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School board president named to Letterkenny board

June 24, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg Area School District has a seat on the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority Board of Directors after School Board President D. Eugene Gayman was appointed Tuesday to fill a vacancy.

Gayman, of Chambersburg, was appointed by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday to fill the unexpired term of Stephen K. Rice. The former president of the Whitetail Ski Resort resigned in March when he moved from the county to take another job.

Commissioner G. Warren Elliott said the county wanted the school system to have a representative on the 15-member authority board because "they're probably going to have a major stake out there" at the depot.

The school district hopes to acquire about 250 acres of excess property at the depot for use as an agricultural and environmental education center.

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"I don't see my role on the LIDA board having anything to do with that," Gayman said Tuesday. "My interest is that the land be turned over by sale rather than by lease so that it returns to the tax roles as soon as possible."

Approximately 1,500 acres of the depot will eventually be turned over to the authority and Gayman wants to see most of it sold to businesses and industries so local governments and the school district can receive tax revenues.

As federal property, Gayman said the depot was not subject to real estate taxes. The government made payments in lieu of property taxes, but he said those have fallen drastically over the years.

Gayman said those payments, based in part on the number of federal employees at the depot, have declined from almost $1 million to less than $100,000 a year.

Elliott said Gayman's term runs to Jan. 1, 2003. The president of the school board for the past three years, he was formerly the state director of the Farmers Home Administration for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In that post, he was in charge of 43 offices and 250 employees in Pennsylvania.

The commissioners also ap-pointed Clayton E. Garthwaite of Chambersburg to fill a vacancy on the Franklin County General Authority. The authority is in charge of managing sewer, water and other utilities at the depot that will be turned over to civilian control.

Elliott said one other vacancy remains on the five-member authority.

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