Commissioners OK Measures for Building New Schools
Erection of the first schools in Moore County's latest education capital improvements plan moved closer to reality Monday night when the Board of Commissioners approved two funding measures.
First, the commissioners approved a request from the Board of Education for purchase of 49 acres on Union Church Road for construction of a new middle school in Vass. The school system is buying the property for $433,000 from James Lee Edwards, Eunice C. Edwards and Joann McRae McMillan.
The commissioners also agreed to draw down $1.8 million from the county's share of State Public School Capital Building Funds to be applied toward the construction of the new middle school and a new elementary school.
County Financial Services Director Lisa L. Hughes said the state money cannot be used for anything other than public school capital needs.
"But the use of these funds may reduce the amount of future funding for these projects," Hughes said.
The state collects the school capital funds from corporate taxes. The money is held to earn interest until counties officially apply for an allocation. The process calls for the Board of Education to approve submission of an application and for the Board of Commissioners to approve both the project and the two applications.
One application covers $1.1 million for the middle school project. The $700,000 application is for the elementary school project.
Hughes reported that Moore County has $1,832,177.35 in the state fund. Withdrawal of funding for these two projects will leave more than $32,000 in the county's state "kitty."
The Board of Education had previously approved both measures.
Construction of the two schools will mark the beginning of the first phase of the schools' capital improvement plan, to be financed through a $54 million bond issue approved by voters in November. Use of the state money will enable the county to delay issuance of bonds, saving the earliest interest payments.
Superintendent Susan Purser, Assistant Superintendent Larry Upchurch and John T. Hawthorne, executive supervisor for construction, were present for the meeting.
All of the motions to approve the school board requests passed on unanimous votes.
In other business at the Monday night meeting, the commissioners gave unanimous approval to a $253,700 contract for the purchase of a water chiller in the Courts Facility. The contract goes to Fields Plumbing & Heating, which submitted one of two bids received on the project. Hughes said the two bids were evaluated by property management personnel, who recommended Fields.
The new chiller will replace the 29-year old piece of equipment in use since the building was first occupied.
The commissioners also voted unanimously to adopt a proposed Fire Prevention and Protection Ordinance that brings the county into compliance with the state's fire code.
Fire Marshal Carlton Cole told the commissioners that the ordinance adopts the North Carolina Fire Code and identifies the code enforcement tools available to the fire marshal's office.
Adoption of the ordinance required a public hearing, but no one signed up to speak on the issue, which was regarded as a routine piece of business.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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