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Impact fees could be earmarked for new Jeff. Co. high school

July 13, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Members of the Jefferson County Commission and the Jefferson County Board of Education on Wednesday discussed earmarking $3.3 million in school impact fees for a new high school with the possibility that more funding could become available later.

The money will help the Jefferson County Board of Education deal with increased costs of building the school, which is being constructed adjacent to the Huntfield development south of town.

School officials have said the increased costs were caused by a construction cost formula required by state officials.

Another factor driving up the cost is that there was a little bedrock at the school site, forcing officials to design a pillar system to support the building, Commission member Dale Manuel said Wednesday.

School officials said previously they needed $6 million in school impact fees for the high school.

Although about $7 million has been collected through the fees, Manuel has said that state law controlling the distribution of school impact fee funds is complex and commission members want to make sure they are complying with the law when money is distributed.

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Another issue county and school officials need to keep in mind is that some impact fee money needs to be saved for new elementary school construction, Manuel said.

County commission members and the board of education discussed the funding issues during a meeting at the board of education office Wednesday morning.

Manuel said he expects the issue to be discussed again today during the regular county commission meeting.

The commission discussed earmarking $3.3 million for the new high school with the possibility that more impact fee money will become available for the project later as fee revenues build, Manuel said.

Board of Education member Gary Kable said Wednesday he is confident the school system will get the money it needs for the high school.

Superintendent of Schools R. Steven Nichols also has talked about requesting more funding from the state School Building

Authority for the school, which will cost about $37.9 million, Kable said.

Impact fees are collected from developers to help offset the cost of public services needed because of population growth.

The school impact fee for a single family home is $9,877, the fee for a town house and duplex is $7,444 and the school impact fee for multi-family units is $5,484.

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