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The Brunswick beacon. (Shallotte, N.C.) 19??-current, November 10, 1994, Page PAGE 10-A, Image 10

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PRICE TAG APPROACHING $8 MILLION Nov. 2 1 Hearing Set On Financing New Elementary School BY SUSAN USHER Since planning began for a new Leland area school 16 months ago, building costs have climbed, school de sign requirements have changed, and the north Bruns wick area has continued to grow. Left with the choice of a project that might take eight to 10 years to pay off instead of five, or a smaller school that would be crowded when it opens in fall 1996, Brunswick County school board members and commissioners are eyeing a project that will cost nearly $8 million. Meeting briefly Monday, Brunswick County Com missioners scheduled a public hearing for Monday, Nov. 21, on the proposed installment financing of up to $8 million to build and equip a new elementary school in northern Brunswick County. The hearing will begin at 5:45 p.m. in the commissioners' chambers at the Brunswick County Government Center. County and school officials had tentatively agreed to finance a $6 million to $6.5 million project over five years on an installment purchase plan, based on an ex pected cost of $65 per square foot. The cost was to be repaid from state sales tax revenues designated for school construction or equipment purchase, with no lo cal funds used. The new school, to be built on River Road in Belville, is intended to relieve existing overcrowding at Lincoln Primary and Iceland Middle schools, and to ac commodate anticipated growth in the northern part of the county. Actual enrollment in grades kindergarten through five at the two schools is 1,168. The school board wants to put out for bid a 94,675 square foot, 27-classroom school that would serve 650 to 700 students. If built today, the school would have room for only 80 new students. Architect Charles Boney Jr. estimates construction would cost $6.6 million to $7.1 million, at $70 to $75 per square foot. I"he size and cost increases reflect addi tional cafeteria space required by the state and project ed state reductions in class size for grades kindergarten through third grades. Boney said that the N.C. Division of School Plan ning estimates school building costs have increased 8.93 percent over the past year, from $68.45 to $74.56 per square foot on average statewide. School board members considered, but didn't like, an alternative plan for a 19-classroom school that would serve 456 to 513 students. With no built-in gym seating or loading/unloading canopies, it would cost be tween $5.6 million and $6 million but would be already overcrowded when it opened in fall 1996. "I can't believe we would even consider building a school that size," said District 5 board member Yvonne Bright. "It would be ridiculous even to build one that we would have to add on to two years after it was built." The figure to be financed will also includc the school board's repayment of money advanced by the county for the project. And, strapped for capital funds, the school board decided last Wednesday to ask com missioners to borrow $600,000 to furnish the new school and wire it for a computer network. Supply Elementary School was built entirely with state hajf-cent sales tax money, but there wasn't enough money on hand to buy adequate library books or to wire the school for computers before it opened, mis takes the school board doesn't care to repeat. "We're still buying library books for that school be cause we didn't have enough money two years ago," said Chairman Donna Baxter. Also last Wednesday the school board delayed ad vertising for construction bids until the county official ly names the school board its agent for the project The board also wants Superintendent Ralph Johnston to fur ther discuss with county officials the latest cost esti mates as well as several other questions. Architects Boncy & Associates had wanted to begin advertising for bids Nov. 3 and to accept them Nov. 30. Finding the site presently "unsuitable for school use," a legal formality, the board voted unanimously to transfer the deed to the county for the sum of $10, sub ject to four provisions recommended by Peterson. These include the county naming the school board as agent for the construction project, leasing it to the school board to operate during the financing period, conveying the school and site to the school board for the sum of $10 once the loan is repaid, and general agreement by the two boards on the installment pur chase plan. Under the financing instrument chosen by the coun ty, the commissioners must hold title to the school until the loan is repaid bccause. as with a mortgage, the school would serve as the only security for the loan. Janice Burke of the Local Government Commission, which supervises financing by local governments, said last Friday that increasing the amount to be borrowed to $8 million probably would not affect Brunswick County's plans for private placement of the debt. "Even with $8 million they should be able to place it directly," she said. "If you have to issue certificates of participation it would be more expensive than a bond issue." Under installment purchase agreements, local gov ernments have two options. They can place the debt privately, borrowing (up to $15 million) through a fi nancial institution after "shopping" for the best terms. If the interest rates obtained are extremely close to ' those available on a general obligation bond issue, the county can save money by private placement because the associated costs arc lower. The second installment alternative is to issue certificates of participation (up to $20 million) in the public market, but the cost is much higher. Plans for the new school must still receive clear ance from several state agencies. The school system is also waiting for a written commitment from Belville for the town's new sewer system to serve the school. Without that commitment, construction cannot begin. The site is not suitable for a septic system. Belville Mayor Ken Messer said Friday that by the time