Whitesburg KY
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Vocational school will cost more, take longer, school board is told

The Letcher County Board of Education has learned that an absence of solid rock under the construction site will require extra work and more money for the new vocational and technical building.

Terry Sturgill, director of special projects, told the board on Sept. 16 that W.D. Construction can fix the “soft spot” by installing aggregate piers for the right corner of the foundation at a cost of about $135,000. Sturgill said 126 holes will be drilled about a foot or two apart in line with the foundation. The holes, which will be 30 inches in diameter, will be filled with pulverized rock.

Sturgill said it will take a week for the company to create a plan and layout. Then all of the equipment will be moved to the site and the drilling will begin. Sturgill estimated that it will take about a week for the holes to be drilled.

“We’re still probably talking a month before we can begin the foundation,” said Sturgill.

The new Letcher County Area Technology Center is being built next to Letcher County Central High School at Ermine.

The board approved a tax rate of 46.6 cents per $100 of real estate, which is the compensating rate. Last year’s tax rate was 39.6 cents per $100 of real estate.

“In order to participate in state funding, you have to pass the compensating rate,” said Anna Craft, superintendent of the Letcher County School System.

The compensating rate is designed to give the school district the same amount of money it received from taxes last year.

Gary Caldwell, district finance officer, said assessments, which come from the property valuation administrator, dropped because of the value of gas and oil.

“The assessments last year were up at the ceiling,” said Will Smith, chairman of the board. “The assessments this year were down at the ground.”

The tangible personal property tax rate of is 46.6 cents per $100 and the watercraft property tax rate is 49.6 cents per $100. The utility rate is set at three percent.

The board approved the percentage rate for the sheriff ’s tax collection to be four percent for the first month of the collection and three percent thereafter, which is the same rate as last year.

The board’s regular meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 at the school bus garage.

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