Council takes stand on charter school bid
BY BERNARD HARRIS, Staff Writer
As School District of Lancaster board members weigh an application to start a business charter school, Lancaster City Council members on Tuesday wanted to make their voices heard.
Council members unanimously passed a resolution in opposition to a proposal for the Academy of Business and Entrepreneurship Charter School.
Council members contend the charter school proposal before School District of Lancaster is "unnecessary and without community support."
Mayor Rick Gray, who spoke at a school board hearing on the proposal, said he opposed the charter school draining $2.4 million annually from the public school district.
School board members held their final hearing on the proposal last week. A vote is expected March 19.
If the school board denies the application and it is appealed, the city would enter into the case in support of the school board, the council resolution states.
Council member Todd Smith raised the issue before council Tuesday and, with language from Gray, hastily drafted the resolution.
Also on Tuesday, City Council members:
n Approved a city application for a $5.5 million grant or low-interest loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority to build a screening system into a wastewater pumping station being upgraded at 1261 Lehigh Ave.
The screening system would remove solid debris from overflows that occur during heavy rains that overwhelm the city's treatment capacity. Some 750 million gallons of raw sewage now pour into the Conestoga River annually during such storms.
n Approved a $500,000 city grant application to the state Department of Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for a planning study and possible right-of-way acquisition for a future rail-trail.
The greenway could be built on a former railroad bed just north of J.P. McCaskey High School near the juncture of New Holland Avenue and North Plum Street.