School Mitigation Fee Bill Withdrawn During Tues. Council Meeting

Legislation’s sponsor hopes to bring it back.

 

Frederick, Md (KM). It’s back to the drawing board for a bill that would adjust school mitigation fees in Frederick County on an annual basis. Last Tuesday, Council President Bud Otis, whose sponsoring the measure, withdrew the bill.

This legislation would have allowed the fees to rise automatically each year between 2019 and 2026 without Council approval. Otis said a mitigation study committee came up with a formula which would bring these fees up each year. “After holding three separate meetings starting on June 11th, we negotiated an agreement of 6% per year compounded for eight years. . It would have added up to a 62% increase over the time period,” he said.

But, Otis said, there didn’t appear to be a lot of support for this bill. “I’m not through with the process. I’m frustrated that it wasn’t able to be dropped tonight, and we could move forward to get something that I thought we had an agreement on,” he says.

The formula for the increases would be based on the State of Maryland School Construction Cost Index from the prior year to the current year, expressed in a percentage, plus 2%. The result would be multiplied by the then-current school construction fees, provided that the fee increases in any single year would not exceed 6%.

“We’ll be back to talk about this again,” said Otis. “But I’m disappointed tonight we can’t move forward with it.”

The legislation was scheduled to be introduced to the Council   last Tuesday.

School mitigation fees were developed by the last Board of County Commissioners as an alternative to impact fees. Under school mitigation fees, developers whose¬† projects fail the school’s adequacy test could pay a fee and continue building. If a project failed under impact fees, the developers would have to wait for it to pass the schools test before construction could begin.

 

By Kevin McManus