Clock continues to tick

By on November 25, 2010

Kaneland reviews Intergovernmental Agreement as Jan. 1expiration approaches
by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Tuesday reviewed its current Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), which allows Kaneland to collect consistent land cash payments, capital-impact and transition fees from the nine municipalities within the School District.

The Kaneland School District offered a three-year IGA extension to all nine municipalities, but Sugar Grove recently stated that it would like a significant reduction in its capital-impact and transition fees. Sugar Grove’s response forced the School District to take a step back and reopen IGA talks in the hope of reaching a unanimous agreement with all nine municipalities before the current IGA expires on Jan. 1, 2011.

Kaneland School Superintendent Jeff Schuler led the discussion and stressed that the cost to educate a student in the Kaneland School District should remain the same regardless of the municipality that student resides in.

“We want to make sure that we are consistent with our municipalities. The School District wants to make sure we are not potentially caught in a position between competing municipalities,” he said. “(And) that’s why we’ve fought to maintain a consistent model.”

Schuler also touched upon the notion that residential growth should pay some of its own way.

“When you don’t have impact payments in place, the cost of growth, when it comes to educating new students, will fall squarely on existing taxpayers,” he said. “There are very direct measurable costs with growth when it comes to building buildings; when it comes to building classrooms; when it comes to doing necessary (school) renovation; as well as when it comes to educating students.”

Schuler’s presentation, which KSB Secretary Lisa Wiet referred to as a “re-education of the board as well as a reaffirmation of our goals,” essentially echoed his statement made at the Sugar Grove Village Board meeting on Nov. 16.

But can re-education and reaffirmation fix the district’s IGA logjam before Jan.1?

“We continue to have conversations with the municipalities, and the municipalities are having conversations between themselves. We feel that we should be able to get something in place (by January),” Wiet said.

• The current Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the Kaneland School District and the municipalities within it sets a fee table, based on home type, number of bedrooms and home value.

• The table remains consistent, regardless of the municipality within which a new development is constructed.

• The fees are designed to offset the cost of new growth, in effect requiring that new growth pay its own way.

• The IGA is designed to extend to all municipalities that extend into the Kaneland School District boundary. Its function is to eliminate impact and transition fees from being a negotiation tool between individual municipalities and developers.

• The current IGA will expire Jan. 1, 2011