Moving forward

By on June 7, 2012

Elburn/Kaneland IGA approved as board president breaks tied vote
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—Village Board President Dave Anderson on Monday broke the tie and carried the motion for Elburn to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Kaneland School District.

Trustees Jerry Schmidt, Bill Grabarek and Dave Gualdoni voted against signing an agreement to require developers to pay land/cash dedications and school impact fees. They opposed the IGA based on the concern that the playing field among municipalities in the Kaneland district would not be level if only Elburn agrees to make developers pay.

“We’ve got concerns. We’re all afraid of being undercut by another municipality,” Grabarek said. “The fear is that some other municipality in the district pushes for lower fees with the school district. They would be driving down fees and putting a greater pinch on the taxpayers and the school district.”

The parties spent a year or more of working to get all eight municipalities to sign an IGA with the school district. The IGA ensures that the schools would get enough money to meet the additional financial and user demands on the district and its facilities and services.

All but one municipality—Sugar Grove—agreed to sign.

“We passed a resolution in support of the IGA,” said Cheryl Krauspe, president of the Kaneland School Board. “We worked hard, and we thought we had it done. We thought we had everyone on the same page. It would have made things a lot easier at this juncture. If we compromise with one municipality, the taxpayers will feel it. We don’t have the authority that the villages do to set these fees. We just paid for the study of what the real costs are.”

The issue of the IGA is a hot one because the village is in the process of setting impact fees and land/cash requirements for the Elburn Station development. Sho-Deen representative Dave Patzelt said he believes the fees are too high and based on a faulty method. A new study conducted by Roger Dahlstrom last year had figures higher than what Patzelt feels the true cost of educating a Kaneland student is.

On a four-bedroom house costing $250,000, the impact fee the developer would pay would be $6,000, the maximum allowed. For lower priced homes, the fee would be 75 percent of the CIP. The developer would not pay a real estate tax lag. In all, this represents a 25 percent reduction from the 2011 IGA, which all municipalities, with the exception of Sugar Grove, agreed to sign.

Those on the board who opposed the IGA objected to language that made renegotiation somewhat unclear, and the fact that Elburn was the only party in the agreement.

“What’s the incentive to come to Elburn?” Trustee Jerry Schmidt asked. “If we approve this, we’re throwing three years work (to get the Elburn Station development approved) out the window. It’s not a level playing field, and I just can’t vote for it.”

Hastert agreed that if all municipalities weren’t party to it, the agreement was imperfect.

“If we sign a two-party agreement, everyone else will ignore this IGA. This is a hot issue; the time is now (to make agreements with developers for impact fees),” Hastert said. “Our agreement may be the catalyst to get the others to sign on.”

Ken Anderson voted to enter into the IGA based on the concern that the taxpayers will be asked to pay for schools if the developers don’t.

“We need to protect our existing residents,” Anderson said.

With the board vote deadlocked at 3-3, President Anderson served as the tie breaker, voting in favor of the IGA. In the case of a tied vote, the president is allowed a vote.

“We’re making sure that the developer pays its fair share to educate our kids. We’re setting a precedent,” he said.

5 Comments

  1. rak40

    June 7, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    First, I must confess to possessing limited knowledge of “impact fees” and how they are established. However, listening to the discussion that took place on Monday regarding the IGA, I was somewhat concerned that not all board members appeared to grasp the consequences of the wording in the agreement and, indeed, the meaning of certain words. by this time in the process, I feel they should all have been much more conversant and knowledgeable on the subject.

  2. BBCreekRes

    June 8, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Well, look at it this way. You rally can’t blame villages for wanting to remain competitive with each other.
    You really cant blame developers for wanting to trim their bottom line, there is no limit to the greed involved there.

    You CAN blame the school district. Giving up an inch on fee’s was a huge mistake.
    Nearly EVERY year they come holding out their hands for MORE & More & More. Then they threaten to make the children suffer by making cuts.

    Well remember Kaneland, You gave away impact fee’s, put your hands back in your pockets! Is that a lint ball? GOOD, that is whats in my pocket as well.

  3. OneWhoCares

    June 9, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Ken Anderson voted to enter into the IGA based on the concern that the taxpayers will be asked to pay for schools if the developers don’t.

    “We need to protect our existing residents,” Anderson said.

    ——————–

    To tell you the truth let Elburn Station development. Sho-Deen representative Dave Patzelt go back to the rat pack with a fee of $12,000.00 per unit or build Elburn a new school with the project. If they don’t like it tell them to go pound sand and try to build somewhere else and let Kane County take the land that is required for the Anderson road overpass by eminent domain.Sure it may cost Elburn money,but a lot less if Sho-Deen get its way. Dang Get Sho-Deen to work of finishing the South side of Keslinger road. You know that Blackberry thing that was worked out into bankruptcy.
    Then too the infrastructure of our waste water can’t handle what Sho-Deen wants and who’s going to flip the bill…Yes you Elburn Tax Payer’s will prolly add another 10 to 20% onto your city bills.
    Most people in Elburn DON’T WANT Sho-Deen’s Greed drive project to upset our fragile town so Sho-Deen Go somewhere else and will let the county deal with the Anderson Road extension that we were promised 6 years ago.The rail road extension came in $43,000,000.00 under budget,but also out people/bike over pass for people to get to the train station and Anderson Road was in that budget if I remember. The concret pier’s for a 6 lane road were in place buy the coach yard for metra. Google mape it and you’ll see them
    Sho-Deen… the eminent domain senerio is one option. My feeling our just that.

  4. OneWhoCares

    June 9, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    “What’s the incentive to come to Elburn?” Trustee Jerry Schmidt asked. “If we approve this, we’re throwing three years work (to get the Elburn Station development approved) out the window. It’s not a level playing field, and I just can’t vote for it.”

    Hastert agreed that if all municipalities weren’t party to it, the agreement was imperfect.

    ====================================

    Ya know that is an old saying and I quote>>

    “No form of government can ever succeed, as long as greed exists” Gandhi

    Is it possible that there are self serving interests among our trusted servants? One thing is sure that the people of Elburn DO NOT WANT MORE DEVELOPMANT !! Yet some of our trusted servants seems to ignore that fact.

    Kind of like the need for the city to buy the church parking lot when there is more than enough parking with in a 300/500 foot proximity of the local establishments.

  5. BBCreekRes

    June 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    OneWhoCares, you are spot on in your assessment. EVERY newspaper pole that pertained to the Elburn Station has reflected that residents do NOT want this high density development.

    BB Creek residents have voiced their complaints about Shodeen linking into the water/sewer system as well. You be be certain that there are several self serving aspects to this project.

    It really bothers me that all of these Villages the County & School Board fought so hard to get the impact fee’s up to a near suitable level only to back pedal now, especially on a 10-15 year project!

    One thing certain,
    Elburn is on the Developers Maps,
    As long as they continue roll out the Red Carpet, hand them the deed to the village & let the resident taxes cover any downfalls that may occur later we will only see more of the same.