Plans for middle school topic of annexation talks New Windsor can't issue building permits

August 13, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

Representatives from the Carroll County Board of Education and New Windsor Mayor Jack Gullo Jr. are meeting today to discuss construction plans for the town's new middle school.

Mayor Gullo said they will address the annexation of the 30 acres on Green Valley Road where the school will be built and the permits needed to begin construction.

"There has been little or no negotiation done to finalize the details necessary for the town to issue its building permits," Mr. Gullo said. "There has been minimal discussion about the details that make up the town and school board arrangements."

"We've established preliminary details," Dr. Lester Surber, supervisor of school facilities and planning, said yesterday.

Both men said one item on the meeting agenda will be the impact fees connected with the school building.

Originally, the New Windsor Town Council agreed to reduce by half the usual $450-per-lot fee. But Mr. Gullo said the school board's attorney told him that schools and other governmental agencies are exempt from paying impact fees.

"We're looking into it now," Mr. Gullo said. "There may be a state law that prohibits a municipality from charging governmental agencies impact fees."

"We've had some preliminary discussions about the fees," Dr. Surber said yesterday. "We expect to come to some reasonable conclusions during the meeting."

Assistant County Attorney Isaac Menasche said such a law does exist at the state level, but he believes it does not apply to towns.

"The state ordinance excludes federal, state and local governments from paying any county impact fees," Mr. Menasche said. "But it is my understanding that it is up to the town to decide whether they want to make their own law or adopt the state's."

There is also the question of annexing the land where the school is to be built, in the 900 block of Green Valley Road,.

"In order for the town to provide the services the school needs, including sewer and water, it must be incorporated into the municipality," Mr. Gullo said.

Dr. Surber said the Board of Education began the procedure for annexation several months ago. The school board is waiting for a building permit, which Mr. Gullo must sign.

"The equipment is out there and we plan to start excavation, some major excavation, next week," Dr. Surber said. "We have the grading permit [from the county]. The building permit remains to be issued, but we expect that to be released soon."

The $7 million campus will include a bus loop, three softball and soccer fields, a large media center, and separate gymnasium and cafeteria, Dr. Surber said.

The school is scheduled to open in January 1995, he said.

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