- December 15, 2021
The Flagler County School Board agreed to submit a new proposal as the school district, the county and the cities of Palm Coast, Bunnell and Flagler Beach work out a new interlocal agreeement.
The county voted May 2 to provide a 120-day notice to terminate its involvement in the ILA. At that meeting, County Commissioner Joe Mullins criticized proportionate share mitigation payments, saying they amount to an up-front tax on new development.
The mitigation payments allow the school district to collect funds early in a development's planning stage if schools lack capacity for new students the development would generate.
The funds are later credited to the developer's impact fees, which fund school construction or expansion.
The district's middle schools and high schools are currently over capacity.
At a June 9 ILA oversight committee meeting, Assistant County Attorney Sean Moylan proposed a capacity reservation system as an alternative to proportionate share. Capacity reservation would require developers to pay 20% of their impact fees as a reservation for the new homes they are building regardless of whether schools are over capacity.
At a School Board workshop on June 21, the board directed Patty Bott, the district's coordinator of planning and intergovernmental relations, to make a counter-proposal at the next working group meeting.
Instead of 20% of the impact fee to be paid up front, the district would collect 40% in year one, 30% in year two and the remaining 30% in year three. The district would also collect the funds directly, as proposed by board member Janet McDonald.
Bott presented the board with a summary of the ILA oversight committee meeting. A chart in her presentation compared proportionate share with capacity reservation for single-family and multi-family development based on the current known pipeline of new developments in the county.
Impact fees for the developments would total $67,648,790. Proportionate share would collect the bulk of those fees — $51,782,844 — up front to be used for capacity improvement identified in the school board's five-year facilities plan. The 20% capacity reservation fee would generate $13,529,758 with the remainder of the impact fees due when the units are constructed.
Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt said if the district doesn't have the funds to expand, the level of service in the district could suffer. For example, labs could be taken down to add seats.
Board Chair Trevor Tucker said with the county's 20% across-the-board proposal, when schools are no longer over capacity, developers would wonder why they are having to pay up front.
The next ILA oversight committee meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. July 8.
In other School Board news:
WOOLBRIGHT APPOINTED TO SUBCOMMITTEE
The board voted 4-0 to appoint board member Jill Woolbright to the Florida School Boards Association's legislative advocacy subcommittee. Colleen Conklin was absent from the meeting.
Conklin is the co-chair of the FSBA legislative committee. Board member Cheryl Massaro is on the FSBA's equity committee.
ATTORNEY'S CONTRACT TABLED
The board voted to extend attorney Kristy Gavin's current contract until it can vote on a new contract at the next board meeting. At its next workshop, the board plans to discuss changes to Gavin's contract regarding her responsibilities.