By Joseph McCain
The Winston County Journal
The Louisville Municipal School District Board of Trustees covered much ground in their August 13 meeting with school in full swing.
The board during discussion of the district finances noted that the district would not be requesting a millage increase from the city or county.
While the district can only request the dollar amount of funding, district business manager Tracy Luke noted that the $5.5 million of local funds request should keep the millage at its present 52.63 mills for the district.
“Safe Room” grant
The board also approved Winston County EMA director Buddy King to pursue a grant for a school storm safety shelter at Nanih Waiya Attendance Center.
The MEMA/ FEMA grant is rated higher when specifically addressed for schools. The grant if received would cover 90 percent of the cost of a storm safety building for the school and surrounding community.
“This is the highest rating for a grant with 90 percent of the building cost covered,” said King. “If the district gets the grant this will provide a safe place for students and faculty along with the community during a storm.”
King noted that this would be a great opportunity to add a storm safety shelter to the community and a building to Nanih Waiya campus that would be mostly paid for by FEMA/ MEMA.
King noted that the building could be used by the school for other purposes during non storm events.
King noted that the Nanih Waiya campus was chosen due to earlier storms in the area resulting in deaths in the past years.
“We have reviewed the storm damage and death statistics for the area,” said King.
The board, Superintendent Ken McMullan along with an architect discussed the building’s possible use as a cafeteria which had been in some of the district’s recent building plans that never came to fruition.
King added that this is only an application for a grant and no financial commitment from the district. This is a submittal for a grant through the state as part of FEMA’s mitigation grant program.
“This is a good move for us,” said Superintendent McMullan.
In other matters, the trustees:
• Approved Consent agenda
• Approved Financial reports
• Approved Claims docket, agency and activity funds which showed little activity during the summer.
• Approved Bank balances and financial reports.
• Accepted claims docket with four exceptions so that board president Cathy Edwards could abstain from voting on the four exceptions which were approved by the rest of the board.
• Discussed and approved the continued partnership with MSU. Dr. Jayroe spoke to the board and noted that the new liaison requested for the partnership is Shane Davis. The MSU partnership helps bring MSU faculty and MSU students over to CAPPS and to the district to help. Dr. Jayroe noted she is pursing an other grant for the district to serve K-4 grade students.
• Moved two student transfer requests to executive session.
• Discussed hiring three teacher coaches at a rate of $1,300 a day, $1,400 and $700 for 20 days. Penny Hill described the large turnover of teachers at Eiland and that all the students could benefit from the guidance offered by the teacher coaches. The teacher coaches were requested for EMS and LHS. Board member Bobby Moody questioned the cost. “We could hire another teacher for this amount.” The motion to hire the teacher coaches faield for lack of a second but Moody requested to discuss more in executive session and the board voted to enter executive session. The Winston County Journal did question under what exemption of the open meeting law was the executive session allowed. Attorney Jim Keith noted that the board did not want to “defame anyone in the public.” During the public discussion of the three teacher coaches and their companies even Jim Keith praised the qualifications of the teacher coaches.
• The Mississippi Forestry Commission presented their annual plans for caretaking, cutting and projected revenues for the district’s sixteen section properties.
• Approved Sixteen section residential moved to recreational lease.
• Approved moving cemetery lease to cemetery from former group lease holders.
• Discussed placing a park on sixteen section lands. Sixteen Section land manager noted that the present land is leased while attorney Jim Keith noted that the loss of income and gaining of liability of placing a park near hunting leases could be a problem for the district. Mike Skipper, Winston County Extension Service Director who presented on behalf of the community, noted that a park could build more pride in the community. The park would be in District 4.
• Discussed the stable enrollment of the district with 2889 enrolled this year.
The next regular board meeting is set for Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m.