G-LtE™: CEFP Plan - Gilmer County Taxpayers, Speak Up Now
After reading comments from GFP readers, I looked over the Policy and Procedures Handbook for submitting Comprehensive Education Facilities Plans (CEFP) to the SBA. Several items should be of interest to the people of Gilmer County.
Section 1.2 talks about inter-county feasibility studies. Item A says: “Each county shall submit to the SBA/SBE a list of grouped, inter-county attendance areas where potential exists for cooperative utilization of a facility between or among adjacent counties. (May include multi-county facilities such as a magnet school, area vocational centers, etc.)“
I submit that in addition to a Troy/Alum Bridge school, the county should have also looked at a tri-county school in the Shock area that could serve children from the Rosedale area in Braxton County, children attending Calhoun county schools from the Nicut area and our Gilmer County students in that area of the county.
Section 1.3 is the requirement of a synopsis of public comment, which was commented on. At least one public hearing was required “to provide broad-based community input into the plan.“ Proof of these meetings was to be attached to the CEFP plan.
If this meeting took place, it was not widely advertised to encourage public attendance.
Section 3.4 deals with Allowable Construction Costs for New Construction Section G.2 states: “Site acquisition, unusual utility extensions, unusual site preparation cost, access highways, repaving of existing parking lots or construction at athletic facilities.
a. Grant recipients are required to coordinate site selection for construction of new schools with the SBA prior to negotiations with seller or provider.
b. If it is determined by the SBA that extensive utility costs, special footing or foundations or other site preparation costs will consume a disproportionate amount of the building construction cost, an alternate site must be used. However, the Authority may consider approval of the proposed site if the grant recipient elects to provide additional local funding to pay the cost of developing the proposed site. At the conclusion of the site selection process, the SBA will provide a site acceptance letter to the local board that will allow the site acquisition process to begin.“
The water line project, first projected at $890,000, with more recent estimates being less, is already an “extensive utility cost”. People have questioned how much the sewer lines will cost. There are many questions about what will be needed in the way of site preparation. Now there is talk about the access road. Surveyors from a local company have been seen recently working near the Auction Barn Site. Are they working on this project?
Furthermore, all these necessities that the SBA money can’t be used for will have to be paid for somehow. Will Gilmer County taxpayers foot the bill? What is the estimated cost of site acquisition?
Lastly, there is a Provision of Waiver for Expenditure of Grants on Schools with Enrollment Under the Economies of Scale Guidelines attachment. “A waiver to the expenditures of SBA funds may be requested for projects in schools where the enrollment is less than the Economies of Scale Guidelines as designated by the Authority and the State Board of Education.“ #3 states:
“A waiver may be granted for a school project when the specific school is determined to be geographically isolated from other school populations and eliminates the potential for attaining enrollment economies.“
Some would contend that the majority of students attending Normantown Elementary are geographically isolated from other school populations.
Crossing three hills in the winter should qualify as a geographic barrier.
This winter was calm, but it will not always be so.
It is highly doubtful if these criteria were considered in the CEFP proposal that was submitted to the SBA.
Gilmer County taxpayers, speak up now. There seem to be a lot of costs associated with this project that cannot be covered by the SBA funds.
~~ Author and Source on File ~~
Braxton BOE now operates in the RED. Why aren’t they taken over? While they voted bonding for a new building, when they realized they did not get what was promised their people voted down the excess levy. Now they can’t pay for bond issue. Super Blankenships proposal includes $750 thousand in local funds. Is that for land? We now know he does not have $890 thou waterline funding in place. Our BOE 1 mil plus carryover is 100% obligated per SBA report on his request. Where is the money to pay this? If they send Troy students out of county we will lose money. The Super they forced upon us plans on writing from the public checkbook with no controls in place. If we get to see a ballot we will see Senator Kessler’s name on it. County consolidation begins with a whisper.
Comment by Tip of the Icerberg? on 04.12.2012
To whoever wrote this article, I give thanks and say well done. You put some things out there in a very clear and easy to understand way. Will these questions be answered? If so, by who. And WHEN???? You make very valid points - and yes, I’d also consider crossing three of those “hills” during winter a geographic barrier!
National News - are you OUT THERE??? There’s more going on in this world than the murder of Trayvon. Look at the murders in Gilmer County alone!!
