County: MorganCenter upgradesviable with bond

Mary Katherine Murphy - [email protected]

LAURINBURG — In an unusually brief regular meeting on Monday, County Manager Kevin Patterson informed the Scotland County Board of Commissioners that, with the passage of the Connect NC bond by referendum last month, a proposal to renovate the Edwin Morgan Center remains viable.

“The bond has passed, so we know what the funding is; we just need to make sure that the needs do not significantly outstrip that before we start working on the project,” Patterson said.

Formerly a skilled nursing facility on Peden Street, the center closed early last year. The county and Richmond Community College have proposed renovating it as a dual-purpose site for the college’s nursing program as well as space for county offices.

Unless the project is scrapped, in June the commissioners will consider placing $450,000 in a fund for the project.

“We have been meeting with our architects several times this month on the Morgan Center,” said Patterson. “We’ve had meetings with the architects as well as with building inspectors, looking at some accessibility issues and working on the scope of work so we can define a good working budget before we move ahead.”

The board also received an update from members of the liaison committee between itself and the Scotland County Board of Education. That committee reconvened in March for the first time since last summer, when it reached a local school funding agreement approved by both boards as effective through June 30, 2018.

“I think the consensus was, as much as we would like to continue and we will continue to try to hammer out some numbers, that there is so much going on right now with the school system and their movement toward consolidation that exactly what our next step is is probably going to be put on hold a little bit until they have more definitive plans,” said Commissioner Whit Gibson.

Also on Monday, the board of commissioners:

— Scheduled a budget work session for May 4 at 9 a.m.

— Appointed Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce Director Chris English to the Southeastern Economic Development Commission.

— Reappointed Kevin Garnett as chairman of the county’s Board of Equalization and Review.

— Recognized the county’s emergency telecommunicators and proclaimed April 10-16 as Public Telecommunicators Week in Scotland County.

— Recognized April as National County Government Month.

Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.

Mary Katherine Murphy

[email protected]

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