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County Firefighters Called to Indian Creek Youth Camp

June 25, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department were called to the Indian Creek Youth Camp Thursday night to a building on Cabin Circle Drive that houses an art room studio.

County Fire Chief Donny Green said that campers returning from the lake spotted smoke coming from the building and reported it. Camp staff on site snuffed out the small blaze using fire extinguishers.

According the Chief Green, someone using the room to make ceramic crafts had placed their project in a kiln before leaving for the night, which is apparently customary for this type of work. But later the 220 electrical outlet, where the kiln was plugged in, shorted out sparking the small blaze. The building received mostly smoke although there was some minor damage to one wall. No one was injured.

The Liberty Station of the county fire department arrived on the scene. Two other stations, Temperance Hall and the Main Station were enroute but were sent back when it became clear the small blaze was under control. Firefighters set up fans to clear the smoke from the building.

Warren County Man Killed In Motorcycle Crash at Dibrell

June 24, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 61 year old Warren County man was killed Friday morning when his motorcycle crashed into a backhoe on Highway 56 in the Dibrell Community.

Dead is J.D.Wilson of the Greenhill Community.

The accident occurred around 8:34 a.m. at the intersection of Highway 56 and Sullivan Road.

According to Sergeant Billy Prater of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Wilson was traveling south on Highway 56 on a 2004 Honda motorcycle when he ran into the right side of a 1992 John Deere backhoe belonging to the Warren County Utility District, driven by 37 year old Marshall Green of the Irving College Community. Green was crossing Highway 56 from the east side to get to the west side of Sullivan Road.

Green was not injured in the crash but Wilson, who was wearing a helmet, reportedly died at the scene.

The accident remains under investigation by Sergeant Prater and Trooper Al Seitner of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

WCTE-TV Seeks Support from County and City to Broadcast Fiddlers Jamboree and Promote Tourism

June 24, 2011

WCTE TV in Cookeville is seeking funding from the DeKalb County Commission and the City of Smithville to promote tourism to this area and to continue broadcasting the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree.

During an all-committees meeting of the county commission Thursday night, Mark Dudney and Becky Magura addressed the group with two specific funding requests, each in the amount of $5,000. Both requests were also presented in writing

Dudney is the Government Relations Officer for the television station and Magura is the President and CEO of WCTE.

According to Dudney and Magura, WCTE-TV needs this support to help defray the costs of broadcasting the Fiddlers Jamboree, which they say runs around $40,000 each year.

Dudney's letter states that " WCTE respectfully requests $5,000 from DeKalb County for the fiscal year 2011-2012. This funding will be used specifically to defray WCTE's production costs for the 2011 Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree."

"WCTE has been a proud partner of the Jamboree for nearly thirty years. The station has broadcast the event that long and has produced a two-hour highlight show for national distribution for nearly twenty years."

"It costs WCTE roughly $40,000 every year to shoot, broadcast and produce the Jamboree. A private production company would likely charge $100,000 for the same service. Again, our $5,000 request for funding would go specifically to assist us in post-production of the Jamboree for the nationally televised two-hour highlight show."

Magura said while WCTE is committed to broadcasting the Fiddlers Jamboree this year, they would like to know a local commitment of funding for the broadcast can be counted on next year.

Meanwhile, in the second request, Dudney and Magura propose producing seasonal 30 second tourism ads related to DeKalb County to be aired throughout the year.

Dudney's letter states that "WCTE respectfully requests $5,000 from DeKalb County for fiscal year 2011-2012. In consideration for this sum:

"WCTE will produce and broadcast four 30-second tourism spots related to DeKalb County. These seasonal spots can include highlighting DeKalb County's natural beauty, music, culture, history, art, industry, etc. These spots will run twice a week on WCTE's main channel for a year, approximately one hundred spots annually."

"WCTE just finished its first year doing these spots (for other cities and counties) and we have enjoyed significant positive feedback about our initial round of tourism promotions. After our digital transition and our presence in the Nashville market via Dish and Direct TV, WCTE has a possible viewing audience of 1.4 million households. As the only television station in a 75 mile radius, WCTE is uniquely positioned to offer its strategic partners quality promotions at reasonable rates."

Dudney and Magura also brought along a DVD of tourism spots which have been produced for other cities and counties in the Upper Cumberland, and showed it to the commissioners.

County Mayor Mike Foster and members of the commission have not yet voted on whether to grant the requests. Some members seem to support making a contribution, but perhaps not meeting the entire amount. Others said they would favor joint funding, in some amount, with the City of Smithville, if the city mayor and aldermen would agree.

