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Long BoE budgets 3% more pay
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The Long County Board of Education unanimously adopted a budget for fiscal-year 2016-17 Monday.

The budget will grant all employees a one-time salary adjustment of 3 percent for the second straight year. The board doesn’t call the adjustment a raise because it is not permanent, but based on this year’s funding from the state.

Other highlights of the $25.4 million spending plan include:
• Systemwide irrigation upgrades ($5,000)
• Field improvements ($15,000)
• Updating technology access points at the high school ($10,000)
• New softball bleachers (visitor side, $15,000)
• Secure storage at the athletic complex ($13,000)
• Upgrade scoreboard lighting to LED ($8,400)

These are projects that would not fit into the capital outlay budget, Long County School System Chief Financial Officer Bridget Welch explained when introducing the budget in May.

The highlight of the next fiscal year will be the construction of a new school for grades three through eight on Highway 84 just east of the Ludowici city limits. The capital outlay budget calls for $24.5 million for the school, $1.3 million for architectural fees and a $1 million contingency fund in case of cost overruns.

In other business, the board:
• Approved a motion to make the school system the fiscal agent for Long County Family Connection for fiscal 2016-17.
• Approved reappointing Kathy Simmons as the board’s representative on the Public Library Board.
• Approved moving the July meeting from the regularly scheduled July 11 date to July 25. The time will remain the same, 6:30 p.m. at the BOE office.

Also, Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters noted that Long County High School was named a National Beta School of Merit.

Beta Club is a service organization that helps students become leaders while also encouraging community service. LCHS has Beta Club for all grades, nine through 12.

Waters said he is “extremely proud” that students, including ninth-graders, qualified for the club, adding that it can be difficult for freshmen.

After eight minutes of conducting business, the board went into closed session for personnel matters and did not take any votes after reconvening.

Three board members, a quorum, were present. Marcus DeLoach and Carolyn Williamson were absent.

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