The school system’s water and sewer bills for its Danielsville schools and facilities almost doubled in January this year due to a dramatic increase in billing for those services by the city.
Superintendent Michael Williams told board of education (BOE) members at their February business meeting last week that the water/sewer billing for Danielsville Elementary, the BOE offices, the Early Learning Center, the high school campus, maintenance shop and agricultural facilities for the month of January was a total of $8,380.58, up from $4,871.40 in December.
Danielsville recently raised its rates significantly on “high user” customers citing a need to boost rates to qualify for government loan funding and grants. Rates also jumped for government offices (another high user) served by Danielsville’s water and sewer systems.
Residential and business customers also saw modest increases in rates.
Williams said such a large increase is not appropriate and that they may be forced to look at other sources for water and sewer.
He also said the city did not approve the school system’s request for a rezoning of the old school board office at its February business meeting, postponing the decision until its March meeting for more clarification on an entrance easement. The school system plans to sell the property for a regional Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) office.
In other matters, Williams told the board that they are watching several bills being reviewed in the state legislature during this session.
One is Senate Bill 367, which calls for a reduction in state-mandated testing for Georgia Milestones. He said they are also watching two House Bills that involve allowing retired teachers to return to work to help offset the teacher shortage.
Also last week, the BOE approved the 2020-21 school calendar year. School will begin Friday, Aug. 7 and end Tuesday, May 25.
Assistant Superintendent Amanda Wommack said the school system received its highest Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) amount to date in January in the amount of $214,829.
She told the BOE that the school system is in the midst of budget season for the upcoming year, with principals and administrative staff holding budget meetings in the upcoming weeks.
An additional ELC classroom is still under consideration and Wommack said the pre-K classroom is projected to cost between $14,000-to-$15,000 to have ready.
Wommack issued a special acknowledgment to bus drivers and all of the transportation department for a job well done on Feb. 6 and 7 when there were delayed starts due to road conditions and flooding.
She said she also wanted to make sure to issue a special thank you to all county students and staff during the inclement weather on Feb. 6, when several tornado and thunderstorm warnings were issued. She said safety procedures were followed with no issues.
The BOE approved the following personnel recommendations at the February meeting.
•Colbert – The board approved extended day afterschool duties for Brittany Wilkes.
•Comer —They approved the resignation of parapro Christel Hall and approved parapro Allison Trump for the BEYOND program.
•Early Learning Center – They approved leave without pay for parapro Lindsey O’Kelley.
•Hull-Sanford – They approved the resignation of parapro Magean Black and approved leave without pay for Gena Parham.
•Ila – They approved Denise Tiencken as a long-term sub for Molly Greene. They also approved the resignation of parapro Julianne Smith and leave without pay for parapro Alaina Shriver.
•MCHS – They approved leave without pay for teacher Laura Moreland.
•MCMS – They approved Samantha Moss as the FTE coordinator, replacing L. Kenyon.
•Transportation – They approved FMLA for full-time bus driver Brenda Arrendale and accepted the resignation of part-time bus driver Tyler Berryman, who will remain a trip driver. They also approved leave without pay for full-time driver Annette Blackmon and the resignations for substitute bus driver Hope Graham and full-time bus driver Flame Holloway.