Harvard Lays Out Welcome Mat for Builders

A press release from the City of Harvard:

Harvard City Council Reduces Fees to Make Harvard the Most Affordable City to Build a New Home in McHenry County

Harvard, IL – The Harvard City Council wants it to be clear that Harvard has the lowest residential building and impact fees in McHenry County by a longshot.

Alderman Carl Opper, Alderwoman Bona Heinsohn, Alderman Raul Meza, Alderman Jay Schulz, Alderman Korey Coffer, Alderman Ron Burlingame, Alderman Kevin Williams. Seated -Mayor Michael P. Kelly. Not pictured Alderwoman Tammy Herrera.

The council voted in November to reduce all residential building fees for new home construction, including permit, inspection and school, park, library and fire district impact fees.

Impact fees to build a 1,500-square foot, three-bedroom, two-bath ranch home with a full basement and a 400-square foot garage in Harvard have been reduced to $8,043.29 – an amount that is less than half of the county average fee total of $20,441.

“It will cost substantially more to build that same home anywhere else in McHenry County,” according to Harvard Mayor Michael P. Kelly.

Fees to build a similar home in other McHenry County communities range from $12,469 in Hebron to $35,540 in Huntley, which has the highest combined rate in the county.

Fees in nearby Woodstock total $19,563.

Marengo impact fees for new home construction total $17,098.

“Harvard’s fee structure was already one of the lowest in McHenry County,” noted Harvard Mayor Michael P. Kelly.

“The Harvard City Council created this bold new ordinance to make it crystal clear that Harvard has the lowest fees to build a new home in this county by a wide margin.”

“They want to see new home growth and they took action to make it happen,” he said.

The move is part of an active strategy by the council to attract more residential growth to Harvard, said Kelly.

“The new Harvard-Woodstock Enterprise Zone has put our community on the radar of expanding companies. Retail and manufacturing businesses are investing in Harvard.

“Arrowhead Industrial Park has more than 200,000 square feet of new construction underway.”

“Harvard is ripe for growth and the city council is working hard to help cultivate and encourage activity by both builders and individual homeowners,” he noted.

“Harvard has a good supply of ready to build lots and a city council which supports productive growth.

“Our school district has a new superintendent at the helm and he is supported by a new school board and a strategic plan that is focused on student development.”

“This is a very good time to invest in Harvard, as a homeowner or a business owner or both,” Kelly noted.

“The cost to build is low and the quality of life is high and rising.”


Harvard Lays Out Welcome Mat for Builders — 12 Comments

  1. At the rate that people are being driven out of Illinois, an innovative
    common sense idea like this may work to stem the tide and increase their tax base.

    Congrats on bold “out of the box” thinking.

  2. Impact fee ?

    More like a tax collected by 3rd party building contractor.

    That’s the way business is conducted in Illinois, love it or leave it.

    And apparently more people are choosing the latter with each passing year.

  3. A fee of $35k to build a house in Huntley?

    That is comical, as is the county average of $20.4k.

    If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street;
    if you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat;
    if you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat;
    if you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.
    —The Beatles, “Taxman”

  4. Harvard also boasts the worst public schools in the County.

    Low income student percentage in D-50 is 99.2 %.

    Average administrator salary is $91,723.

    Average teacher salary $47,288.

    Published cost per student 2015-16 $12,093.

    Percent of students met ACT benchmark in four subjects: 10.1 (state average was 28.2 %.

    How many people are going to move to Harvard for the schools?

  5. I had friends that lived in Harvard 15 years ago.

    Life was good until new neighbors moved in next door, and they worked on vehicles in the driveway at all hours.

    The breaking point happened one Sunday morning when the wife making coffee and looked out the window and observed a drunk male pissing on her rose bushes.

    And then they moved to McHenry.

  6. omg Cindy, funniest comment of the day!

    ‘Pound Sand’ was the funniest retort to the NorthWorst Herald last week.

  7. Dist 50 levied $13,729,425.73 in property tax on an assessment of $224,369,017 for 2013 during which year they had 2,413 students.

    Dist 50 levied $14,940,333.45 in property tax on an assessment of $216,180,206 for 2017 during which year that had 2,623 students

    2013 assessment per pupil – $92,983.43

    2017 assessment per pupil – $82,417.16

    2013 levy per student – $5,689.77

    2017 levy per student – $5,695.90

    Assessment is down more than $10,000 per student but taxes are about the same.

    Meanwhile, teachers and admin get wage increases and pensions have to be funded.

    Where is the money coming from?

    No wonder they want more assessment but who wants to live in Harvard, IL?

  8. Paul? I think they or their close relatives moved across the street from me!

  9. Conservative Voter, the answer to your question as to where the money comes from is that it primarily is sourced from the State.

    Per their financials, levy revenue only makes up 46.4% of D-50’s revenue.

    Contrast that with D-26 which stands at 77.2%.

    The structure of Illinois’ funding formula allocates substantially more funds to districts with lower available local resources and low income enrollment.

    Per the State’s General State Aid reports for FY16, the State provided $4,432 per pupil at D-50, but only provided $742/pupil at D-26.

    And D-26’s low State support level is not just unique to our district.

    Its seen at D-47, D-46, etc.

    And the new school funding formula recently passed by the legislature will only amplify this disparity.

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