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School board to formally ask that city request traffic study
Willoughby mug
The DeKalb County Board of Education voted last week to formally ask the Smithville mayor and city council to request a traffic study in the vicinity of the three schools within the city limits. The Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) conducts studies of traffic-flow patterns and recommends ways to alleviate congestion in problem areas.The concern of the school board is the flow of traffic near Northside Elementary School, DeKalb County High School and DeKalb Middle School, but correspondence with MTAS Police Management consultant Rex Barton indicates that the request for such a study must come from city government.School Board Chairman Charles Robinson wrote to Barton in August, requesting a traffic study at the three schools."On behalf of the DeKalb County Board of Education, I am requesting a traffic study,” the letter read.“We are experiencing congestion and difficulty entering and exiting three of our schools.“The locations are Northside Elementary on North Congress Boulevard and DCHS and DeKalb Middle School on West Broad Street in Smithville," the request concluded.In Barton’s response to Robinson, he told the chairman that the request would have to come from the City of Smithville."An MTAS Public Works Consultant and I can review the infrastructure and traffic patterns to determine what physical or traffic-flow changes might benefit the traffic issues around the schools," Barton replied.“MTAS exists to provide consulting services to Tennessee cities. The schools you reference are in the city of Smithville, but the city will have to make the request for the traffic study.“I am copying this letter to Mayor Taft Hendrixson to ensure he is aware of your request,” the response concluded.The board also voted to formally ask that the county commission allow the school system’s expenditures up to $10,000 be transacted without competitive bidding.The current limit is $5,000, but the limit set by the state is $10,000.Meanwhile, the board adopted a resolution honoring the custodians of the DeKalb County school system.The resolution reads:"Whereas, our school custodians have a long list of responsibilities to tend to daily, which includes everything from emptying waste baskets to spot cleaning walls and light fixtures; and“Whereas, custodians frequently go above and beyond the call of duty to help keep schools free of dirt and germs that may cause illness and make our schools unattractive; and“Whereas, custodians are at the school long before anyone else arrives and well after everyone else has left; and“Whereas, like western sheriffs cleaned up their towns, our custodians clean up our schools by getting rid of the gangs of germs and eliminating their hideouts, protecting the students on campus by sending trash and garbage away for good and much more; and“Whereas, our school custodians are such an important part of our school staff that our schools could not operate properly without them,Therefore, be it resolved that the DeKalb County School Board expresses appreciation to our custodians for all that they do to make our schools good places for students to grow and learn.“Be it further resolved, that each school is encouraged to celebrate the Oct. 27, 2011 Custodian Appreciation Day by getting students, employees, and parents involved and in saying a heartfelt ‘thanks’ to their custodians.”In his personnel update for the month, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby reported that Anita Conley, Rhonda Pilgrim and Judy Wright were hired as substitute cooks/cafeteria workers; Dianne Werth was hired as a teacher at DCHS; and David Stanley, Donald Haggard and James Lewis were put on the payroll as substitute bus drivers.Marla Beshearse, a teacher at Northside Elementary School, and Carrie Lee, a teacher at Smithville Elementary School, were granted a leave of absence as requested.Resignations were tendered by DCHS teacher Amy Tobitt, DeKalb West School educational assistant Tonya Roberts and bus driver Neal Brown.Jennifer Martin, an educational assistant, was transferred from Northside Elementary to DeKalb West School, replacing Tonya Roberts.David Stanley transferred to a full-time bus driver replacing Neal Brown.The board also set the date and location of the 2012 DeKalb County High School Graduation.The ceremony will be held on May 18 at 7 p.m. on the football field at VanHooser Stadium.