Funding Gap for Mosby May Come Out of School Budget

During VDOT’s presentation to the Board of Supervisors Jeff Lineberry outlined the current situation surrounding the temporary entrance that has tangled easements for the new Clarke County High School. The process continues to move forward, but as the final strategy for the temporary entrance is negotiated, the prospect of school funds being used for Mosby Blvd becomes more likely.

Representatives for the School Board and Town of Berryville met Monday in an attempt to iron out remaining issues regarding easements and other details of the Special Use Permit for the project. Referring to the outcome of the meeting Mr Lineberry said,”I think everything has been worked out. It’s just a matter of getting it into the final plat.”

Lineberry made reference to a clause in the special use permit that was a result of the joint meeting that would allow the temporary entrance to be phased in to the project based on VDOT’s progress with Mosby. This would allow the project to move forward while developing the temporary entrance only to the level deemed necessary for construction use.

“It is our preference, that if we are making progress, that the temporary entrance is not built.” said Lineberry.

This sentiment has been voiced several times in the project because if Mosby is completed then the temporary entrance will need to be torn out. However, as of now there is a $200K funding gap and VDOT has made it clear there will be no additional funds for this project. There is still hope that the estimate that VDOT is using in this phase will be revised at the engineering phase and the final cost could be reduced.

If a funding gap still remains one option is “Revenue Sharing” where a locality contributes 50% of the funds for the shortfall and VDOT matches the remaining 50%. However Mr Lineberry painted a bleak picture for this scenario stating, “That is a very competitive thing right now,” and added that Revenue Sharing, “Requires contributions of over 1 million dollars to participate.”

The only other option, and one that sparked a spirited discussion among board members, was the possibility of the locality paying the funding shortfall. When Mr Lineberry mentioned this option Supervisor Barbara Byrd responded, “By local funding you mean, more money coming from the locality, which would mean ultimately higher taxes?”

Board Chair Michael Hobert responded, “Not necessarily.”

Referring to bids that were submitted on Wednesday for the high school project,   Mr Hobert said, “The bids that are going to be opened will have an alternative bid that relates to the temporary road so we will see the cost of the temporary road and at some point, I assume we will have some discussion with the school district on whether that amount would be set aside from the budget which theoretically could be used to supplement this [Mosby] if we did not build the temporary road.”

Dunning questioned using the funds for the road then Barbara Byrd asked, “Wouldn’t you rather use that money on the school?”

Supervisor David Weiss weighed into the discussion, “We’ve had this discussion, we’ve had this discussion for months and months. The town says the road is necessary, we’ve agreed with the town. Let’s not wind ourselves up again with that.”

As Mr Lineberry finished his report Mr Hobert solicited questions from the board.

Barbara Byrd said, “So the school actually ends up paying for Mosby.”

Several board members said, “No.”

Ms. Byrd responded, “Yes, because it’s money that you are putting aside from the funding for the school to build the temporary road which you’re not going to build, but you put the money aside from the school funding to use for Mosby because the temporary road is never going to really be built. It sounds like a Trojan horse to me.”

Supervisor Pete Dunning closed the discussion about Mosby saying, “It is messy, but let’s move on.”

Bids for the High School project will be opened on Friday. The numbers that are revealed for the alternate cost of the temporary entrance may determine who pays for the “last mile” of Mosby Blvd.

Comments

  1. Right Winger says:

    Sigh.

    BOS, SB, Town Council…Fire all of them. ALL OF THEM!!! THEY HAVE PROVEN YET AGAIN THAT THEY CANNOT/WILL NOT WORK TOGETHER FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE STUDENTS OF CLARKE COUNTY.

    What a bunch of self serving, incompetent [redacted]. Shameful, just shameful.

  2. Level Headed says:

    So sad to say. This school thing has been dragging on for many years. Everyone involved in these discussions are a bunch of incompetent people looking out for there own best interest. I could put in a group of 5th graders, and they would get this school built in record time. BOS, SB and Town Council, please do us all a favor and resign please you all look like as bunch of bobbleheads

  3. Mayor Quinsby says:

    If the town needs money? Why not charge a toll to all the vehicles that use the gravel road across from Stuart ct. on Mosby Blvd. You could collect $1 for each entry/exit. I wonder what type of business this person is running from their home? Maybe a vegetable garden? Or a HERB garden most likely. At any rate, [no pun intended] the patrons are always in and out in a snap!

  4. Berryville should have a huge sidewalk yard sale to fund the school. School Board and BOS not allowed to particpate. Charge non city residents a fee to set up space. All proceeds to the school.

    Yeh, dumb idea, but time for some out of the box thinking. Which Berryville has never seemed capable of. and yeh, the 5th graders could do better.

    Shame on all of you.

    • Jeane Cromer says:

      Not a bad “out of the box ” suggestion at all OSG! But I’m not sure of the 5th graders. Have you seen the Cooley AYP for this year? We could however import them from Boyce to help out. Can’t wait for all my thumbs down on the sarcasm 🙂

  5. Lonnie Bishop says:

    Well now…is THIS not what those “undesignated funds” in the CC fund balance for? Those millions are just sittin’ there, so spending them would not result in higher taxes. Is this not something that would be qualified as “rainy day” and “one time” in usage?

    For the sake of this sorely-needed new school…BoS, please do not siphon any more funds for the school project. Tap into the undesignated fund balance and stop the silliness.

  6. Mayor Quinsby says:

    Sorry Lonnie, no “silliness” anymore. It is down right criminal. Why is not our school system, namely our high school, not in the top 100 anymore? I’ll tell you why. Our county is too cheap to pay the tab for the really smart students to take college level courses. This…in turn, brings our county average down. We’re talking thousands of dollars, not 100,000. Our school board needs to be shot……..in the arm, with a syrum that begets intelligence.
    A car wash, yard sale, pole dancing won’t cut the muster. We will have to take the slush fund and bet it all on red July 5th in Charlestown.

    • Lonnie Bishop says:

      Ummm…MQ…don’t hijack this thread. Stick to the topic @ hand. You wanna discuss the “Challenge Index”? There’ll be a thread for that, at some point.

  7. Cha Ching! Another subtraction to the Grand Total and we haven’t even started subtracting for the building itself!

  8. It’s sad to see such a county highlight (our school system) continue to degrade and flounder. The one thing that brought in new $, people and positive attention has become a joke. Maybe that’s the plan. If people are coming to this county because of the wonderful school system (which they have been), then let’s make it less attractive by wasting funds, never building modern facilities, and canceling advanced learning programs so that our students no longer compete academically like they could in the past. That should keep new people away right?
    I’m glad my son has already graduated and moved on.