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School board says it will fix Neon water leaks




The Letcher County Board of Education agreed this week to take whatever steps are necessary to fix leaking water lines at Fleming-Neon Elementary School.

“I talked to the mayor today and we are still at a critical level. We need to be good stewards and do what we can to conserve (water),” said Board Member Sam Quillen.

Dr. Quillen operates a dental practice in the City of Fleming- Neon, where a water shortage was declared nearly two weeks ago. The school board acknowledged the water shortage at its December meeting Monday night.

“I guess we are all aware that the Fleming-Neon water system is short of water and it just came to my attention this afternoon (that) maintenance employees said that they had some real severe problems in terms of leaks and plumbing at the school,” said Board Member Attwell Turner, who lives in nearby Seco. “It seems to be an emergency and needs to be taken care of immediately.”

Jim Slone, director of operations

for the school district, said school maintenance workers repaired three small leaks on Monday,

but that eventually “the old galvanized pipes” will need to be replaced.

“Right now we are plugging holes,” said Slone.

“We just need to address this problem immediately,” said Board Chairman Will Smith of Whitesburg.

Quillen said Fleming-Neon, Martha Jane Potter and McRoberts elementary schools are all served by the Fleming- Neon water system.

Asst. Supt. Terry Sturgill suggested shutting the valves at night. Roger Martin, the district’s finance officer, said funding to solve the water problem will have to come from the general fund.

The board agreed to have Martin and the maintenance department do whatever is necessary to fix the problem.

In other business, Darrell Douglas, an architect with Sherman, Carter, Barnhart, said construction of the million-dollar baseball field at Letcher County Central High School is on schedule.

“You are starting to see the shape of a baseball field,” he said.

Douglas said the corners of the outfield had to be shortened a few feet to fit within the allotted space. He said the centerfield wall remains at the maximum length.

Martin reported that the current mileage reimbursement rate for the Kentucky Department of Education is 44 cents per mile through December 31. The amount may be adjusted when a new rate is set in January.

The board also:

• named Bill Stanley, a kindergarten teacher at Fleming- Neon Elementary School, as the district’s employee of the month.

• accepted the second reading of the proposed policy regarding writing portfolios. Sturgill said this would bring the board up to state standards.

• reaffirmed a resolution committing the board to student achievement. The board ordered the resolution posted in every school and included in parent/ student handbooks, on the school district website, and in the district newsletter.

• approved a request by XTreme Fun Inflatables to use facilities at West Whitesburg Elementary School for birthday parties on January 5 and January 12.

• gave permission to the Letcher County Central High School boys’ basketball team to participate in a tournament in Clinton County December 19- 22, and for the LCCHS girls’ basketball team to participate in a tournament in Middlesboro December 27-29. The board also gave approval for the LCCHS wrestling team to participate in a wrestling meet in Lebanon, Va., on January 24.

• approved Letcher Elementary School’s request to participate in Children Incorporated, a program which assists children in obtaining food, clothing, school supplies, and other basic needs.

• entered into an agreement with Neace-Lukens to provide workers’ compensation insurance for 2008 at a premium of $212,332.

• authorized Superintendent Craft to submit a letter to the Kentucky Department of Education requesting a waiver of the Master Educational Facility Plan and District Facility Plan until 2012. This action is based on the top two priorities listed on the current plan, which includes the new VoTech Center and renovations at Arlie Boggs Elementary School. The local Planning Committee agreed that these priorities should remain in place until completion.

• approved continuation of two mobile home site leases to Winston Burton at Arlie Boggs Elementary School and Bob Smith at West Whitesburg Elementary School. Burton and Smith are responsible for security at each site. Payment will be $75 each month for the rental of the site. Burton and Smith each will receive $50 credit for security services, making a monthly payment of $25 due by the first of each month.

• ratified an agreement with Maberry Consulting and Follett Library Resources for submission of a library grant application to improve reading achievement by providing students with current school library materials. If awarded the grant, Letcher County schools would receive well-equipped, technologicallyadvanced school library media centers and professional certified school library medial specialists.

• approved contract agreements

with ED-CET Inc. for evaluating the school-based random

drug testing grant and the crisis management grant.

• approved payment of $108,430.20 to Elliott Contracting for work it has done on the construction of the LCCHS baseball field.

• approved the financial report, payment of bills and transfers and payment of salaries for December 2007. Martin reported that the general ledger balance is $4,415,526.11.

• gave permission to apply for a mathematics achievement fund grant of $70,000 for Beckham Bates, Fleming-Neon and West Whitesburg elementary schools.

• approved the submission of a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant proposal for Whitesburg Middle School and Arlie Boggs, Beckham Bates and Fleming-Neon elementary schools. If awarded the funding, each school would receive $150,000 to focus on establishing after-school programs.

The next board meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on January 28 in the Lendell Smith Memorial Conference Room of the school bus garage.


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