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G*STARS to lose money to seniors

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By Alice Du Pont

The Gadsden County Board of Commissioners voted Monday night during a special meeting to take $60,000 from G*STARS, a summer youth employment program, to bail out the Senior Citizens Center. The program will still have $15,000 left to use for the program, which is administered by Tallahassee Community College.

"The program will not be lost. I'm suggesting partnering with the city of Quincy, which also has $15,000 to keep the program going," said Commissioner Sherrie Taylor. She added that because of the decrease in diesel fuel, some savings might be realized and that money could be redirected to the program.

In other business, commissioners voted to pass an ordinance to lock in a $10 million loan from Capital City Bank to finance the renovations to the hospital. The funds are to be borrowed at a 4.347 percent fixed rate for 18 months. In order for the county to meet Internal Revenue Service stipulations, the money must be borrowed before the end of the calendar year to take advantage of the tax exemption.

Finally, commissioners awarded the construction manager contract to Childers Construction Company. Childers was the only company to bid on the project after commissioners voted two weeks ago to rebid the contract. Ajax Construction Company did not enter a bid.

The accepted bid was for $8.45 million and Will Rutherford, architect, and Clyde Collins, county building inspector, both said the job can be completed by the June 21 deadline and the county will be able to keep the license to operate the facility.

"Yes, I believe we can do it. We have to move and go fast," Rutherford said.

"There is nothing more I want to do but go to work and get this thing built," Collins said.

Work was expected to begin Tuesday morning.