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Photos by Todd Luck
(Above) Courtney Mack bundles some greens, which
she's about to give to Roberta Jackson, as her
daughter, Grey Mack, looks on.
(Right) Arthur Jackson and Courtney Mack pick
greens out of their garden for their Christmas Eve
Giving the gift of greens
Courtney Mack and Arthur Jackson spent a cold and
rainy Christmas Eve morning giving away collard and
mixed greens from their community garden on Cameron
Avenue. The couple are graduates from Forsyth County
Cooperative Extension's Urban Farm School. A local res
ident lent them land for their garden. They planted the
crops in October and decided to give their first harvest to
Commissioners to vote on bonds for maintenance needs
BY TODD LUCK
THE CHRONICLE .
In their first meeting of 2017, Forsyth County com
missioners will be voting on $21.8 million in bonds for
maintenance needs of county government, local schools
and Forsyth Technical Community College.
A public hearing will be held on the validity and advis
ability of the bonds during the commissioners' Jan. 9
meeting. These are general obligation bonds that do not
require voter approval and are unrelated to the $430 mil
lion bond referendums voters approved in November. The
bonds are known as two-third bonds because their amount
can be up to two-thirds of the debt the county retired in the
previous year. Two-thirds bonds are issued every two
years to address long-term maintenance needs for the
County Commissioner Chair Dave Plyler said that it's
important to keep up with capital needs.
"It's an investment in our future when you get right
down to it," said Plyler.
He gave the example of the long-needed renovations
on the Forsyth County Hall of Justice, which, due to infla
tion, will now cost the county
more than $110 million. Options
were presented to the commis
sioners this year for a new or ren
ovated courthouse, but they have
yet to act on it. However, the two
third bonds do contain $5 million
that will go toward the eventual
project and will act as seed
money for design and planning
work on the courthouse.
The other two-thirds bonds
are $8.5 million for Winston
salem/rorsytn county schools, 12 million tor county
parks and $4 million for county facilities including
libraries and $23 million for Forsyth Tech. By state law,
counties are responsible for funding the construction and
maintenance of facilities at community colleges like
Bond referendums generally involve large construc
tion projects, like new schools and libraries. The projects
for two-third bonds are usually smaller, upkeep projects
like replacing a roof, resurfacing lots or major work on
heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
For instance, the largest school system project is $ 1.2 mil
lion for replacing parts of Bolton Elementary's HVAC
system. There's also $130,000 for a new roof on Bolton's
annex and another $120,000 to replace the boilers there.
Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy and Cook Literacy
Model School are also getting new roofs in parts of their
Other projects include almost $2 million in repairs to
the county's Law Enforcement Detention Center,
$450,000 to replace the roof and parking lot at Reynolda
Manor Branch Library and $510000 to renovate the lobby
and do major HVAC work at Forsyth Tech's Allman
Center. Most of the parks bond, about $1.3 million, will go
to Tanglewood Park, where most of the county's park
assets are. The 23 projects at Tanglewood include roof
replacements, water and sewer work, and paving the park
ing lot of the Tanglewoof Dog Park.
Unlike other bonds that increase the county's overall
debt, two-third bonds have in the past had the full support
of the county commissioners and are expected to once
again when they come to a vote next year.
Fire investigators complete search
of former Brown Elementary
Fire investigators have completed their search of the
former Brown Elementary School, which was destroyed
by fire Dec. 20. They found no sign of human casual
ties. However, the cause of the fire is still under investi
gation. The investigation of the fire was initially ham
pered by the structural instability of what remained of *
the school after the fire. The building is near 11th Street
and Highland Avenue. It was purchased by Winston
Salem's Housing Authority recently to turn the building
into affordable housing.
City Ol Winston Solem photo
This photo shows equipment used to complete the
search for casualities of former Brown Elementary