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July 29, 2021 Regular/Tentative Budget Hearing Meetings
Title
Educational Facilities Impact Fee Allocation QE June 30, 2021
Meeting Date(s)
Consent Type
Without Information
Discussion

Brevard County collects educational facilities impact fees from residential development for construction of educational facilities or capital improvements that provide educational capacity in the Impact Fee Benefit District from which the funds were collected.

The funds may be used on capacity projects identified in the District's Annual Educational Facilities Work Program. The process by which funds are allocated to projects is outlined in the Interlocal Agreement between Brevard County and the School Board. Each Benefit District (North and South) has an Educational Facilities Impact Fee Benefit District Advisory Committee that includes the School Board, County and applicable municipal representatives. Approximately every quarter, the District Advisory Committees make a recommendation to the School Board. The School Board approves or modifies the recommendation and then submits the funding request to Brevard County for approval by the Board of County Commissioners. The process can take 2-4 months before the funds are received by the District.

The Board action requested allocates the impact fee revenue collected through the quarter ending June 30, 2021. The Impact Fee Benefit District Advisory Committees met on July 12, 2021. The Committees' recommendations for new educational facilities impact fees through June 30, 2021 are attached to this agenda memo and are summarized as follows:

  • South Area Elementary School $1,008,986.58 
  • Central Area Secondary $3,000,000
  • Debt Service $1,000,000
  • North Area Elementary Capacity $449,019.28

The location of the elementary capacity projects are not yet determined due to fluctuating enrollment.  The Central Area Secondary project includes funds that can be used for a classroom building addition at Viera High School as well as funds that can be used for a middle school in the central area of Brevard County.  Both of the secondary projects were discussed at the December 15, 2020 School Board Workshop on capacity.

In this quarterly cycle, the proposed allocation to debt service is $1,000,000. When using educational impact fees to pay debt for prior construction of student stations, the debt must be related to a project within the impact fee benefit district from which the fees were collected. The Finance Department has confirmed that the proposed use of the funds is in compliance with this requirement as outlined in the Interlocal Agreement and Florida Statutes. This allocation to debt service was not budgeted, so this will result in a reduction in the amount of capital funds used to pay debt service by $1,000,000.

Finally, educational impact fees had been previously allocated to provide additional cafeteria capacity to support the student stations that were added to Mims Elementary School. The school has capacity for 725 students, but the cafeteria is space-constrained and struggling to support the students enrolled (400-450). The use of educational impact fees to fund a stand-alone ancillary facility in support of student stations was not clearly defined in the interlocal agreement or Florida Statutes. Extensive research did not indicate this was prohibited (or permitted), and the staff was unable to get a definitive answer from the Florida Department of Education.  Consequently, the strategy has evolved to utilizing impact fees for debt service which frees capital funds that can be budgeted for the cafeteria project.  In addition to building a new cafeteria, the goal of this project is to renovate the old cafeteria/kitchen into a specialized educational program space.  Furthermore, since the new cafeteria will need vehicular access for deliveries and the parent pickup loop currently is too small for the school, the project also aims to redesign the parent pick-up loop to provide more stacking area and safer vehicular ingress/egress conditions.  The estimated cost of the entire project is approximately $5.8 million. The $1,000,000 debt service allocation from educational impact fees will result in unbudgeted capital availability. Staff is recommending that the Board also approve utilizing the resulting unbudgeted capital funds for the Mims cafeteria project, which will bring the total allocation to $5.8 million.  A competitive solicitation for architectural services for design was awarded at the July 13, 2021 School Board meeting.

Recommendation

Approve the recommendations of the Educational Facilities Impact Fee Benefit District Advisory Committees:

  • South Area Elementary School $1,008,986.58 
  • Central Area Secondary $3,000,000
  • Debt Service $1,000,000
  • North Area Elementary Capacity $449,019.28

Authorize the Superintendent, or designee, to request Brevard County approve the allocation request and disburse the Educational Impact Fees available through June 30, 2021.

Approve utilizing $1,000,000 in capital funds for the Mims Elementary School cafeteria project pending approval and disbursement of the recommended allocation of educational facilities impact fees by the Brevard County Commission.

Authority for Action
Involves Expenditure of Funds Directly in the Classroom
Source of Funding
Financial Impact
FY Amount Budgeted Fund Cost Center Project Function Object Program
                 
Legal Counsel Review
No
Contact
Attachments
Impact Fee Benefit District Advisory Committee Recommendations 2021-07-12.pdf
Agenda Plus