From the Trussville Tribune staff reports
In the April 25 Trussville City Schools (TCS) Board of Education meeting Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight, State Senator Shay Shelnutt, and State Representative Danny Garrett were in attendance to present a check to the Trussville City School system.
“As you all know in 2004, there was an educational tax passed in this county,” said Knight. “As a result of that tax, there were different schools that were built and a was bond placed to pay for those schools in what is called the capital improvement program.”
Capital improvement programs have been focused in Jefferson County for construction of new space of growing student enrollment.
“After the bankruptcy of Jefferson County in 2014, there was question if the bond could be refinanced or refunded that bond to be used for the county or schools.”
“We went to our friends in the legislature and, in 2016, they were able to pass a bill that allowed us to refinance the remainder which helps the county, schools and various items,” he said. “The legislature passed that bill and then it came to citizens as Amendment 14 where it was approved.”
This statewide amendment was on the ballot in 2016 due to a Jefferson County circuit judge voiding a state law (Act 2015-226) that allowed Jefferson County to issue a one-cent sales and use tax.
Jefferson County’s new revised sales tax (which replaced one that exclusively went towards paying off the county’s $1 billion school construction program) went to payoff school construction as well as to the county’s general fund, transit, the Birmingham Zoo and money for legislatures to spend in their districts.
“We refinanced the remainder of that debt,” Knight said. “As a result, there were $69 million dollars to be disbursed among the school systems in Jefferson County. “Trussville City Schools received $2.9 million out of that.”
“The old bond money can only be used for capital, whereas the new money can be used for whatever the school needs. There were more taxes that came in off of that bond, so we are distributing a second check tonight to the Trussville City Schools system in the amount of $577,329.28 and I present this to the Trussville City Schools.”
Knight commended both Garrett and Shelnutt in pushing the legislation through.
“Thanks to these guys for getting this legislation through,” he said. “There is always going to be push back and these guys stuck with it and you, the people, made it happen. This money can be used for whatever the school needs. We are just happy to collect it for you and distribute it to you tonight.”
Neill shared her thoughts on how TCS will utilize the money.
“We have had many, many meetings on increasing our security measures and improving our cameras, repurposing and repairing our security cameras,” said Neill. “Our first priority will be school security.”
“We always need school buses,” she said. “We appreciate this so much. There is always a need for improving our programs, facilities, and security for the students and this is what we will use this money for.”
In other business, the TCS Board approved:
- Accounts payable;
- Payroll for March 2018;
- Financials for March 2018;
- Work session record and board minutes for Mar. 19;
- Job descriptions for bus assistant (aide) and lead mechanic;
- 2018-2019 Athletic Fee Sheet;
- Fee/Contribution sheet for HTHS;
- Naming opportunity for TCS Foundation for a room at Cahaba Elementary School;
- Awarding bids of:
- Annual summer floor strip and wax effective June 1;
- Trussville stadium lawn and ground care effective June 1; and
- Locker services for both HTHS and HTMS.
- Renewing of bids:
- CES turf, tree and shrub chemical application to Mighty Green Lawn Care effective May 1; and
- Pest management by Knox Pest Control effective May 2.
- Facility usage request for:
- Summer Singers Music and Art Enrichment Camp in June at the CES gym and amphitheatre;
- Summer Youth Basketball for Cahaba gym in May;
- Summer Youth Basketball for HTMS gym in May;
- Summer Youth Basketball for Magnolia gym in May; and
- HTHS Youth Baseball camp for baseball field in June.
- EDF 04-25-18-01;
- Addendum to contract for Reading/Math intervention;
- Clinical Experience agreement with Samford University;
- Field trips: HTHS FBLA to Atlanta in April; HTHS Cheerleaders to UCA camp in Panama City, FL in June; HTHS Football to Auburn 7 on 7 June; HTHS FOotball to FOley, AL 7 on 7 June;
- Change orders: COR 17-28-10; COR 17-28-11; COR 17-28-14; COR 17-28-12;
- Proposals from Bhate Geosciences at CES for: ADEM Stormwater Inspections; and Geotechnical Inspections, COnstruction Materials Testing & IBC Special Inspection Services;
- Amending the 2018-2019 school calendar to reflect Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as Jan. 21, 2019 (National Day of Celebration) not Jan. 14 as listed on the calendar;
- Amendment to 2018-19 Student Code of Conduct; and
- Superintendent’s recommendations for personnel regarding personnel, supplements and contracts.
The next TCS Board of Education meeting will be on May 21 at 6 p.m. There will be a work session at 4:30 p.m. prior to the board meeting.