by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday evening voted for the second time in two weeks to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Kaneland School District. Just like the last board vote on Dec. 7, it took a tie-breaking vote for the Village Board to authorize the agreement.
Trustee Bob Bohler’s vote in favor of the IGA broke a 2-2 deadlock between board trustees and allowed the Village Board to approve the agreement with a vote of 3-2. As a result, Sugar Grove will enter into a one-year Intergovernmental Agreement with the Kaneland School District, with Sugar Grove developers paying 60 percent of the capital-impact and transition fees issued by the School District.
The Village Board was forced to re-vote on the issue after it was determined that former Trustee Melisa Taylor’s vote during the Dec. 7 meeting was null and void due to Taylor being sworn in as a Kane County Board member prior to that Village Board meeting. Because Taylor voted in favor of the IGA, the nullification of her vote brought the board’s decision back to a 3-3 tie (Village President Sean Michels had been the tie-breaking vote). Therefore, a re-vote on the IGA was deemed necessary.
Several board trustees restated their concern that the current school impact fee structure was based on a model that was out of date. Trustee Bob Bohler asked Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler, who was in attendance, if Kaneland could guarantee a finished Dalstrom study within the next year, to which Schuler said, “Absolutely.”
“I’m pleased and appreciative of Sugar Grove’s interest in being part of the Intergovernmental Agreement. I think it’s important for the Sugar Grove residents, and I think it’s important for all the Kaneland school residents that we remain unified,” Schuler said. “I absolutely anticipate that (the new research) is going to happen, and what that research will do is affirm the data that drives the (Dalstrom) model, with the concept being that new growth should pay its fair share of the cost of educating kids.”
Michels said he was relieved to have a new IGA in place despite his reservations with the current fee structure.
“I think we have an obligation to our residents of Sugar Grove and the whole district to have a fee in place so at least the communities know that we are watching out for the School District,” he said. “Sugar Grove realizes that controlled growth is good for us and for the region, and that’s where a lot of the board and myself are having issues with this impact fee agreement, because it does keep a large portion of the fees on the high side.
“I can live with this agreement because it’s only one year in length, and we’re going to be working towards a new fee schedule over that year,” he said.