I attended the School District of Lancaster board meeting March 19, hoping that members would agree to postpone their vote on the water tower lease until every board member had an opportunity to review the Black & Veatch report. While the board may have received the report, it was clear that the report wasn’t read and several members stated that even if they had an opportunity to read it, they probably wouldn’t understand it.
While SDL doesn’t have responsibility for providing 21st-century water to the county, SDL does have the responsibility for its decisions pertaining to the best interests of the children they educate and the taxpayers who support public education. Had SDL board members read the report, and asked the city to explain it, if needed, they may have decided differently on their votes.
The 3 million-gallon water tower is needed for expansion and growth in areas outside the Lancaster Township location where it will be built. The land that it will be built on was set aside for education, not for the building of infrastructure needed elsewhere. The city forced this water tower on the school district. The entities that should have shouldered the responsibilities for the water tower are those large corporate enterprises and developers that need the water and will need it in the future.
While things did not turn out as they should have, the three SDL board members who voted to delay the vote should be commended; they handled their responsibility as they should have.
Gary M. Levinson