Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Mr. and Mrs. Guardian went to the new Vanburen School open house last week. What a swell place for our kids to go to school. We can't wait for new Washington school to open as well. While we were there a school official was complaining about the cost of plan checks and permit fees for the schools. Same set of plans two different locations cost the Caldwell School District $382,000.00. We were amazed at this cost to Caldwell School District patrons.
THE GUARDIAN looked into this and here is the deal. The permit and hookup fees for Washington School are $203k and Vanburen $179k. We thought this to be a little steep and filed a public records request for the Caldwell YMCA for their permits and hookup fees. The cost to the YMCA was $0.00! (see editor note below)
We took the time to ask what the deal here was to a city councilor and was told the Caldwell City Council waived the fees for the YMCA. The city councilor also said there was a deal with the school district that the land for Vanburen was donated to the school district by Urban Renewal and it was a land for fees deal.
THE GUARDIAN filed yet another public records request for the memorandum of understanding for the land for fees deal with the school district. No such records exists for the land for fees deal. There is a record of the Urban Renewal agency transferring the land for Vanburen to the school district.
There was plenty of opportunity for the Mayor and City council to step up to the plate on this school deal but it looks like a classic double standard when you compare this stuff. The YMCA gets a free ride at taxpayer expense but the hallowed halls of education pay the full freight for permits and hookups.
Editor note: We received a letter from Mayor Nancolas today (9/28) YMCA fees for utility hookups were paid by the foundation in the amount of $76,196 and $57,142 in building and fire plan reviews were waived by the Caldwell City Council. School district paid and the YMCA did not for the building and fire plan fees.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 2:30 PM