students, if they only have 500 students today, in order to be prepared for the next five years.
Mr. Polk stated that the law states students must be in place, before the School System will be allowed to build a school, however, noted that the County is looked at as a whole, not in geographical districts. He stated that, if there are empty student stations in The Villages, in Lady Lake, they cannot build a new school in south Lake County, because they have not filled those empty stations in Lady Lake. He stated that, when they have sufficient students, countywide, to exceed their permanent capacity, then and only then can they build a new school. He stated that the State will not let them build ahead.
It was noted that, due to this fact, when a new school is built, it is already at capacity.
Commr. Pool stated that he wanted the public to recognize the problem that the School System and the County are faced with, noting that he feels Tallahassee has to change its way of thinking.
Ms. Nora Thompson, a Lake County resident, questioned whether, if a developer built an over-55 community and in ten years the market changed and the community wanted to become family oriented, they would be allowed to do so.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that, when the Board approves exemptions for adult communities, they require that there be a covenant recorded in the public records that restricts children from living in them and, in that covenant, the Board provides that it cannot be changed without the County’s consent. He further stated that, if it is changed, they would have to pay the impact fees that were in existence at that time, so, if they wanted to change it to accept families ten years later, they could do it, but would have to pay the impact fees.
Mr. Keith Schue, a member of the County’s Local Planning Agency, stated that the School Board gave an excellent presentation to the Agency approximately one month ago, talking about various issues that the County is currently facing. He stated that he questioned whether or not portables were part of a long-term solution and was informed that they are not - that they actually cost more money in upkeep and they do not last forever. He asked that the School Board elaborate on the matter a little more.
Mr. Polk stated that portables have become a necessary evil over the years, noting that they are a quick fix to a population problem and that is how they get set up initially. He stated that a particular school will have an influx of children, creating a need for portables, because the School System cannot build another wing on the school in time, noting that it takes approximately one year to do so. However, he stated that, what has happened over the years is that, since capital outlay dollars have not been there to build a new wing on a school, or to build a new school, the portables have remained and become more permanent than portable. He stated that the School System has tried very hard to get rid of portables, but the County’s growth has been so great that, when they build a new wing on a school to replace the portables, they just have to move them to another school where the growth has increased, because they have not had the money or the time to build another wing on that school. He stated that it is like a perpetual cancer that they cannot get rid of, at which time he noted that they have had to add 63 additional portables this Summer, just to accommodate growth.
Ms. Elswick stated that, as a School Board Member, she listens to teachers, students, and parents complain about portables all the time. She stated that, when they are placed on a campus, it compromises the School Board’s ability to go in and do construction, to add the new facilities that are needed, and they compromise the infrastructure that is in place, such as the Cafeteria and Media Room, because even though a portable and student stations are added they are not necessarily adding space to feed those students, or adding additional bathrooms for them. She stated that she also hears complaints about the portables not having covered walkways, however, noted that they cannot construct them, because, if they do, they are required to meet certain building codes and they are considered as permanent student stations in a place where they may not need to have permanent student stations. She discussed some problems that teachers have with the air conditioning units in the portables, as well, in that they make so much noise that the teachers have difficulty talking over the noise to teach their classes. She stated that there are a myriad of problems involved with having portables on campuses.
Ms. Cheryl Berkey, with Sandspur Housing, questioned the time frame involved for the new impact fee to take effect, if it does, in fact, take effect.
Commr. Stivender stated that there is no time frame on it at the present time, however, noted that it has to go before the Impact Fee Committee and they are not scheduled to have a meeting until September 16, 2004. She stated that it would have to be reviewed by said committee, before coming back to the Board for final approval.
Ms. Berkey questioned when the increase would go into effect, if all goes as planned and it gets approved.
Mr. Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that, if the Impact Fee Committee met in September and recommended to the Board that it go into effect in October, that would be the earliest that it would go into effect.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson, congratulated the two Boards for meeting and trying to work together, however, noted that, after talking to a number of her clients, there is some concern in the development community, in terms of the real impact that the fee would have. She stated that, in looking at the matter this date, she feels it is an untested methodology and is very different from the methodology that was used previously and is being challenged in Osceola County. She stated that she felt it was being challenged in Volusia County, as well, therefore, hoped the two Boards were not being too aggressive, noting that they were stepping out in uncharted waters, in terms of methodologies. She stated that she felt the Boards were going to find, with this kind of a dramatic increase, that they were going to have a lot more participation and there were going to be a lot more questions. She stated that she was pleased to hear that interested parties were going to be able to acquire data and handouts that were not available this date, at which time she questioned whether there was a specific contact person from either the County, or the School Board, that interested parties should contact, to ensure them that they have the latest information and are keeping pace with what the two Boards are doing.
It was noted that, as mentioned earlier, Mr. Jim Drake or Mr. Gregg Welstead should be contacted for said information.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the two Boards, the meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
DEBBIE STIVENDER, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK