Some Long County Commissioners attended Monday’s Board of Education meeting to receive more information on a joint project for a proposed deceleration lane required at the new high school.
Commission Chairman Robert Long told the board that the new commissioners had been told that the two bodies agreed to build the lane in front of the new school, but they could not find a record of the agreement. He said the commission received a $150,000 check from the Georgia Department of Transportation, and he assumed the money was for the project.
At the February meeting, former commission chairman Bobby Walker presented the BoE with a mock check for $150,000 and told them that a grant had been approved for the project. It was reported at that meeting that the total cost for the project would be approximately $215,000. The remaining $65,000 was reported to have been the matching funds from the BoE but, according to Walker, would be applied by in-kind labor between the BoE and the commission. Walker said that with the prep work being completed by the county and the fees that the BoE already paid its engineer, he did not think any more money would have to be paid out.
However, at Monday’s meeting, Long said that after he had reviewed the plans, it appeared that the city did not have the right equipment or the qualified workers to complete the job. He added that the commissioners would do all they could to continue to help with the project, but they needed more information. After a brief discussion, the board decided to have Long and Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters meet later during the week to resolve the matter.
Also at Monday’s meeting, Nutrition Director Stephanie Fox requested a 5-cent increase on the price of lunches for those students who pay full price for their meals. Fox said that the U.S. Department of Agriculture-recommended price per meal is $2.75, and that last year Long County students were charged $1.20 at Smiley Elementary School and $1.45 at Walker Middle School and Long County High School.
She said that if schools are charging less than the recommended fee, then each year the school system must re-evaluate its meal cost. Fox said that according to this year’s figures, the rate for a full-priced meal needed to increase 3 cents, but to prevent the staff from having to deal with pennies in the lunch room she recommended that the price increase by 5 cents.
Fox said that the USDA requires that no increase of more than 10 cents can take place during one school year. Currently, 1,732 students receive free meals, 315 pay a reduced rate, and 752 pay full price for their meals. After a brief discussion, the board unanimously approved the increase.
In other business:
• Commissioner Kent Hall asked the board to appoint a representative to join them in either opposing the Townsend Bombing Range expansion project or to help them in seeking remediation funding for the negative financial impact that will occur if the expansion is approved.
• heard a report from Janet Poole and Dr. Glenn Purcell on the new College and Career Readiness Performance Index testing procedures.
• amended the graduation policy to remove one-half year of geography as a requirement. Waters said that geography will be covered in social studies classes.