Sarasota News Leader


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 18 of 84

Sarasota News Leader September 21, 2012 "With the lack of growth and the struggling economy, I don't think it's a very good time to reinstate the impact fee," said School Board member Frank Kovach. "I agree," Todd said. In response to a question from board mem- ber Jane Goodwin, the district's deputy chief financial officer, Al Weidner, said the education impact fees can be used only for school-growth projects. In concurring with Kovach and Todd, Good- win said, "We're not looking at growth in our classrooms in the near future. Anything we can do to help people buy homes" or af- ford to move to Sarasota County would be positive for the area's economy, she added. During the County Commission discussion, which came as part of that board's work- shop on growth issues, Clark Davis, general manager of Public Works planning, said the education impact fees last were updated in 2004. The county's impact fee systems for the library, park, road, emergency medical services, fire and rescue, general govern- ment and justice facilities categories all dated to 2007, he said. A temporary, 50-percent reduction in the county's road impact fee, adopted in 2011, will end for permits accepted on or after Feb. 1, 2013, if the commission takes no action, Davis said. Referring to the cost data used for the impact fees, Commissioner Joe Barbetta pointed out, "That was pre-recession. Prices were higher. … How's that fair to someone coming in today, when costs are lower?" Page 18 "It's time to revisit that," Davis said, "and make sure that we've got … the latest and best available data." "We should be doing this annually," Bar- betta said of the updates, adding a sugges- tion that staff consult the appropriate state statute on the matter. "There is no statute," Davis said. "We should be using the most available data," Barbetta said. "To sit back and not have done anything for six years is a little bit disturbing." However, Commissioner Jon Thaxton pointed out that the board had tried to un- dertake an update about two years ago. At that time, Thaxton said, a lag with the data collection led to cost calculations showing the pre-recession levels. "We've remained safely below an over- charge situation for the road impact fees," Davis told the commissioners. Staff does an annual report on all the im- pact fees, Davis added. "They're at least thought about, even if they're not brought to the board for discussion." Already, Davis said, staff was planning an impact fees presentation to the County Commission on Oct. 9. In response to a question from Chairwom- an Christine Robinson, Davis said the road impact fee study would take the longest. Generally, he said, staff needed about six months from the time a study began until the data was ready for the commission's re- view.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Sarasota News Leader - 09/21/12