The Alleghany County Board of Commissioners reconvened the recessed budget meeting from Thursday, June 3, 2004, to Friday, June 4, 2004, at 1:30pm in the Conference Room of the County Office Building, 90 South Main Street, Sparta, NC.

 

            Present:  County—Chair Eldon Edwards, Vice-Chair Warren Taylor, Commissioner Sandy Carter, Commissioner Patrick Woodie, County Manager Don Adams and Clerk to the Board Karen Evans.

            Board of Education—Board Members; Charles Joines, Clarence Crouse, Betsy Dillon and Sonia Joines.  Staff; Duane Davis, Janice Linker, Phil Howell, Barbara Lyon, Susan Murphy, Gary West, John Farrelly, Karen Leys, Kim Elliott, Susan Nilo and Brenda Sutherland.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards called the meeting to order at 1:30pm.

 

Duane Davis discussed the format of the Board of Education’s budget request.  He stated that he and the school personnel would explain their requests in detail today.  He presented data about the successful school year that Alleghany County Schools has experienced.  He reviewed the budget process and goals throughout the school system.

 

Susan Nilo discussed that the school system acquired a low-interest loan last year to purchase technological equipment.  She explained that the equipment is only one of the components of technology.  She reviewed items in the budget that make a difference in the technology; additional facilitator and increase in fees for the Blue Ridge Business Development Center (Blue Ridge BDC) technical services.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor and Susan Nilo discussed the length of the prior contract, current contract of 100 hours per month for $48,000 per year and the benefit of the Blue Ridge BDC services.

 

Janice Linker explained Ms. Nilo’s job duties in relation to how she is helping the teachers in the classroom.

 

Commissioner Patrick Woodie left the meeting at 1:56pm.

 

Karen Leys discussed the school system having to hire two more teachers after the budget was passed for last year.

 

Commissioner Patrick Woodie and Duane Davis discussed the Governor’s proposal for reducing classroom size and the additional teachers needed for that proposal.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards, Duane Davis and Janice Linker discussed legislative issues including the More at Four program and the No-Child Left Behind program.

 

Duane Davis discussed the larger classes that have been coming through the elementary schools and will be going to the high school next year.  He explained how the high school has lost positions in the past few years.

 

Barbara Lyons explained how many teachers have been lost and the need for the additional teachers due to increased enrollment.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor, Duane Davis and Karen Leys discussed the State’s teacher allotments due to increased enrollment.

 

Kim Elliott and Joe Honeycutt discussed the advantages of the AP courses, Channel 50 and the cyber campus programs.

 

Susan Murphy discussed the increased enrollment of the upcoming kindergarten class at Sparta Elementary School and the increasing number of classrooms in 1st, and 2nd, and possibly 3rd grades.

 

Gary West discussed that the assistant principal at Glade Creek Elementary School serves as the assistant principal and part-time teacher.  He explained the difficulties of having this type of scenario.

 

John Farrelly discussed the athletics programs that are growing, the addition of new sports and the things that have been completed in the past year.

 

Karen Leys discussed the projected salary increase that the Board of Education is requesting, but she explained that she understands that higher raises from the State government could be received.  She explained that the Board of Education keeps the local and state employees on the same pay structure.  She further explained that if the State approves a larger raise, it would cost more money than what they have requested.

 

Duane Davis discussed recruiting teachers from other areas and the need for the supplement for new teachers.

 

Betsy Dillon reiterated the issues of keeping the teachers here and recruiting new teachers to this area.  She talked about the need for the supplement. 

 

County Manager Don Adams talked about the percentage of increase that this supplement gives; less than ½%.

 

Susan Murphy talked about the number of teachers that will be retiring in the next four to five years.

 

Phil Howell, Betsy Dillon and Charles Joines discussed issues that the School system has in recruiting new teachers.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon talked about the possibility of creating a program that would encourage Alleghany County students to get a teaching degree and come back to the County to teach.

 

Duane Davis talked about addressing the pay schedule for the athletic coaches. 

 

Brenda Sutherland discussed the study that was completed in the Spring that ranks the pay for these coaches in relation to other counties’ coaches.

 

Kim Elliott discussed the staff development issues that have been cut by the State making the school system ask for the additional money from the County.

 

Duane Davis discussed the additional mandates concerning school bus drivers having an additional license endorsement. 

 

Phil Howell explained the how the license fees are increasing due to the mandates and how it affects all of the drivers including all part-time drivers.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards declared a brief recess at 3:08pm.

 

Duane Davis started to discuss the capital outlay issues.

 

Susan Murphy addressed guttering issues at Sparta Elementary School.

 

Barbara Lyon addressed the roofing issues at the high school including several leaks through the building.  She stated that the current roof was installed in 1967.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon and Charles Joines discussed the flat roof versus an elevated roof.

 

Gary West and Phil Howell discussed the air-conditioning units to be placed into service at Glade Creek and the price of air-conditioning units.

 

Susan Nilo talked about capital needs concerning technology. 

 

Kim Elliott addressed needs including calculators, library books, Science materials and consumable math materials and math workbooks. 

 

Phil Howell talked about the need of replacing the kitchen equipment at Piney Creek School over a period of time starting with a double convection oven.

 

Barbara Lyon discussed the need for a timing device for the swim team meets in order to compete better.

 

County Manager Don Adams and Duane Davis discussed the need for a replacement van for the maintenance department.

