The article that just appeared in the Lancaster News makes me wonder if I was at the same meetings as the committee members. The article states in part _
Local road repairs, library upgrades and new emergency radios will be included in a November ballot question to reauthorize the county’s 1 cent capital project sales tax should the proposals pass muster with Lancaster County Council. The commission will present its decision to County Council on Monday, July 7.(sic) actual date is July 14.
The unanimous vote Monday by a quorum of four commissioners followed discussion as to which priority projects could both be funded by the estimated $37.5 million in tax revenue and have the most benefit for county residents. Commission chairman Larry Durham said the decision was not easy, but he was satisfied with the result.“I’m very pleased with what we’ve done,” Durham said after the meeting. “Last meeting, we talked about each of the proposals, and asked which are the highest priority. That’s how we came up with the list,”
During discussion, all but Cureton said they felt roads should be a significant portion of the equation, as did Hoover, who recommended spending $30 million on roads and the remaining revenue on the sheriff’s lab, Chromebooks and select parks and recreation renovations. Cureton said she wanted to see the emergency radio and library projects fully funded and was otherwise amenable to anything else.
Though the sheriff’s drug lab and Chromebooks for at least third through fifth grades were popular choices, the commission ultimately reached consensus on a roughly 45/55 split of $16,675,000 for roads and $20,828,000 to fund the new radio system and library projects. The proposed $12,828,000 library projects includes construction of a new Lancaster County Main Library, a new roof for the Kershaw Satellite Library and expansions at both the Kershaw and Del Webb Library of Indian Land, among other improvements. The $8 million radio project will replace the county’s severely outdated and poorly operating analog radio system..
After the meeting, commissioners said they could not have completed the project without the input of the public, which they said helped them determine which projects were most critical. “Listening to the public was the machine that drove this,” Murphy said. “By us talking about their suggestions between ourselves and others after the meetings, we were able to prioritize.” “We had to look at needs. I think they’re absolutely right about listening to the public,” Rushing said. “Just like when I was working, sometimes you’ve got to make hard decisions. It may not be popular with everyone, but you’ve got to make a decision.”
This decision, in my view, does not reflect the wishes of our citizens – although many worthy projects were mentioned, the strongest drum beat was roads, roads, roads. So, now we have less than 1/2 of the estimated revenue going for roads? This cannot and should not be tolerated. The article states that all but one member wanted a significant portion to be spent on roads. What happened to change this? Please come to the next County Council meeting on July 14th to express your opinion. I for one will not vote for this project as it now stands.