Archive for Sunday, July 17, 2016

City, county funds would ‘sustain’ Peaslee Center, director says

Logo for the Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center

Logo for the Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center

July 17, 2016

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The year-old Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center will be able to “sustain” its current operations if the Lawrence City Commission grants $150,000 the city manager is recommending in 2017 — and if Douglas County also contributes.

Though the amount allocated to Peaslee under City Manager Tom Markus’ recommendations would be more than in 2016, it only partially meets the total its director, Marvin Hunt, sought for the technical education center’s growth. Going forward, Hunt is planning to find another revenue stream, he said.

“I did request more, but the $150,000, with the county side of it, would accomplish my request for sustainability,” Hunt said. “For future years, there will be growth. I don’t believe we’re going to be static.”

Markus recommended Peaslee receive $25,000 of a $50,000 growth request, part of which was requested to go toward the creation of a new lab dedicated to plumbing and electrical education. He’s also recommending it receive $125,000 of a $145,105 request for operations.

Hunt is also seeking a supplemental $95,105 from Douglas County.

Both the Lawrence and Douglas County commissions are in the process of reviewing their budgets. At a July 12 meeting, Douglas County Commissioner Jim Flory said it may be possible to use some of the money the county earmarks for economic development initiatives to fund Peaslee, the Journal-World reported.

Markus said at a July 12 City Commission meeting that he recommended Peaslee receive some extra funds — even though cuts have been suggested elsewhere to balance the budget — because the center had been “struggling for the financing.”

When work on Peaslee was underway in 2014, it was denied a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Hunt noted the center has relied on the city, county, Economic Development Corporation and private donations.

“One of the first things I saw when I came to this town was the effort this community is making toward workforce development,” Markus said. “This really is an outstanding approach to it. Unfortunately, it was supposed to start with some pretty sizable federal grant dollars, and that didn’t occur.”

The Journal-World reported July 12 that a group was planning a three-step approach with Peaslee, starting with fundraising, then making needed renovations and repairs at the center, and later identifying a revenue stream to support it.

Comments

David Holroyd 1 year, 5 months ago

Remember that after 2017, the Center will be sustainable...well, maybe. How much more then?

I could be sustainable if the city and county just gave me a Measlee $5,000 from each entity.

Mr. Markus, as long as each and every entity comes forward that is struggling they will always struggle.... You want to give $150,000 from the city but the city cannot even fix a pothole or repave an alley....and look at the Queen's Road story.

What is Mr. Hunt's plan for future financing? That should be in writing and proven to be a working plan before any money is given to the Peaslee Center.

AND most importanly, just how is the $125,000 to be spent toward operations? Would the Journal World report the facts on the allocations for operations? Salaries maybe? Let the public know. This sounds like another jobs program just lilke the Chamber of Commerce getting $200,000 and where does that money go? The Journal World would not dare report that and if salaries, who gets how much and who is the who? A name or two?

Michael Kort 1 year, 5 months ago

I view the funding of the Peaslee Center as an important thing for those seeking a technical education or to improve their on a job skills for their current employment .

I see this as a hand up ........and not a hand out .

Helps employee and employer .

Still it begs the question of wether they are applying elsewhere for any federal or state funding, now that they are up and running ?

What does the city and county get for their funding efforts ? How is this funding really spent ?

Do they own that building that they are in ( outright ) no mortgage ? Or what do they $ owe on it ?

What happens now that HYPER CO who was renting the north end of the building is moving to KC, since being bought by WELD WHEELS ?

David Holroyd 1 year, 5 months ago

What happens then when this "hand up" is gone and the next appearance is for a ",hand out"? This money grab is too much like the homeless shelter's " sustainibilty".

How much do enrollees pay at the Center?

Michael Kort 1 year, 5 months ago

Well David, that is a good question .

Let's do away with k thru 12 public education and save more money..........just kidding !

As you well know, brownie gives subsides to LLCs & all that a graduate plumber or electrician would have to do is start their own business as an LLC to get the Ks tax free crown put on their head .

So, hopefully, that will be enough ? !

And how much do we spend on KU, one way or another ( like the rock Chaulk park.......a no-vote 25 million ) .......but where would Lawrence be without KUs cash cow students and staff ?

Students who could go on to be elected to the legislature to oppress us or start their own LLCs and travel the great Ks. tax free way !

Some things are a matter of live and let live,........and an education is basic towards those ends in life, no matter who you are or aren't.....give them a break and trust that the universe will return the favor . It goes around.......it comes around .

David Holroyd 1 year, 5 months ago

Lawrence should have had a tech center sometime ago but as I understand it it was too blue collar just as was recruiting blue collar lunchpail jobs to Lawrence. Those jobs are hard to get here thanks to the chamber,,,',s inaction.

But the question begs for an answer: where is the hand up you call it going to be spent?Would the Journal World report the budget in total for the center , expenses and revenue. Don't count the city and county money as revenue! Let's see in the press a full disclosure of last years expenses .

Is the Chamber recruiting a replacement for Hyper Co?

Michael Kort 1 year, 5 months ago

Water and Wastewater treatment is going to be a big thing in the near term as many plant operators are aging on towards retirement and those skills are transportable to wherever people drink and flush.......and the state actually might fund it or municipalities might pay to send their staff ?........and or some students could apprentice as interns with City of Lawrence as free extra help OTJ Training or at some Douglas Co rural system, as part of their education ? Plant operators are constantly upgrading their skills thru various levels of training and public certifications .

If I recall right, the building is 77,000 square foot large .

Another question is how many square foot will the Peaslee Ctr require, in the reasonable future that should not be leased out long term to others ?

Carol Bowen 1 year, 5 months ago

If we consider our dollars rather than the city's, county's, or USD's, we are paying three times for votech education. USD floated a bond that included votech education. Then, the Chamber joined the effort. It's grant proposal was not funded, so the city and county are contributing to the cause. Of all the investments we have made in the name of economic development, this is the best investment. We are investing in people and increasing the skilled labor pool.

I'm surprised the Chamber was counting on a grant proposal. Grants are very competitive, especially in this economy. I hope they're writing more proposals.

It would certainly be appropriate for business and industry to donate equipment, student experience, and of course money. Since we are contributing to votech education through three resoucess, the Chamber should share their finances.

David Holroyd 1 year, 5 months ago

But how is Mr hunt going to spend the monies? Would the journal world provide a breakdown ? Why is this information not in the paper when these requests for funds are made?

The chamber cannot share their money because is going to salaries of the chamber employees. Another group which the journal world will not print the salaries of.

The paper for some reason won't dig into the spending of the peaslee center nor the chamber. Why?

Carol Bowen 1 year, 5 months ago

David, I did not write clearly. Try "Since we are contributing to votech education through three resoucess, the Peaslee Center budget should be open for review."

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