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Franklin County supervisors invested surplus dollars in education and health.
Friday, June 21, 2013
We have not been stingy with our criticism this year when we felt Franklin County supervisors were giving schools short shrift. But we are also generous with our praise when government leaders make wise investments that better their communities.
Supervisors had a few extra dollars available this month, the result of stronger than expected revenues from property and sales taxes. A modest surplus in the final days of fiscal year 2013 should translate into a smarter, healthier, more prosperous community in the future thanks to investments approved by the board this week.
Particularly encouraging was supervisors’ decision to earmark $1.5 million to begin pursuit of a new Career and Technical Education Center for the county’s high school. Technical programs are currently scattered throughout multiple buildings. Inadequate space has been an issue for a decade, particularly for auto mechanics and agriculture programs. There is a need for welding and plumbing classes.
Money for a new center was included in the school board’s early budget proposals this year, but was thrust aside during a heated battle over threatened cuts to sports programs and the governor’s school. That was a disappointment. Well-trained and educated workers are key to the county’s economic success. Supervisors are right to get the project back on the radar.
The board also voted to buy two properties used by the Franklin County Family YMCA and the Essig Youth Center. The Y has experienced financial difficulties in recent years, but the partnership with the county will help preserve its programs, valued by county residents young and old.
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