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Carmi White County School Board Meeting Held

Before the public hearing on the Board of Education’s intention to sell $11 million in General Obligation School Bonds for school facility improvement projects, board President Kent “Pete” Fulkerson read a brief statement, saying no decisions have been made concerning school building repairs or building new facilities, or the use of funds for that purpose.  He said committees would be put together in June to decide what to do, and that the $11 million will be covered with the 1% sales tax, although it will take a lot more that 11 million in total to get the job done.

After the hearing started, many residents in attendance were upset that they were being left in the dark early on about how much will be spent and were concerned that their property taxes will go up.  They urged the board to be transparent with everything going on.

Tom Crabtree with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, who is helping the school district with the project, was on hand to answer the public’s questions on the specifics involved.  He stressed that there are a lot of unknown factors and things will need to play out.  It was suggested by some of the people in attendance that the board hold off on selling the bonds until they get more solid money numbers from the building contractor. Many wondered where the money will come from after the $11 million.  The board members decided to postpone taking any action on the bonds until the May 16th school board meeting so the public can get more input.  After about an hour and 45 minutes, the board adjourned the public hearing and went into the regular session.

The board approved a resolution to issue $4.375 million in General Obligation Refunding School Bonds, Series 2022, to refund certain outstanding bonds providing for the levy of an annual tax to pay the principal and interest on the bonds, and authorizing the sale of the bonds to Peoples National Bank in Kewanee.

Also approved was again setting the meeting date and place of regular school board meetings to the third Monday of each month at 7 PM, except for the January and February meetings, which will be held on the third Tuesday due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. and President’s Day holidays, respectively.  The meetings will be held at the Junior/Senior High School cafeteria or the Jefferson Attendance Center annex building.

Revenues to the district for March totaled $2,136,766, including $76,032 from the 1% sales tax.

In the Superintendent’s report, Brad Lee said the Summer School Program for K-12 students who qualify will be in session from June 6th to the 24th, five days a week from 8 AM until noon each day.  Transportation will be provided along with breakfast and lunch.

Also, end of year events were announced, which included Prom Night to be held in New Harmony on April 30th at 6 PM, High School Awards Day will be on May 12th at 10:15 AM; and the last day for students will be May 27th with the last day for staff will be May 31st.

In other business, the board approved the best bids on consumable supplies and First Bank will remain the permanent depository for school funds.  Also approved were the retirements of Kathy Harris as a cook at Jefferson School and Vicky Morrill as head cook at Brownsville School, both effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year, and Kim Beals as a special education individual aide at the Carmi White County Junior High School effective July 31st.  Also accepted were the resignations of Justice Stubblefield as a Carmi White County High School Freshman/Sophomore Football Coach, Heather Millhorn as a cook at Washington School and Megan King as a Carmi White County Junior High School Cheerleader co-sponsor, all effective immediately, and Irma O’Dell as a cook at Washington School effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year.

Also approved were $300 in donations to the Brownsville School.

The board went into Closed Session at 9:12 PM.

 

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