Italy City Council restructures permit fees for Italy ISD

During their meeting on September 1, 2016 the Italy City Council voted to waive the .06 cent per square foot permit fees for the construction of the Italy ISD facilities. In a called meeting on Tuesday night, the Council voted to rescind that and restructure the construction permit fees. Lee Joffre, Superintendent of Italy ISD addressed the council with the following comments.

“I am here today to publically thank the City Council and Mayor for meeting with our construction crew this past week. The meeting was productive and I believe the end result will be beneficial to the city as well as the school. During the meeting we discussed using the Kaufman ISD fee schedule as a model. I believe a similar model will be beneficial to the school and the city.

The school will benefit by paying reasonable fees for a Plan Review. The school will also benefit by focusing the 2015 bond funding on the actual buildings and other improvements for students. Please remember that prior to the passing of the bond we gathered input from the community and school personnel. Many district improvement options were put on hold so we could ensure we stayed within the community’s bonding capacity. The fact is, much of the current project and future additions will be paid for using district budgeted funds and even fund balance. When a city keeps fees reasonable and school construction practices are aligned with neighboring cities it helps the school district focus budgeted funds on instruction and instructional materials.

The city will benefit when builders see the commitment to the students of Italy ISD, thus, increasing the chances for future business growth. In addition, the school is currently planning to pay the cost of installing water lines to the construction area for the field.

Also, I am meeting with our construction crew this Friday. We may increase the size of the detention pond that will be on our property south of the football field. We recognize that recent rains have caused flooding of some homes adjacent to the property next to ours. We are willing to help the city by increasing the size of the detention pond should we be able to add it to our budget. A larger detention pond will slow the water down and thus decrease the chances of flooding.

Many cities do not charge school districts for fees related to construction. We understand that the City of Italy will have expenses that it can’t absorb. Italy Independent School District does not want the City of Italy to go into debt or have unrecovered expenses because of our construction projects. We want any and all of our fees to be reasonable.

On behalf of Italy Independent School District I have two requests:

#1 – At our meeting I was able to express concerns I have regarding the city inspector. The main concern was he wanted us to pay for over 450 inspections. John Erwin Construction recently completed a large project for Whitney ISD. The project included three athletic fields, a field house and three concession stands. The buildings were approximately 20,000 sq ft. There were a total of 28 inspections over an 8 month period. You can see why I am concerned. Based on those concerns, I respectfully request that the city use a different inspector for the Italy ISD construction projects. You have recently approved a different inspector for the new fire station. I understand that he does good work.

# 2- I am asking that you approve a model similar to the fee schedule for Kaufman ISD with intent to cover the expenses incurred by the city. This model would have the school district pay a Plan Review Fee of $5,628.00. I understand that the city pays for inspection fees out of permit fees. I request that any permit fees you charge be set to cover the expenses the city will incur for the inspections. It is my understanding that inspection fees range from $75.00 – $85.00. Based on Whitney’s recent experience we would have approximately $4,800.00 of inspection fees.

Neither the school nor the city should make money or lose money because of one another. Thank you for meeting here today to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

The council discussed impact fees. Information the city furnished showed that without them the school would pay $31,357,60 and with them it would be $104,833.60. Joffre was told there would be no impact fees. Joffre said the school would be responsible for the MEPS.

The figures the city furnished at the meeting based on Kaufman ISD were as follows:

4,700 Vo/Ag
31,000 School property
35,700 Total square feet

x .21
+ $5,997.60 80% RVF
+ $3,363.00 MEPS-$50.00 × 3=$150.00 + .03 × 35,700 sq ft x 3 (MEP) = $3,213.00
+$73,476.00 Impact fees – 35,700 sq. ft. + 1,000 (round up) 36 x $2,041.00
+ $12,500.00 Water taps (1 ½”, $2,00.00, 2 ½” $4,000, 6” $6,000)
+ $2,000.00 Sewer taps (2-4” $1,000.00)

No impact fees for sewer or streets.

Michael Chambers asked why there were water tap fees since the school would be doing the installation of water lines and the water tap. The council stated these fees would be removed. It was stated that the city would maintain the water lines up to the meter.

Council member Paul Shearin proposed the school pay $16,857.60 plus the cost of inspections. He said he felt there would need to be 20 regular inspections and 10 partial inspections making the cost $3,750.00. This would be a total cost of $20,607.60 for fees and inspections. He said the city is trying to be a good neighbor to the school.

The council passed the cost of $20,607.60 for Italy ISD.

The council took no action on a request to designate two parking spaces in front of the Hometown Cleaners for that business.

In the last item of business they voted to ratify all final expenditures made from October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016 to close out the budget.