School board approves developer fee hike

April 8, 2019 GMT

BULLHEAD CITY – In order to be able to acquire three new classrooms, restrooms and storage space for Vista Colorado Elementary School the Needles Unified School District had to update their developer fee rates from 2016 to the 2018 rates.

“In January, I applied to the state of California for kindergarten facility funding in the amount of $1.2 million to provide three classrooms, restrooms and storage space,” said Mary McNeil, Ph.D., NUSD superintendent. “

McNeil stated that the state of California has a 50/50 matching program but it would be difficult for the district to participate in that program.

“I applied for hardship funds and given our economic status in our community and district we do qualify for those funds,” said McNeil. “The issue that came up was that we needed to be charging current developer fee rates not the 2016 rates. This is because the developer fees are the mechanism the state has provided for us to earn money to build such classrooms.”

McNeil stated that instead of denying the application for the hardship funds the state put a hold on it until they’ve updated their developer fees.

The 2018 developer fee rates are $3.79 (2016 rate, $3.48) per square foot for residential and 61 cents (2016 rate, 56 cents) per square foot for industrial.

“This does not in any way change the waiver process we have in place,” said McNeil. “All this does is charge our current rates should commercial construction take place or if a developer is building a series of homes for resale. Our local Needles policy is still in place and it has nothing to do with this.”

The NUSD Board of Trustees approved the developer fee rates to be changed from 2016 to the 2018 rates during their meeting on March 12.