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County approves school note
county commission 2-27 w L
The DeKalb County Commission adopted a spending plan and established the property tax rate for 2012-13 at their regular meeting last week at the county complex.The budget, with appropriations totaling $40,039,837, was approved by a 13-0 vote, while the property tax rate will remain the same as last year, at $1.62.A public hearing to discuss the plan was held before the commission met, but no member of the public stepped forward to voice an opinion.Before a decision was made on the budget, a vote was taken to authorize the issuance of a general obligation capital outlay note to pay for construction and repair work on local schools.A little more than $1.5 million has already been approved be the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency for the construction of eight tornado-safe classrooms at DeKalb West School, and is pending the grant’s final approval by FEMA.The proposed project will include a 15,000 square foot addition at the front of the school, the eight new classrooms, an office, restrooms, clinic, conference room, guidance and teacher work area and a new entrance.A $600,000 match in local funding will be required from to complete construction.The plan includes taking a $3.4 million note to cover the $600,000 grant match for the construction of the new classrooms, as well as an $850,000 cafeteria and kitchen renovation project at DeKalb West, which is not included in the grant, a $1.1 million roof repair at DeKalb Middle, a $700,000 roof repair at DeKalb West, and an $85,000 Smithville Elementary roof repair.The commission voted 12-1 to approve the measure, with 5th District Commissioner Jerry Adcock casting the only dissenting vote.The school budget this year totals just under $20 million, and includes a 2.5 percent pay increase for teachers, as well as step increases and degree advancements, a local 2.5 percent increase for support staff along with the regular step increases per salary schedule and an increase of 9 percent for projected health insurance costsOne math teacher will be added at DCHS, two extra teaching positions, one for kindergarten and one for DeKalb Middle if enrollment dictates.Custodians will be placed on 12-month contracts instead of the current 10-month agreements.The budget allows for replacing bookkeeping computers, additional costs in special education due to contracted services and normal increases for utilities, transportation fuel and supplies.The food service budget, which is self supporting, includes a 2.5 percent increase for support staff with step increases as per salary schedules. The central office bookkeeper for the food service department will go from an 11-month to a 12-month contract.The property tax rate for 2102-13 will be set at $1.62 per $100 of assessed value. One cent of the tax rate generates $42,548, with a 7 percent delinquency rate figured in.The tax rate breaks down as follows:•County general fund: 82 cents;•Highway/public works: 3 cents;•General capital projects: 10 cents;•Debt service: 12 cents;*General purpose school fund: 55 cents.The commissioners approved the rate by 12-1 vote, with Adcock again voting “no.”“I voted against it last year, and I’m going to vote against it this year,” Adcock said before casting his vote.Expenditures for the county general total $6,861,925, and will include:•General administration: $1, 205,831;•Finance: $109,260;•Administration of justice: $586,696;•Public safety: $2,678,984;•Public health and welfare: $1,392,200;•Social, cultural and recreational: $171.562;•Ag resources: $84,118;•Other general government: $233,274;•Courthouse and jail maintanence: $68,255;•Local purpose tax fund: $2,169,820;•Solid waste-sanitation: $1,582,037;•Drug control expenditures: $34,616;•Highways and public works: $2,467,965;•General purpose school fund: $19,959,698;•Cafeteria fund: $1,794,125;•Debt service: (principal) $885,000; (interest) $239,000; (total) $1,149,880;•General capital projects: $551,891; and•Education capital projects: $3,400,000.Capital projects fund expenses are budgeted at $547,000 for the year, and include:•A new ambulance: $117,000;•Power cots for ambulance service: $65,000;•Furniture and fixtures for the county complex: $30,000;•Patrol cars for sheriff's department: $80,000;•Other construction: $65,000;•Fire department turnout gear and air compressor: $45,000; and•Garbage truck: $145,000.Total: $547,000.The county commission also adopted a resolution appropriating $135,387 to the following non-profit organizations:•DeKalb Sparks Softball: $150:•Upper Cumberland Development District: $3,411.36;•Tennessee Division of Forestry: $1,500;•DeKalb County Rescue Squad: $11,500:•Plateau Mental Health: $7,180;•Families First: $750;•Senior Citizens Program: $26,378.45;•DeKalb Soil Conservation District: $29,592.19;•DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce: $15,000;•Imagination Library: $7,200;•Genesis House: $1,500;•Upper Cumberland Child Advocacy Center- $1,780;•DeKalb County Fair- $1,500;•WCTE-TV- $5,000;•Prospect Incorporated: $12,500;•Upper Cumberland Human Resources: $1,200; and•UCHRA Assessment-Homemaker Aide: $9,245.