by Sam Hieb
Rep. Hugh Holliman recently fielded questions from citizens at a town hall meeting at Davidson County Community College. As you can imagine, the subject of school construction came up:
Even with a $48.5 million school bond referendum passed two years ago to pay for new school costs, Davidson County commissioner Larry Potts told Holliman the county is facing more growth and more school construction costs in the near future.
Because of rising constructions costs Potts said the county likely won’t be able to build the middle school it had planned with the 2005 referendum money.
Holliman said the state had discussed a statewide bond referendum but that would put added debt on the state, which he said would be “floated into everyone’s taxes, too.” Holliman said counties should be in better financial shape once the state takes over their Medicaid costs for good in about two years. The state also provided additional taxes for counties to put on a ballot as an alternative revenue source to property taxes.
Let’s see here, school construction financed by a bond delayed due to rising construction costs. Seems like I’ve seen this somewhere else. Jamestown residents are still waiting for their new middle school, by the way, and if Guilford County Schools’ proposed $440 million bond doesn’t pass, then they’ll be waiting even longer. All I have to say is if rising construction costs are such a serious issue (and I’m not saying they’re not), then local officials need to make sure they’re not making promises they can’t keep when floating a bond before the public.
So there’s absolutely no guarantee GCS will follow through on all the projects on the bond, “due to rising construction costs.” Something for voters to think about.
Update: Holliman has surgery to remove cancerous tumor from his lung.