Thursday, May 04, 2006

Home builders would chip in for new schools

By Susie GranTribune ReporterMay 2, 2006 Posted 1:45 p.m. Albuquerque home builders are going to help build schools, too. A memorandum of understanding proposed to Albuquerque Public Schools calls for developers to pay the school district $2,000 for each new home, said Brad Winter, the district's administrator in charge of school construction. The district will use the fee revenue to build schools and renovate others in the neighborhoods where the homes are built. Winter praised the Homebuilders Association of Central New Mexico for the deal, which will help keep a proposed property-tax hike at a minimum. "They are the guys who stepped up to the plate on this," Winter said. Revenue from the development fees are projected to hit between $40 million and $50 million over three years. The school district will collect the fees. All new subdivision plats submitted to the city Planning Department will have to be signed off by the district, Winter said. The district previously announced it will ask voters in September to authorize a general obligation bond issue, which would hike property taxes and raise funds needed for completing two high schools and a middle school on the booming West Side. Winter said district officials have not decided on the amount of the tax hike. A recommendation on the increase will be ready for the Albuquerque Board of Education to consider May 11. At that meeting, the board will consider a range of measures to raise money for the new schools, including the home builders' fee and tax increase, as well as sales of district-owned property and other approaches. Members of the Albuquerque Board of Education Capital Outlay Committee today unanimously approved the proposed memorandum of understanding with the home builders. "This is a major step forward," said Robert Lucero, West Side board member. "This is the first time the home builders and developers have sat at the table and said, 'Yes, we want to help Albuquerque Public Schools.' " The fees would be collected starting in 2007, Lucero said. In February, developer Bob Murphy offered land and dollars for new schools in Quail Ranch, a West Side development where 4,000 homes will be built in the first phase northeast of Paseo el Norte and Paseo del Volcan. Murphy also was instrumental in the home builders' agreement with the district, Lucero said. The full school board will vote on the measure at Wednesday's meeting.
Post a Comment

Blog Archive