The Belgrade School District may ask the city of Belgrade for relief from higher-than-anticipated impact fees being assessed on construction of the new elementary school on Bolinger Road.
Bryan Tate, construction consultant for the project, told the school board at its meeting Monday he was shocked when he saw that the impact fee assessment far exceeded what the district had budgeted originally. That budget was set prior to July 22, 2019, when new impact fees went into effect.
The city now assesses 100 percent of what the impact fee consultant recommended, as opposed to 55 percent under the old fee schedule, said Jason Karp, city planning director.
Superintendent Godfrey Saunders said the district had hoped the project would be grandfathered into the old schedule, but Karp explained that building permit applications submitted after July 22 last year are subject to the new fee schedule.
Karp estimated the new fees are about $161,000 higher than they would have been under the old schedule. In addition to the overall fee adjustment, Karp said another reason for the significant disparity is that traffic impact fees are being calculated differently under the new schedule than they were before. Under the old system, traffic impact fees for schools were based on the number of students. The new system bases fees on a detailed and scientific traffic study specific to the school site, Karp said.
Karp provided a breakdown of the impact fees for the 68,435 square foot school building:
• Fire = $20,667.27
• Water (based on 4-inch water meter) = $79,773.00
• Sewer (based on 4-inch water meter) = $45,152.00 (a 3-inch water meter is $74,955 in combined water and sewer impact fees, and a 2-inch meter is 39,976)
• Streets (based on Morrison Maierle traffic study) = $172,847.35
• Administrative fee (5 percent of total impact fees) = $15,921.99
• Total impact fees: $318,439.72
Saunders told the board that he and City Manager Ted Barkley are planning to discuss the situation this week, and that the district may need to approach the city council to request relief. As of press time Wednesday, those discussions had not yet taken place.