County Board of Commissioners held a quarterly public meeting with the Henry
County Board of Education at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 15, 2006, in Conference
Room “B” of the
Jason T. Harper, Chairman, presiding
Gerry Adams, Vice-Chairman, District IV Commissioner
Warren E. Holder, District I Commissioner
Lee Holman, District V Commissioner
(Elizabeth “B.J.” Mathis, District II Commissioner – Absent)
(Randy Stamey, District III Commissioner – Absent)
Terry McMickle, Public Works Division Director
Michael Harris, Planning and Development Division Director
Michael Sabine, Assistant to the
Pam Nutt, Vice-Chairman, District I
Brian Preston, District II
Erik Charles, District IV
Dr. Jack Parish, Superintendent
Mr. Allen Guimarin, Facilities Manager
Chairman Harper called the joint meeting of the Board of Commissioners and Board of Education to order and asked for an approval of the Agenda. Commissioner Holman made the motion to approve the Agenda; Commissioner Holder seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Harper announced Commissioner Stamey, District III, could not attend the meeting, and he asked for everyone to keep Commissioner Mathis in their prayers for the lost of her mother, Mrs. Ruby Carruth, who was buried yesterday.
Chairman Harper reconvened into Public Session at 6:54 p.m.
Vice-Chairman Pam Nutt called the meeting to order on behalf of the Board of Education.
Update on Road Improvement Projects
Associated With New Schools, Specifically
McMickle, Public Works Division Director, said
Holder asked for the status on the paving of
Mr. McMickle said it is a SPLOST Project and they are acquiring the right-of-way now. He said there is a 6 or 7 month construction time on the project, and they are anticipating starting in July or August.
Holder said for the County to receive the donated right-of-way across
Mr. McMickle agreed and said Killearn Properties was planning to give the County some money toward the road. He stated a section of that roadway is about to be abandoned to build the golf facility. He said the County needs to make the agreement; however, Mr. McMickle was not concerned about them wanting the right-of-way back.
Commissioner Holder said the contribution is the other side of the equation.
asked regarding the signalization on North Ola and Hwy. 81, if there was a
timeline on the North Ola improvement to
Mr. McMickle said there are two completion dates in the contract, where the County has given 3 or 4 months on the signal, and 7 or 8 months were given on the total contract. He said by the time the bids return, and it goes before the Board, and then the Board awards it, it will take about two (2) weeks for bonding and insurance on the job. Mr. McMickle said if there is enough right-of-way to start at that time, then the County would issue them a Notice to Proceed, which would start the clock on the 8 months. He said they were able to facilitate a left turn lane into each of the schools.
asked about the road going to
stated the developer is presently building his part up to the subdivision. He said Mr. Jaugstetter,
Increased Traffic Volume on East Lake Road at the Beginning of the School Year Due to the Temporary Housing of Timber Ridge Elementary Students on the East Lake Elementary Campus; Additional Assistance with Traffic.
said Timber Ridge is now on track and is progressing much better than it has
until this point. He said there is
a new contractor on site, and the completion date of the project is December,
2006. He said they are temporarily
housing the Timber Ridge students in two different locations. Dr. Parish said 2/3rds of the students
will be at
Commissioner Adams asked when the Woodland Complex opened, would Dr. Parish consider routing all of the car traffic to Hemphill and Hwy. 138, and put the school bus traffic on Mosley.
Dr. Parish said school bus traffic can be controlled more easily than cars, and a request can be made for people to go in a particular direction.
Board of Education Fiscal Year 2007 Budget and the Continuing Funding Challenges.
Dr. Parish said the Board of Education did approve this FY-2007 budget at their meeting on Monday night, and he presented a brief overview of the work that went into developing the budget. He presented a slide presentation, and pointed out the revenue projected for FY-2007 of $265,000,000 and the expenses of over $267,000,000, noting a comparison of FY-2006. He stated there will be a $2,000,000 deficit present at the beginning of the coming school year. Dr. Parish referenced the revenue and stated 56% of the revenue is coming from the State and 44% is local, noting they receive Federal dollars, but it is not enough to count for the most part.
Referencing the Tax Digest History for 2006, Dr. Parish said they have projected an 8% increase, noting if it increases more than that, it will be beneficial to them. He stated each percentage increase in the Tax Digest equates to approximately $1,000,000 for them at the 20 mills they anticipate levying to fund this budget. He said presently they are at 19.4.
the expenditures in the School System, Dr. Parish said 72% of the dollars is
spent on instruction; he showed the percentage breakdown for Maintenance &
Operation, School Administration, Student Transportation, etc., and he said
Salaries and Benefits are 89% of the total budget. He listed the significant challenges as
austerity reductions, millage rate (capped at 20 mills), the continued growth (4
new schools), and the Governor’s class size reduction, which has created the
hiring of sixty-eight (68) additional teachers not anticipated. Dr. Parish said the 4% salary increase
for teachers is good, and they deserve every penny they can get, but it cost the
employers significantly more in benefits.
He said transportation funding gets worse each year in a system like
said in an educational environment, there are several pieces of technology
operating, but the School System does not receive a single dime in State
funding. He said, “in the past, the
lottery dollars were used some for technology, and that went away about three
(3) years ago. Also, the employers’
share of health insurance cost went up over 2%, and to us, that is about $4-1/2
million dollars in addition. It is becoming more and more difficult and
challenging for us to fund education in
Commissioner Holder referenced the 4% increase in salaries and asked Dr. Parish if the Board of Education matched the local supplement with an increase.
Dr. Parish answered, “no;” he said the local supplement has stayed the same for several years.
Commissioner Holder said if parents would use the bus system, it would solve so much of the congestion problems around all of the schools, but that is not going to happen.
Projected Student Population for the 2006-07 School Year, New Schools Opening Next Year, and the Approximate Number of New Teachers That Will Be Hired.
said they are projecting 38,440 students next year, which is over 3,000 more
than this year when school ended, and he said the projected enrollment was met
this year. He stated unfortunately,
they still have students who leave school without finishing, and usually there
is a decline in the second semester (high schools). Dr. Parish said they are opening four
(4) new schools, which are Ola Middle,
Dr. Parish said they still bring and provide employment opportunities; he said they will hire over 600 additional teachers this year, noting this is not additional teachers over and above what they already have, but through normal attrition and the ones they will need for growth.
Commissioner Adams asked if the schools still have ‘Hurricane Katrina’ students.
confirmed. He said they received
compensation for those students; he said they are now being audited to insure
they have proper documentation on all of those students who were enrolled. “We heard different amounts of Federal
dollars that were going to follow those children, who were evacuees from
Board of Commissioners’ Comments:
Holman said Rob Magnaghi, Dr. Parish, and he visited the
Holder asked if
Dr. Parish stated some of those settlement agreements are confidential, but he said the Board of Education is coming out in extremely good financial shape.
Chairman Harper announced the next Board of Commissioners/Board of Education Meeting will be Thursday, September 14, 2006, hosted by the Board of Education.
Commissioner Holder said he would like to applaud and commend Ms. Pam Nutt for receiving the “Laura Bush Grant.” He said it was for Spalding County Schools, and he thought she should be recognized for that honor.
Commissioner Adams made the motion to adjourn at 7:31 p.m.; Commissioner Holman seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Vice-Chairman Nutt called the meeting adjourned for the Board of Education Board Members.
Jason T. Harper, Chairman
Peggy L. Malcolm, Deputy County