special workshop OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
june 22, 2015
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in a special workshop of the School Board, Lake County School District Office, 201 W. Burleigh Blvd. Tavares, Florida, to hear the presentation and join in the discussion about the Impact Fee Study update by Tindale-Oliver with the School Board. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Sean Parks, Vice Chairman; Leslie Campione; and Welton G. Cadwell; also present was: Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
Ms. Debbie Stivender, School Board Chairman, called the School Board workshop to order and noted the presence of Ms. Susan Moxley, School District Superintendent; Mr. Harry Fix, Director of Growth Planning; and Ms. Nilgun Kamp, Director of Public Finance, as well as Commr. Parks, Commr. Campione, and Commr. Cadwell.
Ms. Kemp mentioned that the Impact Fee study was last updated in 2011, and the impact fees were suspended after that study and reinstated in January 2014 at 25 percent of the calculated rates and 75 percent of the calculated rates effective April 6, 2015. She noted that the growth rate has stabilized in the last several years but is steadily increasing, and the School Board will have to maintain their level of service. She mentioned that schools and transportation account for 80 percent of the cost of infrastructure in a community. She explained the impact fee formula that was used and how variables have changed since the 2011 study.
Ms. Roseanne Brandeburg, School Board Member, asked if the charter schools were included in their numbers.
Mr. Fix explained that the conversion charter schools will be included in those numbers, but the non-conversion charter schools would not be included.
Ms. Kemp elaborated that the prototype reflects what they are likely to build in the future, and she added that they look at vacant land parcels in the county. She specified that they calculated the cost at about $28,500 net cost per student, breaking it down to $28,427 with sales tax and $28,627 without sales tax. She also indicated that there is six percent available capacity now (mostly in middle and high schools) and that there has been a recent trend for more families to move from single family homes to multi-family and mobile homes.
Ms. Brandeburg recapped that they used the sales tax money to remodel the high schools as well as for technology and school buses, and she commented that there are areas in desperate need of funding.
There was discussion about how much the sales tax revenue will reduce the impact fees.
Commr. Campione shared an observation about using sales tax money to bring impact fees down. She opined that it was unfair that existing homes do not pay impact fees, that sales tax was a fair way to pay for construction needs, and that it was good policy to use more of the sales tax for those needs. She elaborated that the impact fees would increase if more sources of funding are taken away.
Ms. Brandeburg commented that $11 million from the penny sales tax does not go that far and pointed out that due to a shortage of funds, they have not bought vehicles for their white fleet in many years.
Mr. Bill Mathias, School Board Member, commented that they should come up with a number that is equitable and fair.
Ms. Brandeberg expressed concern about the possibility of 21,000 new students coming into the public schools when the charter schools close.
Mr. Fix explained that those numbers will not be in this study of existing students, but an update could possibly reflect that.
Ms. Moxley opined that the schools being included or excluded needed to be defined more and that Lake Hills and Lake Tech schools should be included, even though the numbers for those will balance out to the point where they will not affect the numbers.
Commr. Cadwell added that the direct capital funding received by Lake Tech from the state legislature needs to be considered as well. He clarified that the School Board was planning to make a recommendation at the BCC meeting after the study was finalized.
Ms. Stivender stated that she would like to add some of the suggested updates to the study.
Commr. Parks added that CFAC will be providing a recommendation as well.
Mr. Mathias asked for a breakout of how they are issuing the credits.
Mr. Steve Tindale from Tindale-Oliver added that they are expecting the student generation rate to increase more in about three to four years from now, and he mentioned that there was no adjustment at all for vacancy rates.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.
jimmy conner, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK