By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
After listening to library supporters who flooded into a public budget hearing held at 6 p.m. Monday on the subject of its proposed millage increase, the Dade County Board of Education convened a brief special called meeting to take care of a few pieces of routine business.
Board members gave Superintendent Shawn Tobin the approval he requested to accept bids from Anderson Audiology as well as for Head Start, pest control, custodial service and cleaning chemicals.
They also approved funds for six up-to-date bus radios as well as an additional $42,865 to fix the floor at Dade Middle School after a tour of the facility following their last special called meeting two weeks ago.
Tobin asked the board for $12,990 from the general fund to fix two compressors knocked out in a recent electrical storm. He said this would be cheaper than paying the deductible on the insurance that covered the equipment.
But the board decided to table that matter until its next meeting. “We can use SPLOST to buy new,” said board member David Powell.
SPLOST is an acronym for “special purpose local option sales tax.”
Superintendent Tobin reminded the board the school system expects to receive its first ESPLOST, or educational SPLOST, check in late August following resumption of collections on July 1. Dade’s longstanding ESPLOST expired March 31 because the school system had not scheduled a referendum in time to renew it.
The board approved $2,475 from the school nutrition for what Tobin said was “electrical wiring and so forth”; $3,490 to Towner Electric, also out of the nutrition fund, for cooler and electrical work; and $7,890 in SPLOST funds to Facilities Management Solutions for other projects.
In citizen participation, Ann Brown once again took the microphone to finish arguments against funding the Dade County Library she had been unable to fit into the five minutes allotted to her in the public hearing that immediately preceded the meeting; and library spokeswoman Donna Street claimed a place on the agenda to refute those arguments and to plead with the board to restore at least half of the $37,725 it funded the library last year. “We need your funding to be able to continue,” she said.
The Board of Education will convene again after another public budget hearing at 6 p.m. next Monday, July 23.