BPW Denies Request

Bamberg School District One Superintendent Phyllis Schwarting addressed Bamberg Board of Public Works Chairman Carl Kilgus, Commissioner Buddy Sandifer, and Manager Bruce Ellis at the Monday, November 30th regular meeting regarding the possible purchase of land currently owned by the Board in the event that the March 16th Referendum to fund the building of new 4K-Grade 6 school passes.

The matter was discussed with many options in mind, including the potential for building on existing school property, but the request for a BPW donation of the land formerly included in a proposed plan for a new Bamberg Hospital was denied due to legal restrictions. Manager Ellis explained that the land would need to be sold for the BPW investment in the property, approximately $310,000, if it is not to be used for BPW utility expansion purposes. The BPW is not legally allowed to donate land for the proposed school.

Schwarting noted during the discussion that previous school plan proposals were “totally out of line” in the proposed costs, and expressed hope that the spring referendum would pass to insure safe, healthy school environments for children to learn in.

“This will be a decision that the people will make,” Schwarting continued. The proposed cost is $29 million, and Bamberg has been awarded the full $20 million in stimulus money, with no interest and a 17 year payback period. The other $9 million would be repaid with 35% of the interest paid each year through government assistance. These discussions are preliminary and will be further explored once the March 16th school referendum results are in.

In other business, the BPW has continued work on the Bamberg City parking lot located on Moore Street (formerly Black Street), adding lighting and crushed stone, creating approximately 50 parking spaces with some fencing and final touches to follow.

BPW approved a donation of $200.00 to Shalom Zone Mission Cottage, and reported a total November contribution of $27,750 in cash and In-Kind services to the City of Bamberg according to Manager Ellis.