By LISA BICKNELL
CV&T News Editor
The Estill County Board of Education again voted not to raise property taxes for the upcoming fiscal year, as promised when the recallable nickel tax was imposed three years ago. The vote was taken on Thursday night during the monthly board meeting.
Instead, the board agreed to take the compensating tax rate with exonerations, which is 51.1 cents per $100, a slight decrease of the current rate of 51.3. The decrease is due to a small increase in property assessment. The motor vehicle and watercraft tax rates will remain at 54.8 cents, the same as it has been for several years.
The Board of Education also approved a one percent raise for all school employees. Superintendent Jeff Saylor said there is a possibility the district can give another one percent raise next year.
Peter Fisher, with Ross Tarrant Architects, provided the board with construction update on projects within the school district.
He reported that both the middle school and Estill Springs roof projects are essentially done, and a pay application of $25,975.61 was approved to Riddell Construction.
The board approved construction documents and gave approval to advertise for bids on the school bus garage project, pending Kentucky Department of Education approval for the bus garage project to move forward.
Superintendent Saylor said he is hopeful that the project can go to bid by the September board meeting.
The most recent project application estimates the probable cost of the bus garage at $2,521,446.31.
A survey for a road right of way was also approved. Superintendent Saylor said a narrow strip of county land in front of the school will be needed for extra parking, and the county is willing to donate it.
Randall Johnson, with Codell Construction, provided the board with an update on the area technology center project.
He said that all the bus garage buildings have been demolished and the debris hauled off. Fuel tanks have been removed, but sample results taken have not shown signs of fuel leakage at the site. Johnson also reported that the construction fence and entrance gates have been installed, and that a curb has been removed to make it easier for the buses to get around. A gate has also been removed, and an access road widened to make it easier for parent drop off. An initial pay request of $105,298.70 was approved for Codell Construction by the Board of Education.
Saylor also announced the launching of a monthly E-News letter. Several departments within the school district will be reporting. The purpose of the newsletter is to build better communication and enhance school culture.
Personnel actions reported include the hiring of Kelsey Bricking at Estill Springs Elementary; Caleb Click, as teacher at the high school; Andrew Farmer, teacher at the high school, Matthew Fletcher, teacher at the high school and middle school; Lindsey Gilbert, teacher at the middle school; Jill Goosey, para-educator at the high school; Crystal Henegar, bus driver; Jessica Kirby, cook at the high school; Mariah Roberts, para-educator at Estill Springs, Emily Shrout, teacher at West Irvine; Audrey Sturgill, teacher at West Irvine; and Jonathon Thomas, teacher at the high school.
Substitutes hired include Hannah Adams as co-op student at Estill Springs; Bridgett Bishop, Barbara Chaney and Melason Edmonson as cooks, Matthew Fletcher as percussion instructor at the high school; Connor Hall as co-op student at West Irvine; Elizabeth Hisle as cook; Cheyenne Lamb as coop student at South Irvine; Kaylee Riddell as co-op student at the middle school; Tiffany Rose as bus assistant.
Matthew Fletcher was hired as the choral director at the high school and middle school; Ronnie Riddell was hired as the head softball coach at the middle school, and Jonathon Thomas was hired as assistant football coach at the high school. Andrew Witt was hired as assistant football coach at the middle school.
Resignations or terminations include Larry Brown, bus driver; Jeff Burchfield as counselor at the high school and assistant football coach at the high school; Blain Click as first assistant girl’s basketball coach at the high school; Leah Elliott, teacher at the high school; Cassidy Flynn as second assistant girls’ basketball coach at the high school; Cecelia Forehand, substitute cook; Brianna Hibbard, teacher at the middle school; Amy Kaylor, head softball coach at the high school; Matt Marshall, head girls’ soccer coach at the middle school; Jordan Sanders, teacher at the middle school; Bobby Snowden, custodian at Estill Springs, and Monica Teague, teacher at the high school.
The next meeting of the Estill County Board of Education is September 19 at 6 p.m.