School Board mulls options for impact aid funds
by Franklin Clark -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
May 20, 2009 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Trigg County Board of Education discussed how to use more than $2.9 million in federal impact aid funding, and also briefly talked about the budget for the next fiscal year, when it met at the school central office Thursday.

Trigg County School Superintendent McGinnis said the next fiscal year’s budget will be presented at the next board meeting, and told board members that the district is fortunate to have more than $2.9 million.

The $2.9 million in impact aid, also known as Payment in Lieu of Taxes, came after an adjustment and recalculation of the value of federal property at both Land Between the Lakes and the Fort Campbell Military Base, as the county can’t collect property taxes on federal land within its borders, which McGinnis said constitutes more than 40 percent of all land in the county.

McGinnis said that because the money is a one-time adjustment, it shouldn’t be used to fund recurring expenses, only one-time expenditures, and also told board members he couldn’t discuss the tentative 2009 fiscal year revenue until it is in the bank.

“We went for several years and didn’t get any (impact aid), and then upon my arrival in 2000, we might get $10,000, we might get $6,000,” McGinnis said.

Many of the board members said they liked the idea of using the impact aid for 2006, which amounts to $837,000, or 29 percent of the total, primarily for safety issues and maintenance, and putting the rest of the impact aid into the school system’s contingency, and idea McGinnis called “the Hamby plan,” after Trigg County School Assistant Superintendent of Operations Travis Hamby.

Board Member Mike Davis said roof maintenance and repair would be one of the most important expenditures. McGinnis said that school technology would be a good area to fund, and went on to say that the school system, in the past, hasn’t funded technology as much as it could have.

McGinnis also said he thought a majority of the impact aid should be held in reserve until the economy rebounds, adding that he feared a possible reduction in Support Education Excellence in Kentucky funding for the 2010 fiscal year.

The superintendent said he thinks there might be a reduction in SEEK funding because of the $1 billion projected shortfall in state revenue for the next fiscal year, and because of discussions in the state capitol.

Board members also unanimously approved an application for a Kentucky Clean School Bus Grant to the tune of $117,550. It was said at the meeting that school system has 17 buses that will qualify for the grant,

The buses, McGinnis said, will be retrofitted with diesel multi-stage filter systems with possible closed crank case ventilation systems, which will reduce exhaust emissions by 60 – 75 percent, with a small decrease in the vehicles’ miles per gallon.

The board also unanimously approved three Kentucky Education Technology Systems offers for more than $24,000, to be used for the maintenance of the school system’s technology.

In other action, a contract with Kem, Duguid and Associates for an audit for the 2008/2009 fiscal year for more than $13,000 was unanimously approved, as was a depository bond for $2.9 million with Heritage Bank.

Matt Ladd presented an energy audit that was conducted by the Tennessee Valley Authority at no expense to the school district. Ladd said that although there are areas for improvement that school system is addressing and will continue to address, the findings were mostly favorable.

A large portion of the audit focused on installing more efficient lighting in the primary, intermediate, middle and high schools, as well as the middle and high school gyms and the vocational building.

“I’d give us a ‘B,’” commented McGinnis.

And Davis presented students that participated in Odyssey of the Mind with certificates of recognition. Three of the school’s OM teams participated in the competition in Bowling Green, and one team will be representing the district at the national OM competition in Iowa.

The next school board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 28, at the school central office.
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