Solving Frederick County’s school construction deficit

Source: Frederick News Post
Author: Fred Ugast
Article Type:
Date Published: 06/11/2011

The upcoming public hearings at the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners on the proposed school construction (mitigation) fee will undoubtedly generate plenty of commentary about how we need to do a better job funding our school construction needs. We won’t solve this problem piecemeal. It’s a complicated issue, and there are a variety of relevant factors that need to be considered. In many ways our largest problem has been finding funds to renovate our older schools, but our approach to funding new capacity has more than a few flaws as well. BoCC President Blaine Young has said that our current impact fees are the maximum permissible under law — but that is, at best, misleading. Impact fees must be based on a “rational nexus” between the amount of the fee and the actual impact of the project being assessed.