Howards Grove denies building permit fee waiver for school district.

Winny

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2023
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Howards Grove school district in Sheboygan County Wisconsin is attempting to waive a $12,000 permitting fee for their upcoming $40M middle school project, that will see a new middle school built upon their high school, with facility upgrades to go along with it. The projects were approved already during a fall ballot, but the issue lies with the $12,000 permit fee. The school district would like to waive the fee completely. Though the fee is an estimate on the total square footage of the plan and could change, the budget is already tight as it is according to Superintendent Shannon Kilton.

Unfortunately the village of Howards Grove doesn't agree and will not waive the permit fee. Either way, this project is going as planned, and the school might have to eat the $12,000 fee unless a new estimate is made for less.

To read more about this news, you can follow the story here: Yahoo
 
Location
Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, United States
$12,000 is a lot for a permit fee. But when they mention a $40M project, It doesn't sound like much in comparison. I did read that they have limited the budget to $50,000 for building construction, so I suppose that eats away there, but if there is $40M in the budget, couldn't they figure it out?
 
What, twelve thousand dollars for a permit? What kind of permit requires that kind of amount? Is that the official rate for the building permit? If they are not waiving the permit, are they trying to charge this permit to the builder?
 
What, twelve thousand dollars for a permit? What kind of permit requires that kind of amount? Is that the official rate for the building permit? If they are not waiving the permit, are they trying to charge this permit to the builder?

I think fees in the tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, are pretty typical of large construction projects. In Howards Grove, at least, it looks like they calculate the fee based on square footage. Obviously, a middle school is a sizeable facility, so the $12,000 fee does seem to make sense.

I also couldn't help but roll my eyes reading about Board Member Harley Abler's vocal opposition to the school district's fee waiver request. Here's how the article characterized his position:
Abler was in adamant vocal opposition to waiving the permit fees, also mentioning that “a lot" of Howards Grove residents don't have kids in the school district anymore. At the previous meeting, he said he felt he was speaking for the retired community on this issue.

Hopefully the other board members who voted against the waiver based their vote on more respectable reasons (e.g., budget-related) and didn't share Mr. Alber's unfortunate position of "I don't have kids in the district anymore and therefore I shouldn't help out the school system." It sounds like the vast majority of Mr. Alber's constituents are retired folks who have somehow forgotten how the community as a whole helped pay for their kids' education at one point in time. I was really glad to read how Board Member Scott Sixel rebutted this position when he said: "You can’t look at it as your own kids...You got to look at it as the betterment of the community. I got kids that are just about through it. I’m looking at the next generation with the grandkids."
 
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