Dudney and Magura said while they have made contact with city hall, they have not formally made their requests to the Mayor and Aldermen as yet, but plan to do so.

Graduation Ceremony Held for Leadership DeKalb Class of 2011

June 24, 2011
Leadership DeKalb Class of 2011

Leadership DeKalb Class of 2011 graduation was held on Thursday, June 23rd at the 303 North Public Square Building, Smithville. After a welcome from Leadership Director Jen Sherwood and Chamber President Kathie McGlamery, the invocation was given by John Quintero.

The night's guest speakers were Leadership DeKalb Alumni Association’s 2010 Leadership Legacy Award recipients, John and Kay Quintero and the Community Leader of 2010 recipient, Casey Midgett. John Quintero talked about “Leaving a Legacy” and caring for each individual in our community. Casey Midgett spoke on the topic "Leading and Serving Our Community;” reminding class members to do more and talk less and strive to be #3, after God and others.

The class provided an overview of the year's sessions through a PowerPoint slide show depicted each month’s speakers and activities. Class President Beth Gill announced the class project of assisting the Little League in the development of their new ballfield.

Leadership Director Jen Sherwood and Chamber Director Suzanne Williams presented the graduating class with plaques. Leadership Alumni President Richard Kinsey closed with final words of encouragement to continue giving back to the community as graduates of Leadership DeKalb.

Leadership DeKalb is a 10-month program designed to bring together individuals who desire increased leadership responsibility in improving the quality of life in DeKalb County, and train these citizens with knowledge, skills and an increased awareness of opportunities so that they are involved, effective and active leaders. Each summer, applications are accepted for the next year's class. Participation is open to any who lives or works in DeKalb County and who has a desire to contribute to positive change in DeKalb County. For more information, contact Jen Sherwood at 597-4851 or the chamber office at 597-4163.

Pictured L to R
Leadership Director Jen Sherwood, Dalton Fish, Susan Young, Charlene Adcock, Class Secretary Misty Poss, Class President Beth Gill, Jana Crook, Patricia Hoover, Tim Price

DeKalb Jobless Rate Jumps to 10.7% in May

June 23, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's unemployment rate for May was at 10.7%, up from the revised rate for April of 9.6% and higher than the rate of 9.3% in May, 2010

The local labor force for May was 10,340. A total of 9,240 were employed and 1,100 were unemployed.

Among the fourteen counties of the Upper Cumberland, DeKalb County recorded the seventh lowest jobless rate for the month of May. Here's how the counties rank from highest to lowest in the Upper Cumberland:

Pickett County- 14%
Smith-12.2%
Van Buren- 12.1%
White-11.6%
Warren-11.6%
Clay- 11.2%
Fentress- 11%
DeKalb- 10.7%
Jackson-10.6%
Cumberland-10.4%
Macon-10.3%
Overton-10.2%
Cannon- 9.8%
Putnam- 8.9%

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for May show that the rate decreased in 56 counties, increased in 24 counties, and stayed the same in 15 counties.

Tennessee's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 9.7 percent, up slightly from the April rate of 9.6. The national unemployment rate for May 2011 was 9.1 percent, up from April's 9.0 percent.

Lincoln County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 6.1 percent, down from the April rate of 6.6 percent, followed by Williamson County at 6.6 percent, down from 7.0 percent. Scott County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 20.8 percent, down from 22.1 percent in the previous month, followed by Lauderdale County at 14.8 percent, unchanged from the April rate.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 7.4 percent, down from 7.7 percent in April. Hamilton County was 8.2 percent, unchanged from the previous month. Davidson County was 8.6 percent, down from 8.8 percent in April, and Shelby County was 10.0 percent, unchanged from their April unemployment rate

Capella Healthcare Buying Ownership Interest in DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals

June 22, 2011
DeKalb Community Hospital

Capella Healthcare today announced the execution of a definitive Purchase Agreement for a subsidiary that owns a majority interest in White County Community Hospital, LLC, (WCCH) to acquire a 60% ownership interest in Cannon County Hospital, LLC, (CCH) which owns and operates Stones River Hospital (SRH) in Woodbury and DeKalb Community Hospital (DCH) in Smithville. The transaction is subject to customary federal and state regulatory approvals.

Physician investors own the balance of CCH's equity. The minority owners of CCH and WCCH will contribute their ownership interests in the respective joint ventures to a new entity, which, other than Capella is the only member of these joint ventures.