 

County Manager Don Adams mentioned that it might be good idea to talk to the County’s Transportation Department about her replacement vehicles since we are replacing them through grants due to high mileage not necessarily due to motor problems.

 

Duane Davis stated that they would look at this option.

 

Duane Davis discussed the continuing needs for the Channel 50 cable station.  He gave examples of how Channel 50 can increase the public’s awareness of public meetings and activities.  He explained a ½ time position is being requested to assist in this area.  He stated that this request is not included in their budget, but they wanted to bring it to the Commissioners’ attention.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon and Duane Davis discussed having interns operating the Channel 50 activities, the limitations on the interns due to expanding these services, developing a fee schedule to pay for Channel 50 programming and the limitations that the cable service does not reach all of the County residents.

 

Duane Davis talked about the facility needs of the school system especially the needs at Sparta Elementary School.  He talked about increased enrollment at the schools, additional classrooms needed, increased enrollment of preschool students, number of handicapped children, English as Second Language students and quicker intervention during the school year to provide remediation services.  He stated that they are going to present short-term and long-term plans to the Commissioners.

 

Phil Howell discussed additional programming that has been added at the schools.  He discussed Piney Creek’s facility needs, the lack of space and new mandates about State testing. 

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon asked if they have created a plan for the next five years concerning facility needs for all of the schools.

 

Phil Howell explained that the school system has worked on projections concerning the facility needs for the next five years.

 

Gary West stated the additional programs and facility needs at Glade Creek School.

 

Susan Murphy stated the additional programs and facility needs at Sparta School.

 

The Board of Commissioners stated that they would like to see some definite long-range plans on the facility needs. 

 

Duane Davis talked about how they are going to function starting in August for the 2004-2005 school year for a short-term fix.  He explained the process of creating a long-range plan.  He reviewed some of the ideas that have been discussed to address long-range solutions.  He stated that the Board of Education is recommending purchasing the Springford building and renovating the building for the school system. 

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon and Duane Davis discussed purchasing or renting the Springford facility for the school system and the need for a plan before purchasing the building that will utilize all of the building rather than a small portion. 

 

Charles Joines explained how the Springford building is a permanent long-term solution for the entire school system.

 

Susan Murphy stated that they have not had the opportunity to visit the facility until about a month ago.  She explained the classes and activities that they thought could be moved to the Springford building.  She stated that as a school system, they think there are enough facility needs to fill the building. 

 

Chair Eldon Edwards and Duane Davis discussed offering a purchase price for the Springford building and where the money will come from for the purchase. 

 

County Manager Don Adams discussed how the County hired an architect to look at the Springford building and gave us an estimated cost to renovate the entire building for consolidating County government.  He talked about the position that the Commissioners are being put in due to not knowing what expenses are going to be coming up in future budget years concerning renovations of the facility in different stages.  He explained how this will affect the County’s budget for the next four or five years. 

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor discussed the architectural work that was completed first at Sparta School and the high school additions that was able to be used for budgeting and planning purposes.  He talked about the unknown of what the building will be used for and the need to know before money was spent on the project.  He said he thinks that both boards need to have more meetings to discuss how to resolve this situation.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards stated that he agrees that both boards need to get together to create a plan and work with an architect to gather price information.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor stated that the Commissioners doesn’t take education lightly and reviews the school’s budget at great detail.  He stated that the Board will take the information presented today and have more budget meetings before anything is decided.

 

Clarence Crouse stated that this space issue has arrived recently; therefore, the Board of Education hasn’t had the time to create a long-range plan.  He talked about the need to look at designing a facility that serves as a multi-purpose facility rather than locking into one type of facility use.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards talked about the need for long-range planning.

 

Charles Joines talked about agreeing with the comments that have been made at this meeting.  He said he thinks that the school system doesn’t have the money to have an architectural study completed.

 

Duane Davis talked about not having the time or money to create a major architectural study on the facility.  He further talked about the advantages of purchasing the building now rather than completing a long-range plan and then the building not be available for the planned use. 

 

County Manager Don Adams stated that he wants to make sure that everyone is not confused about getting the architectural study completed and the long-range needs of the school system.  He stated that he thinks the Commissioners are waiting to be able to identify all of the facility needs at all of the schools rather than just one school.

 

Charles Joines agreed with the County Manager about identifying the needs for the future of all of the school system. 

 

County Manager Don Adams discussed the importance of having a long-range plan to work into our budget rather than seeing facility needs affecting the budget for a number of years.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon and Duane Davis discussed the land that the school system owns near Sparta Elementary School and the State approving any building plans especially concerning the issue of being land-locked. 

 

Charles Joines and Duane Davis stated that currently there isn’t any property available for a new facility.  Mr. Davis reiterated the fact of the short-range and long-range problems.  He asked that the Commissioners look at the School system’s budget.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards stated that he thinks the Boards need to work together to get this issue resolved.

 

Charles Joines stated that he understands the County Manager’s concern about the school system coming to the Commissioners several times asking for money for facility needs.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards reminded everyone that there is a public hearing scheduled on proposed budget for June 21, 2004, at 6:30pm.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards thanked everyone for coming to this meeting.

 

            Chair Eldon Edwards recessed the meeting at 5:31pm until June 11, 2004, at 9:00am.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Karen Evans

Clerk to the Board

 

Attest:

 

 

Eldon Edwards

Chairman