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School/county officials may
continue center discussions

But not much optimism for agreement at this point

by Shana Haines
Landmark reporter

A proposed partnership between the Platte County R-3 School District and the Platte County Commissioners for a community center is still on the minds of those involved.

During a board of education meeting Thursday, members voiced concerns over the community center that has been proposed as a partnership between Platte County and the school district.

The proposition has been the center of discussion for some time. School board members agreed Thursday to keep working on the partnership with county officials. However, if a decision can't be reached soon both sides anticipate scrapping the idea.

"We need to keep our eye on the ultimate goal. We need to offer something to other kids in the area. The commissioners need to be aware of that," Lee Ann Fadler, school board vice president, said.

Carey Rolofson, president, agreed with Fadler.

"We are going to do what is right for our district. He have to be able to trust the county commissioners. We haven't seen trust," Rolofson said.

Board members agreed to invite county commissioners to the September school board meeting.

Commissioners were not present at Thursday's meeting. When contacted by The Landmark, Second District County Commissioner Steve Wegner declined the opportunity to discuss comments made by school board members.

An 8-lane swimming pool has been the heart of the controversial issue. Board of education members announced they would agree to the partnership only if the center contained an 8-lane competitive indoor cold-water pool, a fitness center, an indoor walking/running track, a regulation size practice gym and six outdoor tennis courts.

If agreed upon, the center would be constructed near the Northland Career Center on the school's main campus along Hwy. 92 in Platte City.
County officials have announced they will pursue other land options if necessary. The county has offered $6 million to the joint project with the school, with that money coming from the county's half cent sales tax for parks. Commissioners are concerned the facility R-3 has in mind would be too costly.

Recently the county secured an option to purchase a tract of land in Platte City that potentially could serve as a site for a center. That piece of land is off Running Horse Road in Platte City near the Oak Creek subdivision.

In other issues, the school board approved the increase of school lunch prices.

The increase is the first in seven years. During the 2001-2002 school year a deficit of approximately $30,000 was shown in the lunch program.

One reason for the deficit was due to an increase in salaries because of the extra help needed last year to move food to and from a temporary refrigerator/freezer. Although that salary is not incorporated in this year's salaries, the accounting change is still ongoing.

The increase is also attributed to salary increases and an additional high school lunch line clerk was also added.

Elementary lunches will increase 15 cents from $1.20 to $1.35; middle school and high school student's lunches will increase 15 cents from $1.30 to $1.45; adult lunches will increase 15 cents from $1.60 to $1.75.

Elementary, middle school and high school breakfast prices will increase 10 cents from 75 cents to 85 cents; adult breakfast prices will increase from $1 to $1.10.

A tax rate hearing was tabled by board members until Aug. 22. The item was tabled because information concerning the hearing was not made available in time for the meeting.

Board members will hold the hearing during a special meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday in the central office.

Board members Karen Wagoner and Dave Holland were appointed as NCC Advisory Representatives.

Board members also accepted a letter of resignation from Platte City High School secretary Linda Jenkins.

The next regular scheduled meeting of the board is Sept. 17.