Monroe may cut school impact fee to spur building

MONROE — The City Council is considering reducing the fees developers are charged to reduce the impact of growth on schools.

A 7 p.m. meeting is set for Tuesday in the council chambers, 806 W. Main St.

The fees have become a hot issue during previous council and Monroe School Board meetings.

The city is considering giving a 50 percent discount to developers as a way to attract more development to the city.

The goal is to build enough homes and apartments for future population growth, economic development manager Jeff Sax said. The reasoning is that with more homes, there will be a larger tax base to pay for future levies, he said.

School district staff said things are not that simple.

Having a larger population does not mean more money for schools, district’s spokeswoman Rosemary O’Neil said.

With school district levies, voters are asked for a flat amount that is spread among them. Schools don’t get more money until the next levy is approved, she said.

Mitigation fees are a different source of revenue, used to help pay for the impact new students bring to schools. The money is used, for instance, to add portable classrooms or create new learning space. The amount collected rarely finances the building of a new school, O’Neil said.

If the change is approved, it means as of Jan. 1, 2013, developers would pay $1,984, compared with the current $2,976 for each new single family home; and $3,172, down from $4,804, for each multi-family unit.

In early October, the Monroe School Board President Tom MacIntyre wrote a letter to Mayor Robert Zimmerman, council members and members of the Planning Commission saying that changing the fees will weaken the school district which, in turn, would discourage people from moving to the city.

“Efforts to encourage prosperity in our community should look at changing school mitigation fees as the very last option,” MacIntyre wrote.

New housing would attract many demographics. There is no way to know who would buy the homes or if they are going to have children, Sax said.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@ heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Mukilteo crabber missing; his boat was found at Hat Island

Frank Urbick set out Thursday morning but did not return.

Police looking for leads in case of missing Snohomish man

Henry John Groeneveld, 63, was last seen on Monday, when he said something about going to “the river.”

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Police: He made an appointment, then tried to rob the bank

A lawyer is accused of donning a fake beard and telling a teller that a gunman was outside.

Drive-by shooting reported in Marysville neighborhood

Police said there was no evidence to indicate it was targeted at a specific person or property.

Celebrating the origins of Christmas

LDS church holds annual nativity festival featuring more than 600 sets.

Trooper’s car struck when he was arresting man for DUI

She drove away but was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence and hit-and-run.

Inslee’s budget solves school funding with help from carbon

His budget would use reserves to boost education, then replenish them with a carbon tax or fee.

Man, 29, injured by shots fired at Everett thrift store

The gunfire followed an argument in the parking lot of Value Village on Evergreen Way.

Most Read