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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Conley gym and park project won't get funded

  • TCSD wanted Prop 84 bond money to build facility but it was rejected and now funds are all gone

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  • For the second time a plan to build a gymnasium/multipurpose building, sports fields and a mini park at Conley School has been shot down.
    And, there won’t be a third try because funds for the program have run out.
    The state department of parks and recreation rejected the Taft City School District’s application for a chunk of $184 million in grant money under Prop. 84 approved by voters in 2006.
    The district had applied last year for the Conley proposal as well as a new gymnasium and other recreational facilities at Lincoln Junior High.
    When that request was rejected the district refined its application to focus just on the Conley project.
    “Unfortunately, we were not selected again this time,” Supt. Ron Bryant told the board at last week’s monthly meeting.  “It is a very competitive grant.”
    Indeed, the rejection letter from Sedrick Mitchell, deputy director for external affairs at the California Dept. of Parks and Recreation, noted that more than 400 applications totaling $1.3 billion were received for the $184 million in the allocation pot.
    “I did find it interesting that entities like Marin County had projects approved,” Bryant said.  “One of the requirements was poverty.”
    The Conley project ranked high in terms of meeting qualification because there are no recreational facilities nearby and the area is a pocket of high poverty.
    According to Mitchell’s letter, “there is no additional Prop. 84 funding available for this program.”
    The City of Taft also applied for funding for its Fifth Street Plaza concept, but also was rejected.
    BOND ELECTION
    In other matters, the board hired a bond counsel, an architectural firm and an investment banker as part of its effort to pass Measure C on the June ballot.
    The district is asking voters to approve $23.6 million in bonds it plans to use for repairs, upgrades and modernization.
    San Francisco-based Jones Hall will provide bond counsel services, including consultation and preparation of all legal documents related to the sale of bonds; SC Architect, Inc. of Bakersfield will do the design work; and Sacramento-based investment banker George K. Baum and Company will underwrite the bonds.
    NO PINK SLIME
    Ground beef served in the district’s cafeterias is free of “pink slime.”
    That was the word from Peggy Goss, director of food services.
    The matter came up during a discussion of TCSD representatives to a cooperative called Partners In Nutrition Cooperative (PINCO) that is designed to give school districts more purchasing power.
    The district gets its foodstuffs from PINCO’s warehouse in Bakersfield.
    A recent controversy arose when images of what is actually “lean finely textured beef” being produced went viral.
    “Somebody decided to call it pink slime,” Goss said.  “It’s actually been around a long time.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Although it may look gross, it’s harmless, she said.  “We’ve just never used it.”
    But just to clear the air the PINCO board unanimously voted not to use lean finely textured beef if given the choice by USDA.
    Goss and central kitchen lead Kim Mitchell are the TCSD representatives to the PINCO board.  The cooperative represents 40 school districts, most of them in Kern County.
     

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