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School-needs plan cut to $32 milion

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By The Staff

By DAMON LAWRENCE

dlawrence@roanecounty.com

Roane County Board of Education reached a unanimous decision on another building plan during a special-called meeting Thursday.

The price tag is $32 million, $15 million less than what the school board previously asked for.

It’s still an amount the Roane County Commission may not be willing to fund this year. To do so would require a large property tax increase, one even greater than the nearly 12-cent hike that’s being proposed to run the new jail.

Some commissioners have said they don’t think the decision to fund the building program should be up to them.

“We need to let the people vote on that,” Commissioner James Brummett said earlier this week. “We got an election coming up (next year), and that’s an ideal time to do it.”

The school board’s $32 million plan calls for several renovations throughout the system.

The plan includes one new school, an elementary between Oliver Springs and Dyllis.

School board members also said the system has numerous other capital needs that aren’t part of the plan.

“Everybody pray for TVA,” school board member Hugh Johnson said.

In what it says would help make Roane County “whole and better,” the county’s long-term recovery committee has asked TVA for $45 million for the school system’s capital needs.

Those needs existed long before the fly ash disaster that occurred at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant, but the recovery committee contends the money is fair reparations for the county.