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Planners recommend postponing funding of new schools

Megan Schiffres

by Megan Schiffres

LANCASTER—The Lancaster planning commission voted unanimously, 5-0, last Thursday to recommend delaying the building of new schools until next year’s capital improvement budget is developed.

Members Robert Smart, Tara Booth, David Chupp, Thomas Richardson and Steven Sorensen voted in favor of a motion by Sorensen to push the funding of both new schools for the district and a planned expansion of the sheriff’s office building to the 2021 capital improvement budget. Commission members Glendon Pinn and Thomas Brent were absent.

Planning commission recommendations are forwarded to the county board of supervisors for consideration.

According to county administrator Don Gill, the commission recommended postponing the funding of new schools and an expansion to the sheriff’s building because too many unknown factors exist for the commission to make a definitive recommendation at this point.

Commission members unanimously voted to recommend a 2020 capital improvement budget for the county which totals $521,840 and includes $190,000 to replace two school buses, $69,960 for renovations to the social services building and $45,000 to upgrade emergency services communication equipment in the county.

The request for $80 million from the county school board to fund the building of three new schools was recommended by the commission to be pushed to the capital improvement budget for fiscal year 2021. The requested $1,683,703 to expand the sheriff’s office also was recommended for the 2021 capital improvement budget, which now totals $83,668,631.

In other actions, the commission voted unanimously to recommend supervisors approve several grammatical and informational updates to chapter two of the county’s Comprehensive Plan. Chapter two addresses the suitability of land in the county for development.

Commission members also voted unanimously to recommend approval of a rezoning request from Minor Properties LLC to reclassify the Connemara Inc. property at 18700 Mary Ball Road, White Stone, from commercial limited to commercial conditional.

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