Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
FUSD Owes Flood Control District $750K. The Check Is Not in The Mail.
gvw_nancy_price
By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 4 years ago on
January 15, 2020

Share

Fresno Unified School District and the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District have reached a tentative agreement that would require the school district to pay drainage fees for upcoming school improvement projects as well as some built as far back as 1987.


Listen to this article:
 


The Fresno Unified board of trustees will consider the master agreement, which includes a list of “catch-up” fees totaling $750,253 for more than 200 older drainage projects, at Wednesday’s board meeting. The meeting starts at 5:45 p.m. and will be at 2309 Tulare St. in the second-floor board room.
Under the agreement, fees for earlier projects at school sites will be collected only when new projects are proposed for the same sites, and will depend on a sliding scale.
Superintendent Bob Nelson recommends that trustees approve the agreement.

Fees To Be Paid Gradually

For projects valued at less than $5,000, the entire catch-up fee would be due. For projects valued at $5,000 to $250,000, there would be a 25% surcharge for the earlier unpaid fees, compared to 50% for projects ranging from $250,000 to $500,000, and 100% for projects costing $500,000 or higher. However, the surcharge would be limited to 2% of the new project’s total construction cost.
Funds for the new project would cover the surcharge.
An attachment to the master agreement contains a list of schools owing surcharges and the dates the projects were built. Fresno High owes the most — $91,000 for projects in 2010, 2013, and 2018. A district report notes that high school projects generally have larger amounts of fees owed.

No Fees Paid

“It probably wouldn’t look on our part as an agency to start disconnecting or plugging off a school site that has kids on their site.”Alan Hofmann, general manager of the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District
Alan Hofmann, Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District general manager
The school district stopped paying drainage fees in 1978 after the passage of Proposition 13. Districts argued that as tax-exempt organizations, they were not required to pay drainage fees, said Alan Hoffman, general manager of the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District.
The fees, or “capacity charges,” are used by the flood control district to expand or improve drainage facilities.
But the so-called San Marcos legislation in 1988 allowed flood control district to impose the charges, provided an agreement was adopted. The Fresno Unified agenda report noted that the flood control district “did not immediately seek such an agreement for those payments.”
Hofmann acknowledged that the flood control agency could have been more aggressive in trying to collect past-due drainage fees.
“We’ve on more than one occasion asked them to pay the drainage fees on campuses,” he said. “They’ve done pretty well on new campuses, because of the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) requirements, and our ability to have them do that as part of the mitigation for the runoff. … But even some of the new campuses, it somehow just got missed.
“It’s partly our fault in not really pursuing and being diligent to make them pay. We recognize the school district has a lot of other priorities for their money, and unfortunately storm drainage is probably not one that’s high on their list.”

Board Held Back

The flood control board felt constrained against taking stronger steps against the district, Hofmann said.
“Let’s just say it probably wouldn’t look on our part as an agency to start disconnecting or plugging off a school site that has kids on their site,” he said. “While staff has put a lot of pressure on the district to come to the table, I think my board has also said in a way, we have to really watch it, because it certainly isn’t good for the community if we as an agency start saying, ‘Sorry, you get no drainage service from our agency.’ ”
The flood control district amped up efforts to collect drainage fees from Fresno Unified after district staffers noticed the district was making “a huge improvement” to Bullard High School in 2012 or 2013, in the wake of a bond measure for school improvements, Hofmann said. There was no mechanism in place for the flood control district to learn about school district projects, which go through the State Architect’s Office for approval, he said.
Fresno Unified voters approved Measure Q in November 2010.

Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District is trying to hammer out a similar agreement with Clovis Unified to pay drainage fees for projects new and old.

Agency Collected Fees For Other Projects

Projects that are reviewed by the cities of Fresno or Clovis or by Fresno County, by contrast, include an entitlement process that funnels drainage fees to the flood control district, Hofmann said.
And Fresno is not the only school district that’s in arrears to the agency, Hofmann said. The district is trying to hammer out a similar agreement with Clovis Unified to pay drainage fees for projects new and old, he said.
The Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District took over the Clovis Drainage District in the mid-1990s, Hofmann said.
He could not say how much Clovis owes.
Officials from Fresno Unified and Clovis Unified could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

 

DON'T MISS

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

DON'T MISS

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

UP NEXT

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

UP NEXT

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

UP NEXT

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

UP NEXT

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

UP NEXT

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

1 day ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

1 day ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

1 day ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

2 days ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

2 days ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

2 days ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

2 days ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

2 days ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

2 days ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

Did you know that SNAP EBT benefits used to be called food stamps and that recipients can use those benefits to get healthy food in places o...

6 hours ago

6 hours ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

6 hours ago

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

1 day ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

1 day ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

1 day ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

1 day ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

2 days ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend