Tax payers question Florence One spending

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) Tax payers in Florence are concerned Florence School District One, has not been spending taxpayer money wisely.

The concern is over the old McLeneghan High School. Right now, the building is currently being fitted with a new roof and has been empty for more than seven years.

"So this colossal waste of money affects every single person that lives in the county that pays taxes," said Victor Webster, who is a concerned tax payer.

Webster is just one of many tax payers questioning Florence School District One about its spending.

"They have no plan for it. It was bought seven years ago … it has sat empty, they haven't done anything with it," said Webster.

The building sits at the intersection of South Dargan and East Elm Streets.

It was once McLeneghan High School, and district officials said even though it has been empty since it was purchased seven years ago, the building is a part of an expansion and development project.

"The board of Trustees in its visionary capacity sees this as an option as I said for growth and expansion," said Pam Little McDaniel, Spokesperson for Florence School District One.

The district said the building was purchased for $840,000.

Original plans called for some of the district offices to move into the building.

The school board chairman said a lack of funding for its redevelopment and construction of new schools has since put those plans on the back burner.

Currently, a new $400,000 roof is being put on, because the old roof was leaking.

Tax payers like Webster said the money spent on the purchase and maintenance should have been spent elsewhere.

"A brand new roof on it … $400,000 plus. That is well over $1.2 million in our tax payer money that has been wasted by a government funded entity in Florence County," said Webster.

Florence One said replacing the roof and the upkeep of the building shows the district is a good steward of tax dollar investments.

Florence One invites anyone with questions on budget matters or anything else happening in the district to its monthly school board meetings.

Those meetings are held at the Florence School District One Board office located at 319 South Dargan Street.

The board meetings are held on the second Thursday of every month.

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