School impact fees on housing to decrease

Board lowers costs for new homes

dyawger@mercedsunstar.comAugust 16, 2013 

— School impact fees charged to residential developers in the Merced area will be going down slightly for the next year, following action this week by the Merced City School District Board of Education.

Board members lowered the school facilities fee to $2.35 per square foot for new residences. The fee had been $2.48 per square foot since August 2012; it should yield about $32,000 for the 2013-14 school year.

Greg Spicer, associate superintendent for administrative services, said there's not much residential construction going on now. The 13-cent drop might mean $1,500 to $1,600 less for the district but the lowered amount won't be significant, he added.

State law allows school districts to charge developers fees to offset costs associated with construction of new homes. The district conducted a needs assessment in June, which led to the lowering of the fees, Spicer said.

The district's school facilities fund has $638,832, Spicer said. Funds can be used for construction or renovation of school facilities.

In the authorizing resolution approved by the board, it is stated that at least 20 percent of the district's classrooms are portables.

Spicer said the district continues to study its long-term facilities needs. A workshop is scheduled Sept. 11 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the district's Professional Development Center on the Chenoweth School property.

Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.

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