Resignation of school board member Sams announced

Posted September 19, 2018 at 8:41 am

Clinton County Board of Education held its monthly work session last Thursday afternoon in the absence of Jeff Sams, who had served as a board member for the past several years.

Sams, since the last regular board meeting in August, resigned the position after officially establishing a residence in neighboring Cumberland County, thus making the seat temporarily vacant.

The process, apparently headed up by the Kentucky Department of Education to appoint a new member to serve out Sams’ unexpired term will now begin and a feature article on a look back of his career on the board can be found in a separate article.

With all four remaining board members present, the work session was somewhat busy, including the board reviewing in-depth the proposed 2019 school district working budget with Finance Director Mike Reeves.

The new budget totals are $16,431,589.46, which Reeves noted was about $2 million higher than last year. He noted to the board that the reason was primarily because the state is mandating school districts to itemize things in the budget that did not have to be categorized in years past.

At one point, board member Kevin Marcum inferred the state was forcing some unfunded mandates into local budgets, which basically forces most school districts to have to take the higher allowed tax rates.

Reeves reviewed line item by line items of the estimated expenses and projected revenues in the upcoming year’s budget, with salaries taking up practically half of the total and there is a little over $860,000 estimated in employee benefits, making up almost $13 of the total $16.4 million in projected expenditures.

The district will be required to have two percent, or $350,000 in contingency funds at the end of the fiscal year.

In some other notes about the budget, the finance director noted the low attendance last year had an adverse affect on revenues for the district, but on the other hand, the Food Services department continues to do very well with a continued balanced budget.

“I feel like it is a really good budget,” Reeves told the board.

The board was expected to have voted on adopting the 2019 working budget at its regular monthly business meeting held this past Monday night.

Superintendent Charlotte Nasief then readdressed the issue of how and why the school district purchased the Somerset Community College facility to make it into a new Area Technology Center.

This apparently came in light of some rumors that the reason the district took the over four percent compensating tax rate was due to them having purchased the new facility.

Nasief noted, however, that the facility, which now houses three different entities, was purchased at an extremely low cost and with the Area Technology Center making monthly payments on the facility, it practically covered the monthly payments on the building and property.

Even though the process of obtaining the facility was long and drawn out, and not totally explained during the time of purchase, Nasief said it would have been “ludicrous” for the board not to purchase the state-of-the-art facility when they had the chance and at the low cost they obtained it for.

Board member Gary Norris also again reiterated the facility only cost the district 5.5 cents on the dollar of the actual value of the building and property.

The superintendent noted that not only is current Clinton College and Career Center a new, better and safer home for the Area Technology Center, which serves students in both Clinton and Cumberland counties, it is also a new home for the Central Offices as well as housing college classrooms, and collaborates with Campbellsville University and Somerset Community College to offer post-secondary education college courses.

She also noted that even some eighth grade students go to the new facility, and that the old Area Tech Center is now being used for much needed storage.

A final positive in the move, according to Naseif, is that it allowed the Adult Education program to move from the old unsafe annex building into a newer, larger and safer building, that being the former Central Office building near the Clinton County Middle School.

The superintendent stressed that the added revenue from the extra four percent tax rate would be used entirely on student instruction and school maintenance and the rates had nothing to do with the purchase of the SCC facility.

The board also discussed taking bids on repairs to the tennis courts, which are much needed and considered a bit dangerous to play on.

It was noted that if bids came in too high, they could be turned down. Cost estimates on such a project ranged from $85,000 to $100,000 dollars and would come from Capital Outlay, not general, funds.

That issue was also expected to be voted on this past Monday night.

In other business during the work session, the board:

* Approved a trip for Gifted and Talented students to Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Cookeville, Tennessee this past Saturday, September 15.

* Approved cross country meet scheduled for both Albany Elementary and Clinton County High School.

Details of the Monday night, September 17 meeting can be found beginning on page 1.