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City Waives Fees for Charter School
It was decision time for the Ocala city council.
Construction of a charter school in Marion County met an unexpected setback when the school was assessed $18,000 in city inspection fees that they had not expected.
So the people who run Frances Marion Military Academy appealed to city leaders to waive the fees.
It was a 3 to 2 vote in support of waiving more than $18,000 in permit fees for phase one of the Francis Marion Military Academy's future campus.
They are building it near the existing school in northeast Ocala.
Over a week ago the School Board gave the city permission to take care of the permits and inspections.
The city then charged Francis Marion Military Academy about $81,000 for the work.
The school was being charged about $18,000 for phase one and about $62,000 for phase two.
City council member Daniel Owen said he was in favor of waiving the fees because there are quality students graduating from the charter school.
"Eighteen -thousand dollars is just a drop in the bucket to one the investment in that school and what they'll be producing in our young people and ultimately what the city will have to serve with police, fire, trash and all the utilities that it takes to operate and support a site here in the city. We will be bale to see a return on investment in a lot of ways not just in monetary," said Owen.
Owen said one of the concerns is that if they say yes to waiver request, they'll have to say yes to all.
Meaning if more private or charter schools open up in Ocala, they may request waiving the permit and inspection fees.
Charlie Demenzes, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Francis Marion Military Academy, said he wasn't expecting the city to waive the fees for phase one, but he is excited about the decision.
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