Following the closing of the transaction, which is planned for June 30, Capella Healthcare will manage all three hospitals pursuant to management agreements. Bill Little, who has served as CEO for the two CCH facilities
since July 2009, will assume responsibility for all three hospitals as Market CEO. Current CCH Chief Financial Officer Sarah Clark will become Market CFO for the new entity.

"We look forward to welcoming these outstanding providers to our growing family of hospitals," said Dan Slipkovich, CEO of Capella Healthcare. "These two hospitals have a rich history of serving their communities and
working collaboratively to provide high quality care and excellent service. Along with our physician partners, we look forward to continuing to expand services throughout the region as we build upon this outstanding
network of providers to meet the needs of the entire Upper Cumberland Plateau."

"We are excited about our opportunity to collaborate with Capella and jointly help to lead in molding the future development of healthcare in the Upper Cumberland area," said Hugh Don Cripps, M.D., a member of the
Cannon County Hospital Board and one of the physician partners. "We are blessed to be able to continue to be led so ably by CEO Bill Little and CFO Sarah Clark."

The addition of these facilities expands Capella's Tennessee presence to five hospitals. In addition to White County Community Hospital in Sparta, Capella also owns River Park Hospital in McMinnville and Grandview Medical
Center in Jasper.

About Cannon County Hospital, LLC

Situated in the heart of the state approximately halfway between Chattanooga and Nashville, the two CCH hospitals have worked collaboratively since both became owned by the same group of investors, primarily physicians, in July 2006. There are approximately 80 physicians on the combined medical staffs, representing nearly every medical
specialty.

Established in 1980, SRH is a 60-bed hospital accredited by The Joint Commission. Located at 324 Doolittle Road in Woodbury, the hospital provides 24-hour emergency care as well as surgical procedures, same day
outpatient services, cardiac rehabilitation services, and comprehensive imaging services. Through the Riverside Center, a full range of mental health services for older adults is available, with intensive inpatient
services at a 14-bed gero-psychiatric unit at the hospital and outpatient care at a separate facility in Murfreesboro.

Established in 1969, DCH is a 71-bed hospital also accredited by The Joint Commission. It is located at 520 West Main Street in Smithville, offering 24-hour emergency services and comprehensive diagnostic, medical, surgical
and rehabilitative services. The hospital has enjoyed a long history of medical excellence having been named one of the 100 Top Hospitals® in America by Thomson Reuters (formerly Solucient) for five years.

About White County Community Hospital

Founded in 1929 by Dr. E.B. Clark, White County Community Hospital is a 60-bed facility accredited by The Joint Commission and certified by the American Heart Association as a "Get with the Guidelines" hospital.
Located at 401 Sewell Road in Sparta, the hospital provides a full range of medical services, including 24-hour emergency services and comprehensive diagnostic, medical, surgical and rehabilitative services as
well as a gero-psychiatric unit.

About Capella Healthcare

Capella Healthcare partners with communities to build strong local healthcare systems that are known for quality patient care and exceptional service. Based in Franklin, Tenn., Capella owns and/or operates 13 general
acute-care hospitals in seven states. With the philosophy that all healthcare is local, Capella collaborates with each hospital's medical staff, board and community leadership to take care to the next level. The company has access to significant leadership and financial resources, reinvesting 100% of net cash flow into its family of hospitals to
strengthen and expand services and facilities.

Washer leads ticket, as two newcomers elected to Smithville City Council

June 21, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Danny Washer, Gayla Hendrix, Shawn Jacobs

Smithville businessman Danny Washer and local attorney Gayla Hendrix earned seats on the Smithville City Council, unseating incumbents W.J. (Dub) White and Aaron Meeks during Tuesday night's Municipal Election. Washer polled 290 votes, or 21.72 percent of the vote, to lead the ticket and earn election to the City Council for the first time. Incumbent Shawn Jacobs retained his seat on the board with 249 votes, or 18.65 percent of the vote, while Hendrix was third in the balloting with 211 votes, or 15.81 percent of the vote. Hendrix narrowly defeated White and Cordell Walker, who each tallied 209 votes, which accounted for 15.66 percent of the vote. Meeks earned 165 votes, or 12.36 percent of the vote.

Click here and listen to the winning candidate's thank you remarks during the WJLE LIVE broadcast Tuesday night beginning with Gayla Hendrix, Danny Washer, and Shawn Jacobs.

