School Board Tables Energy Overhaul, Rejects Ousted Rutherford Student

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The first Cannon County School Board meeting of 2010 was held at Auburn School Thursday January 14 at 6:00 P.M.

The Board first approved the meeting's agenda as well as the minutes of the previous regular meeting. Field trips 629, 630, and 633 were also approved without incident.

Ms. Katelyn Pastor of Schnieder Electric Company once again addressed the Board concerning the Energy Analysis Report. She attributed the County's above average energy consumption to antiquated equipment and lack of funding to upgrade.

Schnieder's proposal includes a savings guarantee, with both the total cost of the new system and the projected savings each falling somewhere between $900k and $1.2 million, so the system essentially pays for itself over a 15 year period.

Pastor also stressed that the County might miss a TVA rebate and approximately $150k in Federal funding if a decision is not made soon.

However, her request for $46k to fund further research and development of the project, money that will not be refunded should the project be cancelled, was not keenly received. Chris Blackburn moved to table the proposal until further research could be completed and Roy Parker seconded. The board voted unanimously to approve the motion.

The new Mental Health Policy, as presented by Connie Foster, Director of Coordinated School Health, was also approved unanimously.

Discussion of an ousted Rutherford County 5th grader seeking enrollment at Short Mountain School followed. Legal counsel had advised a member of the board that the County is not required to accept the student. The boy had been expelled in Rutherford County for brings knives and a hatchet to school in his backpack.

Board member Cathy Hyatt also pointed out that there "were several things we didn't know [at the Board Workshop] Tuesday" about the nature of the student's offense and character. Finally, it was revealed to the Board that Rutherford County does offer an appeal system but that the boy's father had not sought an appeal.

After a brief silence Blackburn said, "I'm going to be the bad guy here and file a motion to reject the Rutherford County student." Parker seconded and the board voted unanimously in favor of rejecting the student.

Jennifer Insell reported that everyone is "tickled to death" about the recently installed freezer at Woodland School and filed a request to have the old one declared surplus so it could be sold. Mr. Braswell told the Board that the compressor unit on the old freezer would not sell for anything and that he would store it until a fair price could be fetched. The Board unanimously voted to declare the old unit surplus excepting the compressor unit which was to be stored by Braswell.

Director of Schools Barbara Parker then addressed the Board. She reported that the budget was still in good standing and suggested the January 15 Fiscal Workshop to any interested parties. Director Parker also reported that 21 students in the county have registered and been accepted to an online algebra I course, with the deadline for registration coming the following Tuesday. Finally she handed out a sheet of mini-grant receipts for funds that Cannon County teachers have received through the Cannon County Youth Dream Program. 15 grants were awarded, most for $300 but some for less and two for much more.

The next Board Workshop will be at the Central Office on February 9, 2010 at 6 P.M. The next Regular Board Meeting will be February 11, 2010 at Woodbury Grammar School at 6 P.M.
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