The Harlan Independent Board of Education met in special session on Thursday to discuss construction projects and funding.
Superintendent David Johnson discussed the pros and cons of the various means of financing the project, including bond issues involving property tax. He said he will contact state officials to see what they will offer to help finance part of the project and use existing funds that the school district has for the balance of the project.
“This is my 17th year as superintendent and our tax rate now is several cents lower than it was when I became superintendent 17 years ago,” said Johnson. “You may be paying more because of assessments on your property, saying it is more valuable, but our tax rates are lower than they were nearly two decades ago. There’s probably not very many taxing agencies in the country that can say that. Our board has held to that and operated in that.The board has been very frugal with our resources. I think we have been good stewards with the resources we have been given over the years and we’ve now reached the point where we need help.”
Architects recently visited the school district where they toured the elementary and middle schools, along with the district’s athletic complex in Georgetown.
Johnson suggested to the board the project could be done in phases to ease the financial burden all at one time.
Also attending the meeting was local businessman Don Parsons, who offered the board an estimated cost of $67,000 for the construction of a 75 foot by 100 foot metal building to be used at the district’s athletic complex. He said the building could be fully constructed in two weeks.
“I think we need to do what we need to do to get this project started,” said Joe Meadors, board chairman.
In other board action, Meadors and board member Matt Nunez were administered their oaths of office by board secretary Linda Shope.
The next scheduled meeting of the school board will be Jan. 17 at 5:30 p.m. at the district’s Community Learning Center.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org