the new "Belville Elementary School" is built, sewer service will be available. "Tell them, yeah, they can have that," he said. "We can work it out. We should be in reach of them by December." Messer said the town expects to soon begin instal ling sewer lines to serve both Brunswick Cove nursing home and the new park on the Brunswick River. Brunswick County Beach Officials Meet To Discuss Menhaden BY DOUG RUTTER Representatives of five Bruns wick County beach towns met Tues day at Holden Beach to discuss how their communities should deal with the sticky menhaden fishing issue. Holden Beach Mayor Gay Atkins said the town officials reviewed a proposed agreement between six beach municipalities, three men haden fi&iiing companies and the N.C. Fisheries Association. Atkins said each town board will consider the agreement, which is de signed to resolve an ongoing con flict between the tourist-dependent towns and commercial fishing boats that operate close to shore. Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, Long Beach and Cas well Beach were represented at Tuesday afternoon's meeting. The proposed agreement also would af fect Yaupon Beach. The town officials arc concerned about menhaden fishing boats work ing close to shore and accidentally spilling fish that wash up on the strand. They see menhaden fishing as a threat to the county's biggest in dustry ? tourism. Earlier this year, beach towns asked the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission to require menhaden boats to stay at least 1.5 miles off shore between May 1 and Sept. 30 and at least one-half mile offshore Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. The state commission never con sidered the request. Instead, a com mittee of local officials and the three menhaden companies that work off the Brunswick County coast was es tablished in hopes of drafting an agreement. The proposed agreement review cd Tuesday sets forth procedures for the N.C. Fisheries Association to notify local beach towns when men haden boats are working off Bruns wick County. The agreement, slated to take ef fect Jan. 1, also addresses reimburs ing towns for cleanup of menhaden One Man Shot, One Arrested A fight over a woman resulted in a shooting that sent one man to the hospital and another to jail outside the old International Longshoremen's hall jn Southport Tuesday afternoon, according to a Brunswick County Sheriff's Detective. The victim's name had not been released at press time. He was taken by ambulance to Dosher Hospital af ter the incident, which occurred at about 2:30 p.m.. Detective Steve Mason said. The man was later sent to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, where Mason said he was in serious condition with a bullet wound to the up per chest. By 3 p.m., a suspect was in custody and was under going questioning at the Southport Police Department Tuesday night. Mason said. A spokesman there said Southport Police Chief Bob Gray was busy with the fol low-up investigation and was available for comment Tuesday evening. Several sheriff's deputies were asked to respond to the hospital, where a crowd of the victim's "so-called friends" got into a shoving match with emergency per sonnel, resulting in an unknown injury to a nurse. Mason said. A warrant for assault is expected to be is sued against the suspect in that incident. "It appears the victim got into an altercation over somebody catching somebody with somebody's girl friend," said Mason, who arrived after both men were taken from the scene. One of the two men apparently pulled out a gun, possibly a 9mm autoloading pistol, and fired one time, Mason said. The investigation is being handled by Southport Police. Thank You Voters! Your Support And Dedication Are Appreciated! Douglas Simmons (Paid for by Candidate) ONE HOUR EYE GLASSES Complete Pair Single Vision Lenses $1295 Any Power CR-39 Plastic Complete Pair Bifocal Lenses Any Type Any Power $2995 CR-39 Plastic Complete Par Progressive Any Type Lenses Any Power In Stock $7Q95 CR-39 Plastic Complete Pair Trifocals Any Type Any Power ?3995 CR-39 Plastic Frame Size 54 Eye and Above Add Just $10.00 Coupons Expire Nov. 30, 1 994. No other discounts apply. r Present this coupon for these special prices Single Vision any power$gg95 Une Bifocals any power$gg95 Progressive no-llne an, pom, NEW - uSS *109* This offer includes... ?Single lenses *Blfocal lenses ?Progressive lenses Transition lenses are the new plastic lenses that change into sunglasses. CLEAR-VUE OPTICIANS We can make arrangements to get your eyes examined today. (910)395-6563 3901 -A Oleander Dr., Wilmington gg GSDjfl 1 -800-634-1 085 Mon.-Fri. 9:30-7p.nv, Sat. 9:30-5 p.m. (?>? loMtionnonaon, Sun. 1-5 p.m. Jackton. Wilton. Ratoigh I Gotdttxxo spills and the use of anti-foaming agents to reduce oily discharge from the Fishing vessels. Atkins said the town officials who met Tuesday decided to change some wording in the agreement. "We reviewed it and will be mak ing some changes. Then it will be presented to each town's board," she said. "Each board will look at it, re vicw it, then probably will sign the agreement." The N.C. Fisheries Assoc. has proposed setting up a meeting within the next two weeks for the purpose of signing the two-page document Atkins said the beach towns have "geared this agreement to accommo date what's important to us." "Our concern is the protection of the Brunswick County beaches and the tourist industry that we have, and of course the citizens and any spillage that would cause them prob lems," she said. "The ones that met today were comfortable with what we came up with, but we have to take it back to our hoards for their review " There arc three menhaden fishing companies that work off the Bruav wick County coast. Beaufort Fish eries Inc. is based in Carteret County and the other two arc based in Virginia. "The representatives of the mu nicipalities, their concerns are the citizens on the beaches and what's happening to their beaches more than the menhaden fishing industry," Atkins said. "Economically we real ly don't receive any benefits. 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