Comment by Well Done on 04.12.2012
Thanks for the great synopsis of the Policy and Procedures for the CEFP proposals. Good job.
Its obvious that a ‘select’ few ramrodded the GC CEFP plan thru to suit their own narrow agenda.
That plan was then ‘rubber stamped’ by Jorea Marple of the State Board of Education and able assistants.
These people want to tell Gilmer County “you can’t do it right”, when its quite obvious they cannot even follow their own rules and instructions.
This school building process must be stopped and restarted from square one. Competent administrators need to be set in place in our school system.
If this is not done, simply means that Governor Tomblin and those of his administration, the legislature, are all complicit.
To effect change, it will take more than the School Coalition. There will need to citizen and school employee involvement.
Comment by Gilmer Needs Help on 04.12.2012
The days of hard copy newspapers are over when it comes to determining WV election outcomes and preventing social progress. There are four web sites in central WV covering the Gilmer County schools story and daily information gets to all 55 WV counties with as many as 50,000 hits per day! A focused effort is being made to ensure that contact nodes in Counties where school systems were taken over by the State are kept fully informed to enable news to spread even more. The hoax is that Dr. Marple’s failed DOE is running the seized schools and WV voters are expected to believe that under her guidance our children are better off. How dumb do WV politicians think we are? We will show them at election time!
Comment by Nance Becker on 04.12.2012
The people of Gilmer Co. just need to step back and let the local politicians and bureaucrats handle this. They know exactly what is best for the citizens, taxpayers, and children and will do the right and honorable thing every time.
Comment by believer on 04.12.2012
We know that the sleeping giant has truly awakened when intelligently written pieces similar to this one are posted on the GFP. Thank you good writer for taking time and effort to get the information to Gilmer County citizens. You are personification of the saying that the pen is mightier than the sword. The information will be all over WV and even all corners of the earth thanks to the world wide web and the information highway.
Comment by Wort Webster on 04.12.2012
Nance Becker. If there are four central WV websites posting the State’s ongoing mishandling of our Gilmer School Crisis, please post them for all to know. Thank you.
Comment by anonymous on 04.12.2012
I don’t know this to be true but when the state took control of the school system, the rules for how the CEFP probably changed as well. Super. Blankenship probably only has to answer to the state BOE and it doesn’t require local input. The Gilmer Co BOE had its chance to control its destiny but being the dysfunctional bunch it was couldn’t work together to get the job done. Why didn’t you all require the BOE to be responsible?
Additionally, media outlets aren’t going to report only on speculation. Give them some hard evidence of wrongdoing and you might get some attention. If you want action you better crank up the letter and email writing to the Governor, Senators, Delegates and State BOE members. They don’t like to hear from citizens especially if they are upset.
Lastly, if an independent group conducted the CEFP I bet they would come up with the same solution.
Comment by Roy Jones on 04.12.2012
The BOE tried to control what happened to the schools. That is why they got rid of Ed Toman. They were only considered dysfunctional because majority rules and what the majority voted for didn’t suit the powers that be.
Comment by Rose on 04.12.2012
Are you kidding “believer”—“let the local politicians and bureaucrats handle this”? They are the “elite” group that has put this county in the position it is in. Why doesn’t the hard copy newspapers & TV pick up on what is happening? All they have to do is check public records, talk to citizens in Gilmer County who aren’t on a payroll. Proof is everywhere if they would just look. Where’s the Democrat? What ever happened to the investigative reporter who was looking for the truth so it wouldn’t be hidden from the public? I love Gilmer County but what has been done to it is a disgrace. We need to get our PRIDE back!
Comment by Angela Lamb on 04.12.2012
trust and believe Angela - That investigative reporter is still working HARD to put some truth out there, but a good card player doesn’t show his cards till the hand is done.
Lots of people working on the lies and corruption. Soon enough it will Have to go national!
Comment by Watching on 04.12.2012
To Believer’s comment.
Are you being sarcastic OR do you really think that the politicians and elites are doing a good job? If you believe this, you have to be one of them or just plain crazy/stupid. Years ago the “three R’s that were taught were reading, writing and arithmetic”.
Today the “three R’s being taught are rule, ruin and run for office”. Corruption abounds in Gilmer County until the honest citizens take steps forward not backward. Let us all step up.
