Stanly school board discusses budget, approves roofing bids
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Stanly County School Board, topics included the budget, bid approvals for roofing repairs at two schools along with COVID-19 precautions at the Stanly County Schools (SCS) office.
Board member Anthony Graves gave a report from the facilities committee, which included action needed from the board to approve two roofing bids.
The facilities committee in its meeting approved a bid Weatherguard, Inc., for $82,211 for the roofing needs of Stanfield for next year.
The other bid submitted for board approval was for North Stanly Middle, American Coatings and Installation for $180,077, Approximately $100,000 of which would come out of the capital fund balance for the work. Graves said the reason for drawing on the capital fund was the capital expenditures part of the budget would come down to zero and leave some money left to be funded.
Graves also reported efforts by superintendent Dr. Jeff James and the county staff to create efforts to use school facilities in case of an emergency or disaster. The plan will be presented at a future meeting.
Vice-chairman Ryan McIntyre asked James during the finance committee report about the amount of money SCS is receiving from sales tax. James said the 1/4-cent sales tax had generated $1.2 million with another $500,000 expected to be in the county’s coffers by August.
Graves asked James about his comment saying anything above $1.7 million SCS may get would be surplus and added to the 5.1 percent raise the new budget is looking to get from the county.
“I would just suggest that I think we should be looking for a budget that actually fully and adequately funds our schools as the bar, as opposed to not losing money,” Graves said.
McIntyre said he would hate for the excess from the tax to be used for that increase as well.
Graves noted the reason SCS is in the financial situation currently is because the state is not adequately funding the mandates, and is not money being withheld by the county.
James said fines, forfeitures and penalties should be about $288,000, but he said the staff needs to figure out the calculation amount, noting it was lower then neighboring Montgomery County.
“I just can’t believe that we’re taking in that much less money…what we consider fines, forfeitures and penalties may not be what the law considers it,” James said.
Board member Patty Crump, speaking via telephone, said the 1/4-cent tax money was to be spent on safety and technology for the first three years. After that time, she said it did not mean the money could then been spent for other things in additional years.
“The people voted on it because the money … would stay with the school system,” Crump said.
James noted 80 percent of the list of items the board decided to use the tax money for on safety and technology have been fulfilled as part of the three-year plan.
The superintendent also noted the moves SCS has made to keep expenses down in lieu of no state budget which takes $1.2 million out of the local budget the schools system did not really have anyway.
On other front, James noted the county office has taken precautions in light of the COVID-19 situation. The office does not have more than 10 people at a time, he added, with people working remotely and meetings conducted online.
“So far, thank God, we have not had any issue with COVID-19,” James said, noting the room used for Tuesday’s meeting was completely sanitized prior to Tuesday’s meeting. Board members sat six feet apart and practiced social distancing.