††††††††††† The Alleghany County Board of Commissioners and
Alleghany County Board of Education held a special meeting on
††††††††††† Present:† Chair
Eldon Edwards, Vice-Chair Warren Taylor, Commissioner
Charles Joines called to Board of Education meeting to order at and requested a moment of silence.
Betsy Dillon made a motion to approve
the agenda for this
Chair Eldon Edwards opened the meeting for the Board of Commissioners at .
Special Joint Meeting
I.††††††††† Call to Order†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
II.††††††††† Moment of Silence†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
III.†††††††† Approval of Agenda†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
IV. Action Items
A. Unfinished Business
1.†††††††† Discussion of School Facilities Planning††
B. New Business
1.†††††††† Open Discussion†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
††††††††††† V.††††††† Adjourn††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
††††††††††† Charles Joines welcomed the Commissioners and their staff to the Board of Education.
††††††††††† Commissioner Warren Taylor and Dr. Cox talked about the location of the bus garage in relation to the existing garage.
††††††††††† Chair Eldon Edwards and Dr. Cox
talked about this grading is separate from the
††††††††††† Charles Joines stated that he is okay with that.
††††††††††† Betsy Dillon stated agreed.
††††††††††† Faron Atwood asked what the monies have been spent for in the past.
††††††††††† Faron Atwood asked if it would affect the schoolís budget.†
Charles Joines stated no, it wouldnít.† He further stated that the monies can only be used for capital expenditures.† He reiterated that both boards must agree on how to spend the money.
The Board of Education agreed to use ADM funds.
Dr. Cox stated that the only thing is if the ADM funds are used for the bus garage then other capital needs would have to go to the Board of Commissioners for funding.
Commissioner Ken Richardson commended Dr. Cox and the Board of Education for their work on reducing the price.† He stated the need to make sure the architect has talked to the Building Inspectors in order to not slow down the permitting process.
Dr. Cox stated that they will make sure the Inspections office is fine with these changes.
Commissioner Warren Taylor made a
motion to approve the expenditures as requested.† Commissioner
††††††††††† Dr. Cox stated that the bids are good for 30 days.
††††††††††† Chair Eldon Edwards and County
††††††††††† Commissioner Warren Taylor stated that prior discussions about the budget donít include the bus garage monies.
††††††††††† Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to approve the concept and give the County time to look at the financing.
††††††††††† Commissioner Warren Taylor agreed.
Commissioner Ken Richardson asked if this means the Board of Education can go forward on the bus garage project.
The Board of Commissioners agreed.
Dr. Cox agreed that it is reasonable to wait a couple of weeks.
Charles Joines asked if they can start grading since funding will be in place.
Commissioner Ken Richardson gave examples of why to not use the fund balance.
The Board voted on the motion on the floor.† Vote 4:0.
Dr. Cox stated that the Commissioners had asked the Board of Education to look other facilities needs if a middle school is built.† He started explaining handouts regarding needs assuming a middle school is built at a cost of $10,434,801 with recurring costs of $579,383 and needs assuming a middle school isnít built at a cost of $6,233,102 with recurring costs of $418,247.
John Farrelly explained the personnel needed for a new middle school, an enhanced program for Kindergarten through 8th grade and a modified version of the middle school.† He explained the ESL and EC program needs and how they relate to student growth.
John Farrelly stated that currently it
Mike Edwards stated that currently it
Gary West stated that currently it is at
John Farrelly stated that they made the middle school decision by seeing this is the best choice for the children.
Commissioner Warren Taylor stated his appreciation for the Board of Education for providing the figures of the personnel costs and upgrades at all three schools.
Dr. Cox stated that they tried to keep the number as low as possible and making sure they were taking care of everything.
John Farrelly stated that it would hurt the integrity of the middle school program if the recurring costs go below $579,383.
Commissioner Warren Taylor stated that
the Board of Education has done their job and now it is the Commissionersí job
to find a way to pay for their proposal.†
He further stated that the Commissioners have asked Senator Don East and
Representative Jim Harrell about a land transfer tax for
Chair Eldon Edwards stated that the tax would have brought in $1,000,000 last year based on real estate sales.
Commissioner Warren Taylor stated that it isnít a dead issue but it isnít possible without legislative support.
Chair Eldon Edwards stated his concern is if the bond passes the impact that it will do to the debt service.†
John Farrelly asked about deciding on how to fund the recurring costs of $579,383.
Commissioner Warren Taylor stated that must be approved annually by the sitting Board of Commissioners.
Betsy Dillon asked about facility needs countywide for the county.
Commissioner Ken Richardson talked about the two excellent presentations, which answered the Commissionersí questions.† He asked the Board of Education what they recommend.
Charles Joines stated that they recommend building the full facility at a cost of $10,000,000.† He further stated that they have a lot of concerns about taking a $10,000,000 bond to the public.
