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Long BoE ask Ludowici city council for support with proposed school
MR LongCCweb
Long BoE members Linda DeLoach, Billy Hall, and Dempsey Golden addressed the Ludowici City Council about the proposed new school.
LUDOWICI -- At a Ludowici city council meeting, members from the Long Board of Education asked the city for support with a new school to be completed for the 2010-2011 school year.
"We are in the planning stages, and I believe it can be advantageous to both the city and the schools if we work together on the project," BOE Chairman Dempsey Golden said at the Feb 12 meeting.
The primary request was for the city council to inquire if the city's sewer and water capabilities were sufficient to handle the proposed school and anticipated growth. BOE representatives also wanted to let council members know where the project stood and that they would be requesting to tie onto the system in the future.
The school is proposed to be on land adjacent to Smiley Elementary School, and it will be a combined middle/elementary school.
Ludowici's consulting engineer, Ted Gibbs with Statewide Engineering said the city had the capability to handle the school, but modifications and additions to make the project feasible would be expensive.
"I think it is a wonderful idea, but there are several details that need to be addressed, and I believe the brunt of the cost needs to be placed on the school board. That's what I recommend," Gibbs said.
According to the engineer, there is money from grants available to assist with the city water and sewage project, but it would have to be based on the city's needs, and not simply on a new school.
The engineer also said that if the work was done, it could also improve the city's sewage system since many drain lines could be replaced.
Other BOE members who attended were Billy Hall and Linda DeLoach.
On another subject, Gibbs discussed the remaining balance of a 2007 grant.
"You have around $57,000, which is available, but you will have to pay out around $20,000 to receive the money, which would net you about $37,000 for some additional work," Gibbs said.
Another option the engineer proposed was to turn that balance back to the state, and request an additional grant through the Community Block Grant Program.
"It is my experience that when a city turns a portion of a grant back in, and then when they submit for further grants, they are looked upon favorably, and it helps them actually get more funding," Gibbs said.
The council decided to return the balance and apply for another grant.
The council also heard a report from acting City Police Chief Richard Robertson on the police department for January.
According to Robertson, the city had issued 99 traffic citations during the month totaling  $28,000. He also reported that there were three felony investigations opened, and 26 felony cases awaiting trial.
Robertson also informed the council he had applied for an equipment grant for $84,000 to state Sen. Tommie Williams' office.
He also showed the council the new police uniforms.
"These uniforms will cost the city nothing," he said. "I have been able to get donations totaling $3,655 for the uniforms, and I'm still am working on another donation."
In other police business, the council hired one additional dispatcher and another officer putting the department at full strength.
According to Councilman Jim Fuller Jr., the city is still struggling financially. "We are trying to find ways to deal with this, and do what we can to make the budget work."
One measure the council took was to eliminate overtime for employees.
"It is necessary to do this, and in those extreme cases where it may have to happen, it can only take place with the department's head's approval," Fuller said.
Fuller also said Mayor Myrtice Warren would be going before the Long County Commission to request increasing the emergency 911 supplement be increased from $500 a week to $1,000. He also said she would ask them to consider leasing a portion of the holding cells at the city police department.
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