Commissioners looking at options to fund Lake Forest Middle Sc - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Commissioners looking at options to fund Lake Forest Middle School repairs

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BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

Many agree expensive repairs are necessary for one Bradley County Middle School. But officials are at odds about how to pay for it.

We're learning there could soon be another option on the table.

Channel 3 Eyewitness News reporter Karilynn Galiotos has more on why Bradley County Commissioners tabled a vote that would put the construction costs on tax payers.

One way or another. The $14,000,000 project to fix Lake Forest Middle School is going to cost money. The question is just how much and how it's going to be done.

When it rains, it pours at Lake Forest Middle School. Many county officials agree the school is in desperate need of repairs.

"I think all the commissioners agree, I think all of them agree, that something needs to be done down there, it's just when are we going to do it? Are we going to do it now with a tax increase, or are we going to wait until the future?" said Commissioner Jeff Morelock.

Commissioner Morelock decided to table a vote on a proposed 7 cent property tax increase to learn about another financing option that might be available.

"We had a group called Cope Architect, and they brought an alternative funding proposal to our table, which we have not been able to discuss with them yet. Hopefully we'll sit down with them in the coming week and see what those alternative measures are to funding lake forest school," said Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones.

But for now, the walls leak and students are forced to walk on sidewalks instead of in hallways at Lake Forest. The bond option would take as long as 2016 for the money to be available.

A tax increase would start the repairs in the coming year, and Commissioner Morelock says the county shouldn't wait until things get worse.  Some commissioners say the voters don't want new taxes.

"If it were on a referendum, it would fail. But you can't put a tax increase like that on a referendum. However, it would fail if it was, so I'm not for a tax increase, but I'm looking at every other alternative option that there is to fund this school," said Peak-Jones.

One way or another, commissioners hope to have funding options for Lake Forest Middle School back on the table within the next two weeks.

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