A total of 538 people voted in the Smithville Municipal Election. 350 people voted early or by absentee ballot, while 188 people voted on Election Day. The election commission reports that the city of Smithville currently has 2,870 active registered voters.

The Smithville City Council will be made up of Mayor Taft Hendrixson and aldermen Danny Washer, Shawn Jacobs, Gayla Hendrix, Cecil Burger and Steve White. The new aldermen are to be sworn into office on Thursday, June 30 at 6:00 p.m. at city hall.

Tuesday's vote totals break down as follows:

Gayla Hendrix:

Machine #1: 15
Machine#2: 26
Machine #3: 29
Early Voting/Absentees: 141

Total: 211

Shawn Jacobs:

Machine #1: 21
Machine #2: 36
Machine #3: 45
Early Voting/Absentees: 147

Total: 249

Aaron Meeks:

Machine #1: 12
Machine #2: 20
Machine#3: 25
Early Voting/Absentees: 108

Total: 165

Danny Washer:

Machine #1: 24
Machine #2: 43
Machine#3: 45
Early Voting/Absentees: 178

Total: 290

Cordell Walker:

Machine #1: 11
Machine#2: 23
Machine#3: 30
Early Voting/Absentees: 145

Total: 209

W.J. (Dub) White:

Machine#1: 13
Machine #2: 20
Machine #3:34
Early Voting/Absentees: 142

Total: 209

City to Hire Grant Writer for Fire Department Ladder Truck

June 20, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Aldermen have voted to employ a grant writer in the hope of obtaining a FEMA grant to assist the city in purchasing a ladder truck and related equipment for the city fire department.

During a meeting of the Mayor and Aldermen Monday night, Chief Charlie Parker asked that Johnny Robertson be hired to write the grant. Parker said Robertson has had a great track record in helping other fire departments obtain grants. "He has been writing grants for a little while. So far, he has done seven grants that he has been responsible for writing, either in whole or in part, and with all seven he has been successful in receiving grants from FEMA. He has also served on the committee that reviews the grants so he has a very good working knowledge of what they're looking for. He's got a very good track record," said Chief Parker.

"The ladder truck is actually on one grant through FEMA and the equipment that goes on it (ladder truck) is on a second grant. Both can be applied for at the same time. He has agreed to do both of these grants for $3,000. Its $1,500 per grant. He'll do all the narratives and get it in. If we are awarded the grant, the $3,000 cost is recoverable from the grant so the grant would actually pay for that money. In the event that we didn't get the grant, we would still have to pay him the $3,000," said Chief Parker.

If the grant is funded, the city would be responsible for a five percent local match. The aldermen have not made provisions for that in the new budget, but city officials said a budget amendment could be approved to fund the local matching obligation if the grant is approved. The $3,000 fee for the grant writer would be funded from the fire department budget.

In other action, Chief Parker asked that Kevin Adcock be approved by the aldermen as a city firefighter. Adcock has successfully completed his 90 day probationary period and has been approved as a member by the fire department. The aldermen gave their approval as well.

Meanwhile, the mayor and aldermen will meet in special session on Thursday, June 30th at 6:00 p.m. at city hall for the purpose of swearing into office the three aldermen-elect. The mayor may also make appointments to various city boards during that meeting.

Mayor Taft Hendrixson appointed Norris Colvert to fill the unexpired term of Donnie Driver on the planning commission. Driver recently resigned. Aldermen Cecil Burger, Aaron Meeks, and Shawn Jacobs all voted for Colvert. Alderman Steve White said he could not vote because of a conflict. Alderman W.J. (Dub) White voted no.

In other business, the aldermen adopted a new budget ordinance on second and final reading following a public hearing. No one addressed the mayor and aldermen during the public hearing.

The new budget, totaling $6-million 113-thousand 511, calls for no increases in water or sewer rates and the new certified property tax rate, established by the state after reappraisal, is expected to generate about the same local revenues as the current tax rate of .6194 cents per one hundred dollars of assessed value. The city property tax rate generates approximately $790,000 a year.

Water customers will continue to pay $5.00 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus $5.00 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage. Outside city rates are $7.50 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus $7.50 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage

The rate for city sewer customers, under the new budget, will continue to be $5.00 for the first one thousand gallons of usage plus $5.00 per thousand gallons thereafter. In addition, all sewer customers will continue to pay the $3.62 cent per month flat rate usage fee

The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District for water is $1.95 per thousand gallons but will increase to $2.00 beginning with January 1, 2012 sales.

