By Mike Barnhardt
The Gantt Building renovations are complete and now part of the Davie County Early College High School.
And the renovations came in at nearly $112,000 under budget.
Dr. Mary Rittling, president of Davidson County Community College, asked county commissioners earlier this month that the money saved on the Gantt renovations be used to make improvements to the truck driver training grounds, also on the college’s Davie campus.
“We’re opening a can of worms here,” said Chair Carl Humphrey, “especially with some of the budget shortfall we could face with (property) reval.”
“I’ve got a little problem with us allocating money for a specific use,” Robert Wisecarver said. “If we do this, every department ... can ask to keep money for something else.”
Rittling had said the renovations to what she called a full and successful program could be done now, or it would be included in the next budget. Too much of a delay and the paving couldn’t be done until next year, she said
“That program is always full. Students get offers for one or two jobs a piece,” she said.
The NC Department of Transportation is requiring that the training yard be renovated. The total cost is estimated at about $121,000.
Commissioner Ken White made a motion to approve the request. “Today in America, over 80 percent of the products you get arrive because of trucks. It’s a vital part of commerce.” White said having the school in Davie County is a great asset in economic development efforts. “Here’s an opportunity for us to embrace a program, enhance it and have an upgraded training facility.”
Wisecarver, who owns a trucking company, said that because of insurance requirements, his company can’t hire the graduates because they have no experience.
Commissioner Richard Poindexter said not allowing the transfer of the money wouldn’t promote frugalness among county departments.
Humphrey said he had no concerns about the project, just at the abrupt way he learned about it ...