Commissioner Ken Richardson asked what their recommendation is on the recurring costs; $890,000 or $579,383.
Charles Joines stated they will need the bigger part of the $890,000.† He further stated that $579,383 is the minimum number.
Commissioner Ken Richardson asked if they can live with $579,383.
Charles Joines stated that the school can operate with the $579,383.† He asked if that is correct.
John Farrelly stated yes.
Commissioner Ken Richardson stated that property tax is what we are talking about for the funding and it will be a significant property tax increase.† He further stated that if any of these options are done the money will come from the property taxes and the need to tell the public that property taxes will pay for the schools.
Clarence Crouse and Commissioner
Faron Atwood asked if the increase will be 16Ę or 12Ę.
Chair Eldon Edwards stated that the bottom line is that taxes will increase.† He talked about people having problems paying their taxes now.
Clarence Crouse talked about building the middle school in phases in order to provide the funding with current money that is coming in.
Commissioner Warren Taylor stated that the County isnít seeing a substantial increase in growth.† He talked about if the taxpayers are willing to commit, then we can do this; but if they donít, we canít.† He reiterated the taxpayers need to make the decision.
Chair Eldon Edwards stated his opinion that everyone needs to look at something as an alternate to a middle school.
Charles Joines asked about the second option that was presented tonight.
Chair Eldon Edwards stated that even with that number there will be a tax increase and what happens if the referendum fails.
Charles Joines talked about going back to the drawing board.
Chair Eldon Edwards stated that he thinks the bond wonít pass and the need to have something that will take care of the schools for five years.† He further stated that he canít support a referendum.
Dr. Cox stated that Plan B represents the schools facility needs.
Mitch Franklin stated that before the middle school is abandoned, everyone should look at phasing in the middle school.† He further stated the need to get the kids the best education possible.† He explained that the Elkin city middle school is in modular units but they are getting their education.
Faron Atwood asked what dollar figure is everyone looking at.
Commissioner Warren Taylor left the meeting at .
Faron Atwood and Commissioner
Charles Joines stated that he hears the Board of Commissioners will fund $6,000,000 to get the middle school started.
Faron Atwood stated that doesnít get a middle school started.
Clarence Crouse explained that he thinks if the county doesnít build a middle school, then the children are getting short-changed.† He talked about doing more leg work and tonightís information is a starting point.† He further talked about the need for public support and working together.† He mentioned phased construction to reach the long-term goal.† He talked about the valuable information presented tonight.† He stated that he doesnít want to see everyone back off of this concept.
Faron Atwood mentioned that they didnít recommend Plan B.† He stated that the Commissioners asked for other options, and that is what the Board of Education did.† He asked the Commissioners to give them a number to work with to get a middle school in the county.
Betsy Dillon talked about phasing it in gradually.
Dr. Cox talked about needing to know what a reasonable debt load is for the County and the number that the County would fund without going to a bond.† He further talked about they are in the dark without having some idea of what is acceptable to the Commissioners.
Chair Eldon Edwards asked would it take $6,000,000 to have adequate facilities for the next five years.
Dr. Cox stated that it would be sufficient for that but it isnít working towards a middle school.
Charles Joines talked about the need to work out a package that everyone can live with.† He further talked about the bond is a one-shot deal.
Chair Eldon Edwards asked how the County could financially support it in phases.
Chair Eldon Edwards asked would the Local Government Commission have to approve the phases.
Dr. Cox stated that if the Local Government Commission supports the $10,000,000 then the Commissioners needs to decide their comfort level.† He further stated that the Board of Education needs to know the comfort level of the Commissioners for going with a referendum or not going with a referendum.
Commissioner Ken Richardson stated that he thinks if the Board of Commissioners is unanimous in their request to the Local Government Commission for a referendum then the Local Government Commission will support it but if the support isnít there, they wonít approve it.† He talked about regardless of the number; it will have a financial impact on the County.
Chair Eldon Edwards stated that he supports a plan from the Board of Education that will provide adequately for the schools for the next five years. †He further stated that he isnít against a middle school but this isnít the right time.
Faron Atwood talked about their recommendation is for a middle school.
Dr. Cox and Chair Eldon Edwards talked about the other plan presented.
Mitch Franklin talked about looking at a dollar amount then let the Board of Education decide if a middle school can be built for that number.
Chair Eldon Edwards stated
that he supports the schools if we can do it but this is the worst budget year
in his 12 years as a
Commissioner Ken Richardson stated that we should not go to the Local Government Commission without a plan.
Chair Eldon Edwards talked about working with the Board of Education on this issue.
Clarence Crouse stated that he appreciates the Commissionersí support of the schools.
Chair Eldon Edwards adjourned the meeting at .
Clerk to the Board