Water tap fees for customers inside the city limits are $600 for a three quarter inch water line and the sewer tap fees are $600 for a four inch sewer line. If the lines are larger, the fees will continue to be cost plus 10%.

For customers outside the city limits, water tap fees are $800 for a three quarter inch line and $800 for a four inch sewer line. If the lines are larger, then the fees will continue to be cost plus 10%.

The proposed budget calls for city employees with up to four years of service to get their automatic step pay increases as defined in the wage scale and a cost of living increase of 3% . City employees with more than four years of service, who have topped out on the wage scale would only get the cost of living increase.

Proposed capital outlay expenditures in the general fund for the new year come to $256,000.

Other Specific projects are as follows:

Financial Administration:
$25,000 unspecified

Parks and Recreation:
$5,000 to pave a basketball court
$15,000 for a 1.5 mile walking trail
$5,000 for a fence

Public Works/Buildings and Grounds:
$25,000 for Shed & equipment storage

City Hall Building:
$25,000 unspecified

Fire Protection:
$36,000 for turnout equipment
$10,000 for a used vehicle & unspecified

Street Department:
$10,000 for downtown beautification
$10,000 unspecified

Police Department:
$40,000 unspecified

Swimming Pool:
$15,000 unspecified

Golf Course:
$5,000 unspecified

Airport:
$25,000 unspecified

Animal Shelter:
$5,000 unspecified

Sanitation Fund:
$5,000

Drug Fund:
$10,000 unspecified.

Proposed water and sewer fund Fixed Asset Additions: Automatic meter readers project- $360,000; update of water plant and engineering fees- $150,000; used mini excavator- $15,000;

Although these capital outlay projects are budgeted, they all may not be funded during the year.

The proposed budget breaks down as follows:

REVENUES:
General Fund: $3,106,400
Special Revenue Fund-Sanitation: $277,700
Water & Sewer Fund: $2,350,000
Drug Fund: $5,100
Appropriation of Surplus- General Fund: $192,413
Appropriation of Surplus-Drug Fund: $25,400
Appropriation of Surplus-Water & Sewer Fund: $153,837
Appropriation of Surplus-Sanitation Fund: $2,661
Total Revenues: $6,113, 511

EXPENDITURES:
General Fund: $3,298,813
Special Revenue Funds Sanitation: $280,361
Water & Sewer Fund: $2,503,837
Drug Fund: $30,500
Total expenditures: $6,113,511

Man Charged with Assaulting Ex-Girlfriend

June 20, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

In the latest crime news from the Smithville Police Department, Chief Randy Caplinger reports that 66 year old Ernest Ray Bane of West Main Street was arrested on Wednesday, June 15 by Officer Brandon Donnell for aggravated assault. According to the warrant, Bane went to the residence of his ex-girlfriend, grabbed her by the arm leaving a bruise, and put a knife to her throat threatening her. Bond for Bane is $10,000 and his court date is August 4.

Meanwhile, 34 year old Steven Craig Banfield of Highland Avenue was arrested Monday, June 6 for violation of an order of protection. According to the warrant, Officer Brandon Donnell responded to a 911 call on Highland Avenue to a possible domestic. Banfield stated that he and his ex-wife were fussing. Upon further investigation, Officer Donnell discovered that Banfield is under an order of protection to stay away from her. Bond for Banfield is $3,500 and his court date is June 23.

44 year old Shane D Green of Vermont was arrested on Tuesday, June 7 for DUI. While on routine patrol traveling south on Congress Boulevard Officer Brandon Donnell stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. Officer Donnell asked Green for his license but Green kept dropping his wallet and could not keep his eyes open. Green was asked to step out of the vehicle and perform several field sobriety tasks. Bond for Green is $1,500 and his court date is August 4.

55 year old Raymond Nelson Caldwell of Four Seasons Road was arrested on Tuesday, June 7 by Corporal Travis Bryant who responded to a reckless driver call on West Broad Street. Corporal Bryant followed the vehicle which traveled partially in the median for approximately one mile. He stopped the automobile and made contact with the driver, Caldwell who had slurred speech. Caldwell submitted to several field sobriety tasks. Bond for Caldwell is $1,500 and his court date is June 23.

26 year old William Corey Dickens of Short Mountain Highway was issued a citation by K-9 Officer James Cornelius for theft. Officer Cornelius was dispatched to Earl Avenue to check out a complaint of an unwanted guest. Upon arrival Officer Cornelius found Dickens loading a car with tools taken from a shed located on the property. The victim stated that he was taking tools from her shed without her permission. Dickens' court date is June 23.

