SG holds off on agreement with Kaneland

By on November 19, 2010

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday delayed a vote that would renew the village’s Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Kaneland School District.

The village’s revised draft of the IGA featured several proposed changes to the agreement, including a reduction of capital-impact fees to 50 percent and a reduction of transition fees to 0 percent—a far cry from the proposed figures included in the IGA with other local municipalities.

“The authorization of such an agreement without (Kaneland’s) endorsement would potentially harm the spirit of cooperation within the local municipalities,” Kaneland School Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “We’re committed to keeping the process that we’ve utilized to get our municipalities to adjoin in agreement regarding impact fees intact. And what the (Sugar Grove) Board is considering is not anything we’ve talked about with the municipal officials.”

Schuler and Board Secretary Lisa Wiet were among those in attendance at the meeting, and spoke briefly in front of the Village Board.

“It’s critical to note that under the (Intergovernmental Agreement), any reduction or elimination of fees (is) not temporary in nature; they follow the life of any annexation agreement and can never be recovered, placing a greater burden on existing residents throughout the district, including Sugar Grove,” Wiet said.

The IGA offered to Sugar Grove and other municipalities is a three-year contract requiring municipalities to collect land-cash and school impact fees from developers to ease the cost of educating the children of residents who are new to the district. The IGA calls for a gradual increase in payments based on home value. As of 2011, a $200,000 home will incur an impact fee of $3,560. In 2013, that same home will incur an impact fee of $5,934.

Village President Sean Michels declined to comment on the IGA, but did say during the meeting that it’s not Sugar Grove’s desire to have uncontrolled growth, but to bring in more commercial developers.

“In the essence of getting a consensus among the other municipalities, I think it’s best we hold off (on a vote),” he said.

Several Sugar Grove trustees agreed with the decision to table the IGA vote, including Kevin Geary, who expressed his wish to see more growth in the village while working to compromise with the School District.

“As proposed, I am not in favor of (the IGA), but I’d be willing to go back to the table and see if we can’t crunch these numbers and make it more reasonable,” he said.

The other municipalities in the Kaneland School District, Elburn, Kaneville, Maple Park, Virgil, Cortland and Montgomery, have already signed the IGA as originally proposed by Kaneland.

The current IGA expires Jan. 1, 2011.