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BISD School Board Takes a Walk

CONSTRUCTION AT BHS -- Board members listen to BISD President Humphries idea for dirt work to be done before more construction begins at BHS.

Members of the Buffalo ISD Board met Monday, August 8th, for a special called meeting. During the meeting, the members went outside and walked and drove around the property that belongs to the school district to discuss where to locate the new agriculture facility and to consider sites for other future construction. Also discussed, sometimes in heated exchanges, dirt work that could be done before any construction starts.

Present were Superintendent Lacy Freeman and Board Members Monty McGill, Pat Bell, and Jack Helmcamp. President Jennifer Humphries presided. Not present were Board Members Bobby Fishbeck and Randy Ayers.

The walk outside to look at the property was put on the agenda after a discussion began at the last meeting on dirt work before constructing the new agriculture facility. Humphries has suggested that the hill in front of the high school could be leveled and the dirt pushed to the back near the parking lot and leveled there to add more parking. And parking could also be added to the front of the high school. Helmcamp contends that that much dirt work would be too costly.

Humphries said that she has met with an engineer, and he is working on getting a cost for the job. (The school is not being charged for the estimation for dirt work.) Helmcamp said that building the new Casey Ag Facility should not be furthered delayed. Other board members agreed with Humphries to wait and see what the engineer reports about the cost of the dirt work.

The location of the new facility was tabled. However, members all agreed that the best location will be one of two sites just across the road from the high school?s agriculture classes. This will be quick and easy access for students to go from the school to the new facility.

The board approved a proposed tax rate of $1.30657 for the next taxing period. This is a one cent increase over last year?s rate. While everyone agreed that no one likes to see even a small increase in the tax rate, they voted in favor of the new rate with only Helmcamp voting in opposition.

?I don?t like an increase either,? said Humphries, ?but we are obligated to do what is best for the school.? The one cent tax increase will mean $38,033 more in tax monies for the district. For a property owner, the tax increase will mean an increase of $10 for $100,000 value.

A public hearing on the proposed 2016 ? 2017 budget and tax rate was set for August 29th at 6pm.

In other matters, the board hired Erin Stone as a nurse for the upcoming school year. The resignation of Sandra McQuinn was accepted. The board voted to approve the hiring scale title change and the STAAR/Retention Incentive.

Freeman reported on repairs done on each campus in preparation for the new year. A new phone system has been installed to make communication between campuses easier. Drainage repair was done at the Upper Junior High, and the parking lot has been reworked and improved. Carpet in the Upper Junior High band hall has been removed and the floor will be redone. An outside water station has been added at the Elementary Campus for students on the playground. A new roof has been installed on the Elementary building, and the parking lot patched.

Johnny Zolman, a Budget Specialist with Region VI and BISD Business Manager Courtney Rodell went over the proposed budget. Zolman said that BISD is in better financial shape than most schools of similar size.

Approval was given for the High School handbook and codes for 2016 ? 2017. The Athletic Handbook was also approved.

The transfer list for 2016 ? 2017 was approved. There are 31 students living outside BISD that will attend school in Buffalo.