24 year old Jamaal Ahmad League of Smith Road was arrested on Wednesday, June 8 by Officer Andy Snow for public intoxication. Officer Snow responded to Smith Road to check on a person who had been walking in the neighborhood, jumping out from behind bushes, and causing a disturbance to residents in the area. Officer Snow made contact with League, who had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. He was identified as the person causing the disturbance. Bond for League is $1,000.

28 year old Brandon Ross Bogle of Sparta was arrested on Tuesday, June 14 by K-9 Officer James Cornelius for possession of drug paraphernalia. Officer Cornelius was dispatched to the probation office to check on a possible intoxicated man. Upon arrival he spoke with the probation officer who stated that she had found drug paraphernalia on her probationer, Brandon Bogle. Bond for Bogle is $1,500.

38 year old Maria Kathleen Smith of Earl Avenue was issued a citation on Wednesday, June 15 for possession of drug paraphernalia. Corporal Travis Bryant stopped Smith on a complaint of possible intoxication. Officer Bryant received consent to search her person and found drug paraphernalia in her possession. Smith's court date is July 7.

23 year old Alfredo Garcia Ordas of Bright Hill Road was arrested on Thursday, June 16 by Officer Bradley Tatrow for public intoxication. Officer Tatrow responded to an accident at Anthony Avenue and Miller Road where the person involved in the accident had left the scene and was observed walking down the road. While enroute to the accident, Officer Tatrow saw a man matching the description given by witnesses. Upon stopping and making contact with the man, Ordas, Officer Tatrow noticed that he was unsteady on his feet and he had a strong odor of a fermented beverage about his person. Bond for Ordas is $1,500 and his court date is June 23.

Meanwhile anyone having information on any criminal activity is encouraged to contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that will help the Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

Budget Committee Rejects School Board Request to Fund New Positions

June 20, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Budget Committee Meeting

The budget committee of the DeKalb County Commission has rejected the Board of Education's request to fund new positions in the proposed 2011-12 budget but is still open to the idea of funding a pay raise for personnel.

During a meeting Thursday night at the courthouse, the budget committee, on a 5 to 0 vote, instructed County Mayor Mike Foster to notify the school board that the request for funding to create several new positions within the school system is denied.

Members of the budget committee are Wayne Cantrell, Larry Summers, Marshall Ferrell, John Green, and Jack Barton.

In order to fully fund the school board's request, the county commission would have had to increase the local property tax rate by seventeen cents, something members of the budget committee are unwilling to recommend.

The proposed school budget includes a 3.2% pay raise for support staff or non-certified personnel and a 1.6% local increase to match the state's 1.6% pay hike for certified personnel (teachers). While members of the budget committee seemed to be in favor of granting the request, they have some questions about the proposed pay raises and want to meet with Director of Schools Mark Willoughby first before giving final approval on a recommendation to send to the county commission.

The budget committee also wants to question Willoughby on a couple of other budget issues, specifically the reason for an increase in the capital outlay request of $250,000 and whether it has anything to do with the renovation of the DCHS Science Lab. While budget committee members said they support the project, they would like to know if it is being funded in the current budget or next year's spending plan. They have also questions about a budget line item in the amount of $666,893 from the Education Jobs Fund, which Willoughby has previously said is federal one time monies.

The school board will now have to go back and revise its proposed general purpose budget for 2011-12, which as presented in its original form totaled $20-million 146-thousand 303.

The school board had originally proposed adding the following new positions:

Five new teacher positions
One Northside Elementary School 5th grade teacher
One Northside Elementary School physical education teacher
One DCHS math teacher
One county wide instruction coach teacher
One band assistant teacher

Two new assistant soccer coach positions

One new support staff position-DCHS site coordinator

One new teacher position-DCHS special education teacher

Three teacher positions which have been funded from federal stimulus (ARRA) money to be returned to the local general purpose fund now that the ARRA funds have been exhausted.

One educational assistant position which has been funded from ARRA money to be returned to the local general purpose budget

Three new assistant principal positions with benefits
One at DeKalb West
One at Northside Elementary
One at Smithville Elementary

The school board has also asked for the following increases:

Textbook adoption (Math)- $40,000
Updated hardware/software Accounting Department- $40,000
Minimal increase in utility costs- $6,000
Increase in maintenance of plant supplies- $23,000
Increase in fuel costs: $124,000
Increase in capital outlay- $200,000

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