Comment by ANONYMOUS on 04.12.2012
They say there’s more than one way to skin a cat Mr. Jones and that’s what I believe an independent assessment would give us, options and choices, not a one way ticket.
Comment by Tip of the Iceberg? on 04.13.2012
Does anyone read the Democrat? There is an article in there just about every other week about the board meetings, or a Coalition meeting. They revealed the trustees of the Arbuckle Property when Mr. Blankenship told their reporter that he didn’t know who owned it. People say they don’t know what is going on with the schools debacle. Obviously those people aren’t reading the Democrat or the Free Press because both media outlets are talking about it regularly and encouraging people to become involved.
Comment by Rose on 04.13.2012
You are right on. With all the news coverage who wouldn’t know!
1) Liars always have short memory. Blankenship fits the category.
2) How could he say he does not know? He is recommending the site. He went to CEFP meetings. He has all the reports. He is simply a liar.
3) Isn’t it his job to know who owns the property?
4) Is he not supposed to check with the owners about their willingness to sell the property before he recommends it?
5) Or is he such a yes man that eats whatever Butchers feed him?
6) He is a crook, he has always been a crook, and now he is working for crooks.
7) People should be outraged. We need everyone to step up to the plate and help clean up this mess.
8) Finally, we need to demand his removal from this job. He has done a lousier job than Bennett and he is not working for what is good for our county.
Comment by Truth is... on 04.13.2012
Blankenship lied to the Democrat and said he had waterline funding. Not true. He lied to the PSD saying he had the money. He did not tell them the City had turned him down as the prison was straining their resources. He also did not tell them the Commission had rightfully turned him down for money as no project was approved. He has told Lewis County Superintendent the County Bd of Ed was on board and the county in general. Lewis Super expects our Bd President to sign a contract for us as payment plan for “our part” of that school and he thinks all is ok. Untrue. Attorney Butcher prepared Ron B’s contract and represents the Arbuckle estate. Blankenship lied about knowledge of that. I hope you have called the Governor’s office, the State Bd of Ed, SBA and our Delegates to let them know this. We did.
Comment by SBA Must Not Fund Incomplete CEFP on 04.13.2012
WV Senate President Jeff Kessler Marshall County and Larry Edgell of Wetzel join us as new redistricted senatorial representatives. Kessler is on our May ballot. Their numbers and emails are on the WV Legislature website under Senate Members. Don’t forget to enlist their voice with the Governor and SBA to stop this funding which would let us all take a deep breath, have a cooling off period and get to work on this issue as a county. All CEFP’s can be amended. Blankenship’s is no different. He is supposed to be reporting to Chuck Heinlein at the SBA. If you call, he would be a good start to speak with about this issue.
Comment by Stop the SBA Funding on 04.13.2012
Phone, leave voice mails, talk to aides, email and let these people know that you will remember them in November if they forget the children today. Don’t let them send Gilmer kids to a school system whose families have always chosen to send their children to Gilmer schools to get a better quality education. The administrative mess here can be cleaned up and that’s what the state of WV should be looking at.
Don’t let any elected official, local or state, or their appointees get away with the old “I didn’t know” excuse. Time is getting short.
Comment by Let's Help the Coalition on 04.13.2012
Growing up in Calhoun Co school it was run by Ron Blankenship.One morning i went to school it was my 10th grade year. This was a day that almost ruined my life with Mr Bs help.It was 3rd period i was sitting in Mr Fentics class and all of sudden he tore my shirt almost off.Then threw me into the chalkboard.. Another teacher Don McCartny grabbed me away from Mr F. I was bleeding from a few scratches. Don asked what happened i told him i didn’t know he just started hitting me. Mr F came to the office and told Mr Bonar the Principal that i threw a spit wad in his hair. I got beat up by a teacher for a spit wad i had not threw. They did not ask if i was OK they kicked me out of school. While i was waiting in a room for my parents to come I heard something that upset me. Mr Bonar said we could be in court over this Mr Bs said i don’t think so they don’t have the money. I could have quit school but i came to Gilmer Co because i wanted to join the army and Graduate school. Mr Bs a ELITE highly paid puppet.
Comment by Glenn Ashley on 04.17.2012
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