Wherein the Taxpayers of PWC are Shortchanged, again

Swiping and paraphrasing from The Derecho, on StoneHaven. Be sure to read both parts of Derecho’s missive, which are linked below.

Be warned – there are numbers in this posting.

StoneHaven is an 882 acre, 1650 home development proposed in the western end of the county (near Jiffy Lube live). As part of the proposed development, the applicant has proffered 91.2 acres of that 882 acres as a site for a high school – something PWCS desperately needs. By law, counties are entitled to receive proffers; land, cash, roads, or a combination of those, as compensation for the cost of constructing facilities for public services, like schools and fire stations, that new development requires.

At issue is how you value the property and how much value you assign to the land being proffered, because that will determine if the developer has to pay more cash or provide more land to make up the difference.

So here goes…..from Derecho, using his / her numbers.

Current assessed value:
– of the entire 882 acre parcel – $15,943,100
– of the 91.2 acres for the school – $1,648,538

Market Value:
– of the entire 882 acre parcel $166,048,850
– of the 91.2 acres for the school $17,169,677

Based on proffer guidelines, Stonehaven would need to proffer the following for schools in either land or cash or a combination of both:
– 2006 guidelines $21,710,125
– 2014 guidelines $31,661,225

Stonehaven’s proposed value of the proffered 91.2 acres
– $24,250,000

At $24.25 million, the proposed valuation of the land:
– is $7 million greater than the market value of adjoining properties; and,
– is $7 million less than the 2014 proffer requirements.

Meaning that if the $24.25 million proposed valuation is accepted, then the applicant would be able to avoid paying about $14 million in proffers (the difference between the market value of the land and the 2014 proffer level).

Part 1

Part 2

DOJ Delays Boundary Plans for 12th High School

The rescheduled vote on the boundaries for the 12th high school, that was set for Sept 17, 2014, has been postponed.  PWCS had originally proposed boundary plans and was set to vote in the spring, but the DOJ intervened and asked them to delay the vote until they could conduct an examination of the process that was followed.  According to a PWCS release, the postponement is because of concerns expressed by the DOJ about the demographic makeup of the 12th high school under the proposed boundaries.

I am currently working to obtain a copy of the DOJ comments.

The release from PWCS reads as follows:

“September 10, 2014

A decision on proposed boundaries for Prince William County’s 12th high school will be delayed.

The scheduled vote on the issue has been pulled from the September 17th School Board agenda following receipt of comments from the Federal Department of Justice (DOJ). That agency has been looking into concerns about whether the proposed boundaries would result in a school population that differs substantially from the county’s demographic make-up.

Division staff will talk with DOJ officials before attempting to craft a revised boundary plan that addresses the agency’s demographic concerns, along with community input, educational, and economic considerations. No timetable or planning process has been determined. Any revised staff boundary proposal will require School Board review and approval.”

Summer Holiday

As I have in the past, I will be taking time off from blogging during the summer, which starts tomorrow!!!!!  There is a school board meeting tonight and I may talk about that as the budget adjustments will be proposed.  I may also post if something pops up and I’m aware of it.  Otherwise, I will be on vacation.  My plans are to climb Bull Run Mountain, tube on the Shenandoah River, hike to a waterfall on Skyline drive, climb Little Round Top, ride a roller coaster, ride a horse (that isn’t attached to a Merry-g0-round), swim in a lake, swim in the ocean, swim in the Chesapeake Bay, bake a cake from scratch, sleep in a tent, dig for dinosaur bones at Westmoreland State Park, look at the moon and starts through a telescope, go ice skating, and sleep in.  Between bug bites, poison ivy, sunburn, motion sickness, and making sure 911 is on speed dial for when I get lost, there won’t be time to blog.

Have a great summer!

Victims of Our Demographics?

Followers of the school division and this blog will recall that PWCS representatives frequently cite our demographics as justification for lower SOL pass rates, SAT / ACT scores, and graduation rates than other jurisdictions in our area.  That assertion is rarely challenged. Read the rest of this entry »

PWC’s Proffers Still Lowest in Area

The PWC BOCS just posted the agenda and supporting documents for the June 3, 2014 meeting.  One item is reviewing the amounts county staff recommend as proffers.

Below is a chart listing the proffers required from Prince William, Loudoun, Fauquier, and Stafford counties.  As you can see, the proffers PWC is recommending for schools for single family homes are still the lowest in the area.  This is despite PWCS building a $100 million high school, the most expensive high school built in the state of Virginia.  Here is the file in PROFFERS – updated- May-2014

School Board Report – May 7, 2014

The meeting began at 7 PM with all members present.

Read the rest of this entry »

Budget Busters…

This year I have the pleasure of serving, again, on the Gainesville / Brentsville District budget committee.  The people serving on this committee, who all volunteered to spend several hours almost every Sunday night examining the school division’s budget and even more time reviewing the budget in advance of the Sunday meetings,  amaze me.  We are teachers, nurses, CPAs, CFA,s engineers, lawyers, and Moms and Dads.  We come from all walks of political life – conservatives, liberals, libertarians, Democrats, Republicans, and gosh darned independents.  The one tie that binds us is our commitment to our public schools.  We may not agree on any other political issues, but we all agree that our teachers and our children’s classrooms have been stretched beyond the breaking point.  We willingly volunteer hours of our personal time to try to find the pennies that may have been missed that might help our teachers and our classrooms.

Those of you who follow this blog know that we struggled a bit last year with some of the answers we got from school division staff.  Some of the budget lines seemed odd to us, with projections that had little relationship to the past actuals.  I was worried that we’d encounter more of the same this year.

We haven’t.  In fact, we’ve found the opposite.

Read the rest of this entry »


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