School financing was once again a topic for the Moore County Commissioners at their regular meeting Tuesday.

North Moore High School, which opened in 1965 and has undergone several renovations, is slated to receive upgrades including new classrooms, athletic facilities, and an auxiliary gym. The upgrades are estimated to cost $15.5 million and not to exceed $16.5 million.

Currently, the school has modular classrooms, and students who take part in athletics have to travel to other Moore County Schools to use their facilities.

Ted Cole of Davenport and Associates, who is acting as financial adviser to Moore County, laid out several financing options.

Unlike several other school projects, it was decided to go with a direct bank loan. Some of the factors that went into evaluating the request for proposal were the interest rate, term, and repayment terms.

It was decided to go with Sterling Finance for a 20-year term at a fixed rate at 3.04 percent. The loan is expected to close by June 12.

During the commissioner’s comment period just before the conclusion of the meeting, Commissioner Louis Gregory addressed the recent allegations of wrongdoing in the bid process for Southern Pines Elementary.

Addressing members of the school board, who were present, he stated that he was sure they were waiting for comment from the commissioners, and all they had heard to this point was silence.

He continued, “It is not time for this board to make any comments. We need to look at all these allegations and then determine what we need to say after seeing all that is being said.” He pledged that they would, “do the very best possible to determine the facts as it relates to these allegations.”

In other business, the board heard a presentation on solid waste disposal.

Last year, the county had a revenue of $1.6 million and expenses of $2.2 million. Most of the revenue came from dumping fees at the Aberdeen Landfill. The county operates seven convenience centers that are available free of charge for Moore County residents to use.

During 2018, there were some real challenges including the market for recycling crashing, and a fire that destroyed the facility the county was using. This necessitated a search for a new vendor.

A company in Fayetteville agreed to handle the waste but would not take glass. This caused a stir last year for many residents, but the county has found a company and is now able to accept glass.

In 2018, Moore County processed almost 61,000 tons of waste with the majority of that being construction/demolition and leaf/limb waste. It is projected, however, that dumping fees may raise next year to help offset rising expenses.

The next meeting of the commissioners will be May 7.

Feature photo courtesy of Moore County Schools.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice. 
   Contact him at chris@sandhillssentinel.com or (910) 639-9303.

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