Monday, May 21, 2018
Education

Hernando moves closer to charging school impact fees

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County is one step closer to seeing the return of school impact fees.

By 3-1, Hernando School Board members on Tuesday accepted a newly completed impact fee study and directed staffers to create a resolution to County Commissioners to accept the proposed fee schedule.

Under the recommendations, the resolution would ask commissioners to approve a one-time fee of $6,988 on new single-family homes.

There's still a long way to go before the fees are restored in Hernando.

On Nov. 5, the School Board will need to formally vote to send the resolution to the County Commission. The county will then set up public hearings on the matter. Commissioners will need to vote on whether to adopt the fees — and at what amount.

Impact fees, which are one-time levies on new home construction, are used to pay for the cost of school district growth.

On Tuesday, Hernando board members listened to a presentation on the impact fee study.

Growth is coming to the district, according to the study.

Enrollment projections show student population increasing by nearly 3,300 students by the 2023-24 school year, including six consecutive years of greater than 1 percent growth, the study found.

In the next 10 years, the district expects it will need to spend $30 million on school expansion or additions, $10 million on new technology needs and $110 million on debt service payments, all of which can be paid by impact fees.

The school impact fees, if adopted at the proposed levels, are estimated to bring in $61.2 million between 2013 and 2022, according to the study.

Superintendent Lori Romano said the district has significant costs down the road — and that the money will need to come from somewhere.

"If it doesn't come from impact fees, it's going to need to come from sales tax or ad valorem," she said. "That's the decision."

Board members discussed the politically-charged topic for about an hour on Tuesday.

Board chairman Matt Foreman made his opposition to the fees clear from the outset, but conceded he was outnumbered on the issue.

"One of my big concerns is collecting money and building things that we don't need with that money," he said

The most contentious moment of the meeting came when it came to deciding whether to send Commissioners a resolution with a specified fee schedule.

Board member John Sweeney initially didn't want to specify the numbers in the resolution. But Ron Pianta, the assistant county administrator for planning and development, said the commission needed that direction:

"If you do not make a recommendation, you're asking the County Commission to set that fee level," he said. "I do not think that they are going to be willing to do that."

Contact Danny Valentine at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432. On [email protected]

Comments
Eckerd College hosts a royal celebration of its own

Eckerd College hosts a royal celebration of its own

A day after England’s royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, St. Petersburg hosted a royal celebration of its own.Among the estimated 500 graduates to receive an Eckerd College diploma at Sunday’s graduation ceremony held at Tropicana ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
At vigil, another school mourns: ‘It is hope in the face of tragedy that brings us together today.’

At vigil, another school mourns: ‘It is hope in the face of tragedy that brings us together today.’

SANTA FE, Texas - They gathered here by the dozens Friday evening, wearing their school colors, T-shirts that said "Texas Tough," while huddling under the shade of a gaggle of pine trees, not 11 hours after the first shots were fired.They came to pra...
Published: 05/19/18
‘I always felt it would eventually happen here’: A Santa Fe High School survivor’s reaction to the shooting

‘I always felt it would eventually happen here’: A Santa Fe High School survivor’s reaction to the shooting

Paige Curry tried to keep calm Friday morning as a gunman tore through her Santa Fe High School, eventually killing 10 people and injuring another 10. The 17-year-old watched as a girl nearby panicked. Curry, herself terrified, considered running out...
Published: 05/19/18
Class of 2018: Meet the valedictorians and salutatorians for Pinellas private high schools

Class of 2018: Meet the valedictorians and salutatorians for Pinellas private high schools

Before they could get away, we asked the top graduates at Pinellas County’s private schools to write a Twitter-length paragraph about what’s on their mind. We suggested they reflect on the past or the future, or talk about the people who helped them ...
Published: 05/18/18
Class of 2018: TBT’s Anita Morgan rises above abuse to thrive

Class of 2018: TBT’s Anita Morgan rises above abuse to thrive

TAMPA — For those who fear there is no hope, or help, or heart left in this world, there is the story of Anita Morgan.There are any number of life-wrenching places to begin …In the middle of the night, in the back of a police car, cruising over the b...
Published: 05/18/18
Class of 2018: TBT’s Anita Morgan rises above abuse to thrive

Class of 2018: TBT’s Anita Morgan rises above abuse to thrive

TAMPA — For those who fear there is no hope, or help, or heart left in this world, there is the story of Anita Morgan.There are any number of life-wrenching places to begin …In the middle of the night, in the back of a police car, cruising over the b...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Florida teacher accused of drowning raccoons in class placed on leave

Florida teacher accused of drowning raccoons in class placed on leave

A Florida teacher was placed on administrative leave after school officials were told that he had students help him drown wild raccoons during class.A 14-second video published by CBS affiliate WKMG showed a group of students filling a tub of water u...
Published: 05/17/18
The US spends less on children than almost any other developed nation

The US spends less on children than almost any other developed nation

The federal government now spends less than it did about 30 years ago on some of the country’s poorest children, the result of cuts to federal welfare programs, according to a new research paper.In 1990, the government spent about $8,700 on every chi...
Published: 05/17/18
Two gifts on graduation day: white Crocs, and a lesson that ‘it can’t hurt to ask’

Two gifts on graduation day: white Crocs, and a lesson that ‘it can’t hurt to ask’

ST. PETERSBURG — Sarah Agee and her friends never pictured themselves wearing Crocs to their graduation. But the foam shoes were comfortable, offered better footing than heels, and now the Seminole High seniors had a story to tell.It all started a li...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
Romano: Instead of securing schools, lawmakers saved themselves

Romano: Instead of securing schools, lawmakers saved themselves

I said it two months ago, and it’s only become more obvious since then:The bipartisan school safety proposal passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor had more to do with protecting the rear ends of politicians than the lives of students.I...
Published: 05/16/18