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Waynesboro board to take on debt for career center project

September 17, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro Area School Board will incur $2.4 million worth of debt for a Franklin County Career and Technology Center renovation project if neighboring school districts also agree to the construction efforts.

The borrowing translates into an additional .394 mill of taxes for property owners in the Waynesboro area each year for 30 years. Waynesboro will be paying 12.93 percent of the total project costs, which are not to exceed $15 million.

A mill represents $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

Greencastle-Antrim, Tuscarora, Shippensburg and Chambersburg school boards all have plans to vote on their respective borrowing by the end of this month.

Chambersburg Area School District would be paying the largest share of renovating the 40-year-old building. Also, Chambersburg has plans to build a $22.8 million academic wing there for use by its students.

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The school districts jointly own and operate the career center on Loop Road south of Chambersburg.

At their Tuesday meeting, several Waynesboro board members expressed dissatisfaction with the way the renovation project was presented to them recently. They learned of the borrowing expectations last week.

"My objection is I don't appreciate being told and sold and given information on the project under one scenario," Leland Lemley said.

Chris Devers said it was distasteful how the presentation was made with a quick decision expected.

He also shared frustration about Chambersburg's financial contribution for the land where the academic wing will be built. A verbal agreement indicates that revenue would be spent on so-called "soft costs" for things like architectural fees, engineering and equipment.

"I was kind of blind-sided when we were told last week they'd be used for soft costs," Devers said.

Waynesboro's motion to incur the debt passed on a 7-2 vote, with Firmadge Crutchfield and Ed Wilson voting against it. Devers, Lemley, K. Marilyn Smith, Stan Barkdoll, John Fitz, Mindy Rouzer and Pat Heefner voted in favor.

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