New OFF RAMP: Kerry's guest is Commission Chairman Donnie Jordan
Cheatham County Commission meeting, PART ONE.
In Part One, the Commission recognizes HHS student Caleb Martin, Tommy and Phyllis Pardue, and Cheatham teachers of the year. The Commission changes two parcels of property from C5 to C1 at Exit 31 on I-24.
COMING SOON: PART TWO
School board looks at 2016 budget
The school board is reviewing and preparing for the 2016 fiscal school year. Dr. Stan Curtis, Director of Schools, addressed the school board on Thursday, February 26, at their monthly workshop, with a list of 11 Unfunded Priorities of Improvement for board members to review and consider whether or not to include in the 2016 fiscal budget.
Among these unfunded priorities being considered were the possibility of three shared Assistant Principals, three nurses, outsourcing substitutes, Math and Library books, computers for teachers and students, bus GPS and Tracking, Fork Lift and Box Truck, Imperio program for the student lab management, playground upgrades and to fix athletic supplements. If all unfunded priorities were included in the budget it would take approximately $1 million dollars to fund. Currently the Fund Balance holds an estimated $5 million dollars.
These funds are used for one-time expenditures or emergencies. It is required that the Fund Balance holds 3% of the budget. At the present time if $3.2 million dollars were spent from the Fund Balance the district would still retain the required 3% funding. Previously the board had voted to keep 4% rather than the required 3% funding in the event of needed expenditures or emergencies. In addition to considering proposed unfunded priorities board members were still concerned about retaining current teachers and employees.
Board member David Bibee claimed that in the last three years $8 million dollars had been lost in hiring and training employees of the district that have left. Bibee also proposed that the board ask the Commission for more funding than what has been given to the school district in the past. “We have narrowed and simplified the budget so you can decide which direction you want to go, use money from Fund Balance to supplement the budget or ask the Commission for more money,” stated Curtis. The school board will have to decide before April’s meeting how they want to establish the budget for the upcoming 2016 fiscal school year.
It was decided among board members to continue reviewing the proposed unfunded priorities and meet later in March for a Special Called Budget Workshop Meeting before voting in April. Another issue of concern discussed at Thursday’s workshop meeting, were the seven roads within the community, mostly in the northern cluster and East Cheatham area that still remain hazardous, preventing schools from opening. Although snow routes are implemented in Cheatham County nearly 700 students would be unable to get to school. During the recent snow storms schools have been closed a total of ten days.
Also, during the recent snowstorms, 10 out of 12 schools in the district were damaged. The schools receiving the worst damage were Cheatham Middle School and Sycamore High School. It was estimated that there were 175 damaged areas total in the schools. Some of the damage assessed included mild flooding, leaking roofs and cracked drywall from the weight of the ice and snow on the roofing systems pulling or breaking joints apart causing some structural damage. “The schools are ready to be occupied and the safety of the schools is fine,” Curtis stated. Tennessee Risk Management is working with Cheatham County Board to further assess damages and decide how to proceed in repairing or replacing damages at each school in the district. The Cheatham County School Board will meet Monday, March 2, 2015, at 7:00 in the Annex Building in Ashland City, Tennessee. The public is encouraged to attend. Tonya Steele