Council rejects relief request from school district on community school costs

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The costs total over $1 million, but City Council is not on board with giving the school board a break when it comes to the funds involved with Margaret Ma Murray Community School.

City Council voted on Monday to not grant the school boards wish of relieving them of expenses.

In a undated letter to City Council, Doug Boyd with SD #60, asked the City to waive fees associated with the building fees of the school, specifically when it comes to Building Permit Fees.

“I would like to submit this letter as a formal request for the Building Permit Fees to be waived for the Margaret Ma Murray Community School. In particular, of the total $1,012,107, the fee costing involves deposits totalling $854,929.83 (Paving $669,333.03, Landscaping 93,748.80, and Storm/Hydrant 90,140).”

But on Monday, the City ultimately said no, saying that they couldn’t start setting a precedent and do it for one project, but not do it for other projects that apply for the same situation.

Boyd also says that the school would have to use already tight allocation funds to complete the project.

“The deposit aspects of these fees are not part of the Ministry Funding and although they will be refundable when the project is completed (sometime after January 2018), the district will be required to utilize our already tight operational funds.”

Most of that money, comes from deposits which totals as stated above are: $854,929.83 That money is returned to the school district upon completion of the project, but it has to be paid upfront before the project is complete, hence why the school district was applying for help from the City.

The other option according to the City was:

“THAT, Council grants the request from School District No. 60 to waive the requirement to pay the refundable deposits, and directs staff to collect only the required Building Permit Fees and Development Cost Charges.”

That was also voted no on.

 

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