Commissioners hear update on school bond referendum

New town hall/fire station should be ready by Jan. 1, town manager says 

Jenna Turner, Staff Writer

Sept. 20 was Wingate’s Board of Commissioner’s monthly meeting. Joe Delaney, an administrator for  Union County Public Schools, spoke during the public comment about the Referendum that will be put before the voters on Nov. 8.

They need $54 million to complete projects at Monroe High, Piedmont High, Porter Ridge Middle and High, Western Union Elementary, Sun Valley High and to update the transportation facilities. This will include .16 cent tax increase.on every $100 in property value. Wingate Elementary School is not included in the project.

Delaney said that he was only there to inform the members about the projects and have them consider voting to approve this referendum while they are in the polls voting. He said that it is the last item on the ballot and it is going up against two other bonds.

Commissioner Barry Green voiced his concern saying “You’re asking me to support something that isn’t helping our schools.” Delaney responded with “these are the ones we narrowed it down to this time but we will keep asking so we can keep updating everything.”

Under the New Business portion on the meeting, there were six new thing brought in-front of the board. The board approved Robert Stedge-Larsen to serve three more years as the head of the ABC Board.

They wrote off $4,582.66 in underpayments and uncollected taxes from before 2007, approved the county’s collection of $470,000 this past year and for them to collect $470,000.03 on the town’s behalf this year.

There was an approval of giving $5,000 annually to the Monroe Union County Economic Development agency for the next five years.

Town Manager Patrick Niland also gave the board an update on the new Town Hall/Fire Station. The project is ahead of schedule and should be 90 percent completed mid-October.

Everything should be transferred in and they should be fully operational in the new building by January 1. The plan is to then move the Police Station to the old Fire Station and then start renovating the station.

Bart Farmer, Public Works Official, gave the board a quick update on Public Works. They have repaired the waterline between Marshville and Wingate. They also moved a waterline so it does not conflict with the new bypass.

Sandra Thomas, Grant Administrator, is still looking for more funding for the way-finding signs and working with a Wingate University representative about a Farmer’s Market on campus.

Donnie Gay, Police Chief, talked about the break-in through the drive-through window of McDonald’s. The men waited until the morning staff showed up then emptied the safe before taking off. The search for the men is still on-going.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

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