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Lincoln County School Board approves $28M budget, will ask supervisors for funding increase

The Lincoln County School Board Thursday voted to approve its $28 million budget which will require a 4 percent increase in funding from the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors.

That increase, which the school board has not requested in several years, could cause a slight hike in ad valorem taxes for residents. Supervisors will now set the county’s millage based on the request. Ad valorem taxes are paid on homes, automobile tags, business fixtures and equipment and rental property.

Financial Director Sam Stewart prepared the budget, which includes $25,032,244 million for revenues, and $28,251,233 for expenditures for the fiscal year that starts Saturday.

Stewart said the increase is needed for several reasons, including additions to personnel with two nurses and an assistant principal, maintenance of school air conditioning units and the purchase of two buses.

The budget was presented at a public hearing June 19, however no one from the public attended to offer input.

Stewart expects the 4-percent increase to bring an additional $350,000 to $400,000 to the district. The additional personnel could account for about half of that.

Board President Kay Coon and board member Johnny Hart each recused themselves during approval of the FY’18 budget when voting involved their relatives who are employees in the district.

The board also approved its June 19 minutes, which makes official its decision at that meeting to cut its public meetings to just once a month and to eliminate the public comment portion of the meetings.

Superintendent Mickey Myers said at the June 19 meeting that most districts no longer allow impromptu public comments at board meetings. The public can still request to be on the agenda and can speak, but must be approved before the meeting, he said. Requests can be made up to 72 hours prior to a meeting, he said.

In other business Monday, the school board:

• Approved Greg Allen as head coach of cross country and track and assistant coach for slow-pitch and fast-pitch softball.

• Approved the employment of Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Smith as school nurse at Loyd Star Attendance Center and Janet Berry as school nurse at West Lincoln Attendance Center.

• Approved the recommendation of Principal Terry Brister to re-allocate $3,060 of the Enterprise Football Activity Fund to science ($60), cross country ($1,000), tennis ($1,000) and golf ($1,000) to provide starting funds for those activities.

• Approved Adams & Reese as legal representation for the 2017-18 school year.

The next scheduled board meeting is July 17 at 5 p.m. at the Lincoln County School District office at 233 East Monticello St.