The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday June 1st

Board of County Commissioners worry about dental clinic costs

Although the consolidation of two county dental and health clinics was projected to save taxpayer money, new estimates are showing otherwise.

The Board of Orange County Commissioners originally approved the Whitted Building Health and Dental Clinic Project at a Sept. 21 meeting, estimating the project would save the county more than $100,000.

The project called for the closure of the Carrboro dental clinic, consolidating all services at the Hillsborough location temporarily until a new location was built.

But after discussing the proposed floor plan of the new site Monday night, the board was surprised to find out the project could cost taxpayers $1.47 million.

“When I read the assessment I was rather taken aback,” said commissioner Bernadette Pelissier. “This needs to come back to us with a lot more information.”

Pelissier wasn’t the only one unsatisfied with the new information.

“I thought this was a very incomplete agenda abstract,” commissioner Barry Jacobs said. “For other things like this, try and spell it out. Where is the money coming from?”

Though the dental project was met with uncertainty, the $103.6 million limited obligation bond issuance presented to the board was unanimously approved.

This money, which will be issued before the start of the next fiscal year on June 30, will be used to refinance the county’s debt and is expected to save taxpayers $1.1 million. This estimate in predicted savings is less than an October figure of more than $4 million because of rising interest rates.

Commissioners also decided to continue with its four-year revaluation of property schedule to maintain consistency within the market.

Some asked for a longer term because of the upcoming transition to a new tax commissioner.

Vice chairman of the board Steve Yuhasz was in favor of keeping re-evaluations on a four year cycle.

“I think we need to continue our attempt to be equitable when valuing properties,” he said. “It’s not a matter of saving money.

“It’s only a matter of delaying an expenditure.”

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