Board discusses increased fees

Alpine Union School District Chief Business Officer William Pickering said the board may want to consider a resolution advancing a fees increase tied to future develop­ment projects.

During the Feb. 2 meeting Pick­ering said that district capacity is currently assumed to be 1,670 students, a number that has not been reconfigured since 1999. He then explained that analyzing birth rates for 2019 and projecting those figures to anticipated future enrollment in five years leads to a predicted school capacity calcula­tion of 1,835 students for the 2024-25 school year.

Presumably, that would mean approximately 165 sets of sneak­ers walking on floors in portable classrooms that are designed with a limited lifespan and running on playgrounds that require extra maintenance for every student that attends class.

Board President Travis Lyon said that some new real estate developments home developments in Alpine could, through increased development fees, pro­vide funding toward increased school facility maintenance. Col­lected fees would be designated for facility maintenance, includ­ing sports fields as they are used for P.E. classrooms.

Board member Glenn Dickie rea­soned that homeowners having to pay additional school facility fees is not unlike having to pay for sewer installation— users who arrive af­ter the initial development have to pay their fair share of maintenance costs. However, boardmember Eric Wray expressed concern that the possible assessment would leave local homeowners on the hook for multiple school fees.

“I’m not going to vote for it… I’m very concerned about the bonds. I know they take different forms but they still take money out of family’s pockets,” Wray said.

Ultimately, the resolution to increase school facilities fees on certain real estate development passed a vote with only Wray vot­ing against the resolution.

Board discusses increased fees

2 COMMENTS

  1. Although we vote for Conservatives/Republicans (and nearly all the office holders in Alpine say they are Republicans), we seem to still see our fees constantly increased…from fire fees to now development fees, etc. In this particular case, a school board of Conservatives seems willing to increase development fees based upon someone looking into a crystal ball. Of course, one might ask, if we thought there was going to be an increase in student population, why was Alpine Elementary closed? This makes no sense.

  2. A state authorized one time fee per square foot on new residential and commercial construction within a school district is charged to developers on the premise that new construction will lead to additional students. Actual birth rates together with currently approved subdivision tracts supports Alpine Union’s fee increase. There is no projection of population growth based upon future forecast of potential subdivision planning or approvals.

    This is not a tax on residents, but a one time charge paid by developers before construction permits are approved by the County.

    Alpine Union has not approved an increase in these developers’ fees since 1996, 24 years ago; since before Joan MacQueen Middle School was built. The approved increase of about $2000 is less than one half of one percent on the current price of the average new home in Alpine.

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