April 19, 2023 at 11:03 p.m.

LEDA Proposal Was Surprise at Monday's Commission Meeting

LEDA Proposal Was Surprise at Monday's Commission Meeting
LEDA Proposal Was Surprise at Monday's Commission Meeting

Wayne Howard- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

The idea isn't new.  Gaston College has an advanced manufacturing program at its Dallas campus, and similar programs are available at Catawba Valley  and Cleveland community collges.  The possibility of building a new facility on the Lincoln campus to expand vocational education had been talked about at Lincoln County Commissioners' meetings last year; but the discussion also involved the possibility of getting a state grant to help pay for it.  

At Monday night's (April 17th) Commissioners' meeting, the presentation from Cliff Brumfield of LEDA, Greg Smith of Gaston College, Teresa Watson of Atrium Health, Jonathan Waller of the Timken Company, and Lincoln Charter School's Jonathan Bryant obviously came as a surprise.  Commissioners had just last Friday finished deciding on most of the items that will make up the fiscal 2024 budget.  Among their decisions was a preliminary agreement on the tax rate (49.9 cents).  The rate is 20% less than for fiscal 2023, but with revaluation will still mean that taxpayers will get bigger tax bills this year.  Getting to a balanced budget wasn't easy--and Commissioners have already been hearing from constituents who aren't happy about the tax increase.

Brumfield's proposal comes with a price tag of $1.5 million for each of the next five years were it adopted now--which isn't likely.  Brumfield said LEDA believes that about $5 million can be raised from private sources; then a fund-raising campaign will be needed, possibly including a state grant, to bring the proposal to fruition.  

Smith said Gaston College has about $2 million it could contribute as a part of the start-up funds for the facility.  Both Watson and Waller talked about the need for training students for their companies and others.  

Several of the Commissioners with whom we spoke since Monday night's meeting said the concept has merit--but affordability in the current climate may be a problem.  They indicated that before the County can commit to the $7.5 million Brumfield said was needed, they'd likely favor a bond issue to let voters decide.  




Comments:

You must login to comment.

Events

April

SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.