Stuart Wiggins, Director of Facilities and Construction addressed the Marianna City Commission Tuesday evening in their regular monthly meeting in reference to the proposed new K-8 School.
Wiggins said, “I appreciate the opportunity to address this commission. I’d like to start by saying thank you very much to this commission, and the legal firm of Bondurant, Fuqua, Milton and Carter. You guys have been tremendous in helping us acquire funding for this school in addition to the piece of property. I can’t say enough about how good this commission has been to champion this and not just the commission but Jim as well. Again, thank you so much.”
Wiggins then addressed the nuts and bolts as to his purpose in addressing the Commission Tuesday night, “We have talked to EPCI, Bo Creel and Mr. Grant, about the permitting costs. As you are well aware of your fees, we have asked them to consider reducing the permitting fees because they are such a large amount and they graciously agreed to cut them. What I am here tonight is to ask the City if you would waive the City’s portion of the permitting fee which is 17%, and give that back to us so that we would have more money to spend on the construction phase of the school.”
City Manager Jim Dean said this would be for a government entity only and that it was basically moving tax dollars around.
City councilman Allen Ward reiterated that the budget would not be affected because this was not a part of budgeted money.
Councilman Travis Ephriam made a motion to waive the fees for the K-8 school. The motion was seconded by Ward and passed 3-0 with commissioners John Roberts and Rico Williams absent.
Wiggins thanked the commissioners, Mr. Dean and the city of Marianna for their approval of waiving the fee. In an interview with Jim Dean Wednesday morning, the savings to the county school board for the waiver of the fee is approximately $51,000. Dean said officials from the city had met with the school board at length, had gone over the fees and everyone agreed that $300,000 plus was an exorbitant amount. Dean said the council felt that the 17% was consistent with past practices, considering it was for a K-8 school, government entity and the action would ultimately benefit the children of Jackson County and Marianna.