• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

School board to set date for facilities tax hearing

The Woodford County Board of Education agreed to set a date for a facilities tax hearing at its next meeting on Monday night, Dec. 18. The board also agreed to start next Monday’s meeting at 5:30 p.m. to ensure a quorum (three members) is present.

A facilities tax hearing must be held before the board can take action on enacting a facilities tax to pay the cost of building a new high school on land adjacent to Woodford County Middle School. A proposed six percent tax rate may be lowered if the board does not include the construction of some athletic facilities such as a football/soccer field in the project.

The school district has a lease agreement with Woodford Fiscal Court to use the county-owned Community Stadium for high school football and soccer games until 2023. A track and practice facilities will likely be included in the high school project, schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins told board members.

The board’s consideration to not include some athletic facilities in the new high school project came after people in the community raised issues with building athletic facilities when those facilities already exist at Woodford County Park.

In addition to having a tax hearing (likely on Thursday, Jan. 18, or Thursday, Jan. 25), the board voiced support to have another public forum prior to the tax hearing. Both would be held at Woodford County High School.

Board Chair Ambrose Wilson IV was absent on Monday and will also be absent next Monday. Board member Sherri Springate said she would be unable to attend next Monday’s meeting and board member Margie Cleveland said she could not stay any later than 6:30 p.m. so the board also agreed to move next week’s meeting at the board office on Pisgah Pike to 5:30 p.m.

WCHS roof project

The board approved a $35,180 bid from Pearce-Blackburn Roofing to make repairs to the roof over a computer lab at Woodford County High School. Two other bids received on the project came in higher at $41,568 and $39,890.

The total cost of the project will be $41,653.12 when a contingency of $1,759 and an architect fee of $4,714.12 are included.

Financial report

Woodford County schools began the month of November with a general fund balance of $4.915 million and ended the month with $13.515 million. The increase was due in large measure to property tax revenue being received by the district, according to Chief Operating Officer Amy Smith.

Additionally, property tax revenue of $2.691 million went into the district’s building fund, which allowed the district to end the month with $1.043 million in that fund.

2018-19 school calendar

The board will be asked to approve a calendar for the 2018-19 school year at next Monday night’s meeting.

The recommended calendar includes a fall break (Oct. 8 to 12), a winter break (Dec. 20 to Jan. 2) and a spring break (April 1 to 5). The school year will begin on Thursday, Aug. 9 and end on May 22, with the first two makeup days tacked onto the end of the calendar. Presidents’ Day has been identified as the third makeup day.

The Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation during its last session that a district’s calendar committee must provide two options to the local Board of Education to consider. The other calendar option (not recommended by the calendar committee) would have moved fall break to the first week of October.

A survey of parents showed that most of them (more than 80 percent) wanted to continue having a fall break, Director of Staff/Student Services Garet Wells told board members. He said keeping fall break for the second week of October makes more sense instructionally in terms of grading periods.

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