July 22, 2014 - 19:38
Teaching position cut
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Article Author: By Emily Dilbeck
School Board member Gary Silvers announced that the Board had cut $60,000 more from their budget, a cut the County Commission’s Budget Committee requested last week.

Discussion regarding the School System’s budget continued Monday night when the School Board came together with County Commissioner Mike Curbow in an attempt to finalize the budget. School Board members Mark Stone and April Trantham were not present.  

School Board member Gary Silvers announced that the Board had cut $60,000 more from their budget, a cut the County Commission’s Budget Committee requested last week.

Director of Schools Dr. James Jones explained that this cut meant another teacher would not be hired to replace the Music Teacher who left Benton Elementary School. Jones said he had hoped to hire a specialist to help the kids in other areas, but was now unable to do so.

Commissioner Curbow said the County had found an extra $20,000 to fund the School Board’s budget. Silvers told Curbow County Executive Hoyt Firestone said the County would fund the $95,000 needed to replace 6 school buses. Curbow said this was true and later explained that more information about how the County would achieve this would be forthcoming.

Silvers continued by pointing out that although the Budget Committee voted last week to raise tax collections to 91%, he didn’t expect the County to actually collect that much, as it has rarely done so in the past. Silvers also said he’d heard that many subdivisions like the one on Mountain View Road were being bought up by banks after they’d been foreclosed on. He said that banks probably wouldn’t let back taxes go unpaid, so the County could probably expect to gain money from that, but that he still didn’t expect the County to collect 91% of taxes.

Silvers told Curbow that perhaps the County Commission should just think about raising the property tax rate. Curbow nodded, but didn’t say anything. Silvers went on to say that people needed to understand that even if taxes were raised, with the reappraisal of property values, they would actually be paying the same amount as previous years. Curbow said that many people don’t understand that and don’t want their taxes raised because they think they’ll pay more. Silvers said they would understand when they wrote a check next year for the same amount as they had in the past.

The School Board voted to continue resolution of the 2012-2013 budget.

The County Commission’s Budget Committee will meet this Thursday at 7 pm in the Ducktown Senior Center to continue discussing this issue.

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