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Mount Vernon City Council gets recommendation on school impact fees

December 14, 2018

MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon City Council will decide Dec. 19 where to set the rate for fees that go toward funding school construction.

The city planning commission has recommended an impact fee rate of $7,247.50 for construction of each new single-family home — a $589.50 increase over the current rate.

The Mount Vernon School District had requested a $9,421 fee per single-family home, $2,763 more than the current rate.

The planning commission’s recommendation was discussed Wednesday by the City Council at a committee meeting.

The City Council must approve the fee rate because the city collects impact fees for the school district.

The City Council also discussed Wednesday whether to remove a school impact fee exemption for housing developments for those 55 and older, but was told that is not feasible.

Senior Planner Rebecca Lowell said the city is required by state law to allow developers to prove their projects won’t add children to the district and thereby impact the district, and removing the exemption would increase challenges to the fee and add work for the city and school district staffs.

Also at the meeting, the City Council discussed plans to replace Councilman Joe Lindquist, who is leaving at the end of the year after being elected to the Skagit Public Utility District board.

Four candidates applied by Wednesday’s deadline, and the council will interview them starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Dec. 19 council committee meeting.

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