Nickel tax discussed

By Kelsey Gerhardt - [email protected]

The Middlebsoro Independent Board of Education met in a regular meeting on Tuesday.

Superintendent Steve Martin addressed the board and audience with a letter regarding his stance in favor of the nickel tax.

“Without this tax, we would be very limited as a school district with what we would be able to fix in the near future,” said Martin.

He explained the tax is important to ensure they received matching funds from the state and needed to replace the nearly obsolete HVAC system equipment from decades ago. He said the tax would be used for roofing, sprinkler systems and electrical and plumbing upgrades as well.

“I can honestly say, as I think most of the board would agree, that none of us like to pay taxes or additional taxes — no one does. I feel that this community, we need to do what’s best for our children and for the future of the children attending the Middlesboro Independent School District,” Martin added.

Citizen Ronnie Carter also voiced his opinion in favor of the nickel tax and stated he wants a better, improved learning environment for his grandchildren. No citizens signed up to speak in opposition of the tax.

If the tax is passed, it will only affect property owners in the Middlesboro city limits.

Martin announced that Louisville-based television station WHAS11s annual Crusade for Children gave a grant to Middlesboro schools — to be used for a set of iPads for special needs classrooms. Last year, a similar grant was given by WHAS11 to help fund a new special needs school bus.

A presentation was given which outlined renovations taking place at Middlesboro High and Middle School. The presentation was given by senior project manager Kevin Cheek with Louisville-based architectural firm, Sherman Carter Barnhart.

“We will be able to start school on time. I don’t foresee an issue with that, but the teachers, staff and the public will need to be aware that construction is an ongoing project,” said Cheek.

Cheek reminded the board that they will still have construction going on in the school buildings, possibly until the fall of 2016. A plan has been designed to insure students will not be bothered with construction matters during periods of standardized testing.

The next board meeting will be held at the Middlesboro Independent School Office at 6 p.m. on Aug. 18.

Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.

By Kelsey Gerhardt

[email protected]

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