by Madison White Franks
LANCASTER—Following a public hearing and an extensive public comment period last Thursday, supervisors approved $2,930,083 of the proposed $10,230,083 capital improvement budget for fiscal year 2019.
Chairman and District 4 supervisor Bill Lee moved to approve the $2.9 million to include giving the school system $2 million to come up with a master plan for proposed facilities. The motion passed, 3-2, with District 2 supervisor Ernest Palin, District 3 supervisor Jason Bellows and Lee in favor.
District 1 supervisor Jack Larson was against funding any amount because of not having a site plan or final figure for the proposed facilities and District 5 supervisor Bob Westbrook wanted the initial request of $9.3 million to be funded.
The approved capital improvement plan includes $25,000 for a school security grant fund; $349,300 for testing, programming and concept design for new schools; $2 million for the new schools master plan; $10,500, sheriff’s office jail roof repair; $190,000, school bus replacements; $250,000, ambulance for Upper Lancaster Volunteer Rescue Squad; $15,082, sheriff’s office heating and air conditioning replacement; $38,500, sheriff’s office patrol vehicle; $11,701, storage and kitchen addition to courthouse offices; and $40,000, paving an access road to Windmill Point public boat ramp.
The $2 million earmarked for school facilities will allow the school system and architects to come up with a master plan to include an estimated total cost and a site plan.
At a previous meeting, Bob Moje of VMDO Architects said $1 million would get them to the end of the calendar year that would include conceptual and schematic designs.
“You are asking us to approve something that we don’t have. We would have to go out and borrow this money, not knowing where we are going and not knowing the end,” said Lee to school superintendent Dr. Steve Parker…