Presentation on School Modernization Legislation Passed by the 2019 General Assembly

April 10, 2019 Charlottesville, VA / Sponsored by Tom Tom Conference

On April 10, 2019 Gentry Locke Partner Chip Dicks presented information to attendees of the Tom Tom Conference on using solar energy and the creativity of the private sector to enable localities to better address public school building needs. Below are Chip’s comments.

Delegate Nick Rush and Senator Bill Stanley sponsored transformative legislation to create a new paradigm for building public schools and facilities, using solar energy and the creativity of the private sector.

The private sector has come forward with a tool in the toolbox for localities to help address public school building needs. The private sector has showed us how using energy-positive schools can save about one-third of the cost of the traditional model of building public schools. This private sector business model also uses Federal Investment Tax Credits for Solar installation, Federal New Market Tax Credits, and Federal Opportunity Zones to help reduce the debt service and operational costs so the total cost savings can be more than 50%.

The legislation provides that is it the legislative intent that public schools be built as energy-positive buildings. We need to use such tools to make taxpayer dollars go further.

Since lawyers and financial advisors need to provide opinion letters on these types of deals, this legislation provides statutory authority for localities to work with private developers under existing procurement methods, so the opinion letters can be based upon the statutory law.

Finally, this legislation provides two financing options for private developers: local IDAs or EDAs and the Virginia Small Business Financing Agency.

These two pieces of legislation become effective on July 1, 2019.

Chip (John G.) Dicks

Chip Dicks is a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates and served on the Courts and Education committees. Chip also served on the Virginia Housing Commission as a House member. Since leaving the Legislature in 1990, he has represented associations and businesses on administrative, legislative and regulatory matters before state government agencies and the General Assembly. He has substantial experience representing developers on a variety of land use applications across Virginia. Chip has extensive experience in the laws and regulations affecting billboard signs, and in the field of landlord tenant and fair housing laws. Chip joined Gentry Locke in 2018 to practice with our Government & Regulatory Affairs group in Richmond.

Meet Chip

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