Kingsport BOE seeks $500,000 from city to finish Adams Elementary

Rick Wagner • Feb 5, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — City school officials want to know if the Board of Mayor and Aldermen will come up with more than $500,000 needed to get Kingsport’s newest elementary school open.

Then they’ll decide whether to use more than $100,000 in leftover capital funds to help lessen the John Adams Elementary School shortfall.

So the Kingsport Board of Education at its regular Thursday night meeting delayed action on a change that would help make up the funding shortfall for Adams.

“It (the leftover capital balance) came from your fund balance, mostly the artificial turf program,” David Frye, director of finance for the school system, told the board.

Superintendent Richard Kitzmiller and Frye said there haven’t been any communications with city officials lately about how the shortfall would be made up, but Frye said the finished capital projects’ remaining balance needs to be zeroed out by June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

The board voted 4-0 with one absent to approve nine other changes that made up the fourth school budget amendment so far this fiscal year, but the school board declined the 10th change, which would have reappropriated $104,727 in unspent capital improvement project funds to Adams. It mostly is the $102,384 left over from the J. Fred Johnson Stadium artificial turf installation that came in under budget at $1,252,211.

The other money was $1,017 left over from the $25.7 million Dobyns-Bennett High School renovation and $1,326 left over after $311,232 in under budget structural repairs on J. Fred Johnson Stadium.

The leftover money was proposed to go to the $565,000 shortfall in the operation of Adams, which is opening near the Rock Springs area this fall, but BOE Vice President Randy Montgomery and member Pat Turner said they wanted to delay that move until they know if the city will make up the Adams shortfall, which includes one-time start-up costs.

“Our question is do we get the funding from the city that we thought was coming from the city?” Turner asked. “We don’t add that (leftover money) until we know what is coming from the city.”

Kitzmiller said the school system may have a smaller Adams shortfall if it gets some money back because it is using a geothermal heating and cooling system at the school.

Among the nine approved items in the budget amendment were to add $542,451 from the city’s share of a Hawkins County school bond issue of more than $10.7 million. The city already has received $345,213 of the money. Frye said the rest may come by June 30.

Another change was to cut the extended contract revenues from Tennessee by 13 percent, or $40,600, from the original $310,500 because of the midyear state budget shortfall.

The board also voted to take $37,477 in ConnectTN funds to help pay for the system’s $113,000 Internet connectivity and shift the local $37,477 to resurfacing the Dobyns-Bennett track, which Frye said would happen after track season but before Fun Fest this summer.

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