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West Lincoln in line for rural water services

West Lincoln Attendance Center will be on the Lincoln RuralWater Association system next school year, and the association willnot need financial help from the school district with the project,an attorney for the association told school board membersMonday.

“We are in a position that we will have water down to you intime for the start of school,” Bob Allen, water associationattorney, told members of the Lincoln County School Board Mondayduring their regular meeting.

Allen said one line is in place and the association has two moreroad bores to do on the project. He said well provisions and fallback plans are in place for providing association water to WestLincoln by the start of the fall semester.

Earlier, county school board members had agreed to provide up to$25,000 in assistance to bring a water line to the school. Allensaid Monday that would not be needed because of new customeractivity.

Mentioning previous water efforts that did not materialize,Allen said residents seeing work begin in the area prompted a goodresponse. He said the association has signed up 32 customers sincework started.

“We anticipate signing more up,” Allen said.

School board members expressed their appreciation that theschool would be getting association water and that the district’sfunds would not be needed.

“The kids at West Lincoln will appreciate it, too,” said JerryCoon, school board member.

Following an executive session for personnel reasons, schoolboard members approved certified and non-certified personnel forthe district.

Included in the hiring was Sheryl Shelby as the district’s newbusiness manager. She will replace Frank Fortenberry, who was namedtemporary manager after Janet Smith resigned following a recentaudit.

Fortenberry last night updated school board members on thedistrict’s financial status and the district’s funding plans fornext year.

With current state funding cuts and more possible next year, thebusiness manager recommended the board ask for the maximum allowed4 percent increase in local support funding. The 4 percent amountsto around $94,000 and would be about a two-mill increase if allfactors remain the same, Fortenberry said.

When asked after the meeting about a county-wide propertyreappraisal currently under way, Fortenberry said that could havesome effect on the property tax levy for the schools.

“That could be a factor, good or bad…,” Fortenberry said. “Allwe can ask for is dollars.”

Superintendent Perry Miller speculated that the Lincoln Countydistrict would not be alone in seeking an increase in local fundingsupport.

“Ninety percent of the districts in the state will probably beasking for it this year because of the state cuts,” Millersaid.

A public hearing on the school district’s new year budget isscheduled for June 18. Fortenberry said the new budget would beapproved in July.

In other matters, school board members approved the purchase oftwo 71-passenger school buses. The cost is estimated at around$90,000.

“We didn’t buy but two last year and we probably need to buythese,” Miller told school board members.