Pascack Valley High 'Surprised' By $25,000 Permit Fees
Superintendent P. Erik Gundersen asked the Hillsdale Council to reconsider the fees for a small addition to the school.
Hillsdale is charging more than $25,000 in permit fees to the Pascack Valley Regional High School District for work on Pascack Valley High School that is scheduled to take place this summer, according to Superintendent P. Erik Gundersen.
Gundersen described the fees as "a surprise."
The school is going through a decade-long period of overcrowding, according to Gundersen. School officials planned to create three extra classrooms by adding 12 feet to the building.
"Things are very tight in the high school district, particularly at Pascack Valley High School right now, so we have been trying to find some room in our building to make more space for students," Gundersen said.
Hillsdale Mayor Max Arnowitz said the fees pay for inspections and other work required by borough, county or state law. Hillsdale bore the brunt of costs the last time work was done on the school and the borough also incurs other expenses by hosting the school, Arnowitz said.
"It's really unfair," Arnowitz said. "All four towns should pay."
Gundersen asked if the borough could reconsider charging the fees or delay them until the next school project, so the district knows to budget for them.
"I don't think you should expect the borough to absorb the fees that go to the state or county for construction," Arnowitz said.
Gundersen said he was surprised because Hillsdale had not previously charged fees this high. District officials want to pay for the project out of their operating budget, rather than with another referendum, he said.
"It comes as a bit of a shock to learn that Hillsdale is having such drastic costs because we're having a reconfiguration of the building," Gundersen said. "It seems like an exorbitant cost."
Borough Administrator Jonathan DeJoseph said he would provde the district with a breakdown of the costs behind the fees.