By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
Money was on the minds of the Corbin Board of Education, and on Thursday, board members gave the thumbs-up to motions involving a bond sale and a bond application.
Those actions were taken during the board’s regular monthly meeting held at the Corbin Center.
They started off by calling a special meeting of the Corbin Independent School District Finance Corporation and approved a resolution for the finance corporation to authorize the sale of 2013 refunding bonds, to advertise for the sale of the bonds, and to adopt all documents for the proposed bonds’ sales.
The board said the resolution would refund the finance corporation’s 2009 Build America Bonds (or “BAB’s”) in order to achieve debt service ratings.
School Board Chairwoman Kim Croley said the refinancing would cost the board an investment of $6,000 to get $400,000 back.
“That’s money that’s good for the next four months. It’s like closing costs on a house mortgage,” she noted after the meeting.
Greg Phillips of the investment firm Hilliard Lyons told the board the reason for the refinancing was due to the “sequestering” in Washington, which has caused across-the-board cutbacks in the federal government. He added the new bonds would be tax-exempt and have the ability to be refunded anytime.
“It’s not a huge investment. Investing $6,000 to get $400,000. … Even if we don’t sell, we have the possibility of getting in the market. We won’t sell the bonds until next Thursday,” he said.
When the regular board meeting resumed, the bond application was discussed midway during the session.
That involved applying for QZAB (Qualified Zone Academy Bonds) to make renovations to the Corbin Area Technology Center, to approve Hilliard Lyons as the financial agent for the bonds, Sherman-Carter-Barnhart as the architect, Hacker Brothers, Inc. as the construction manager, KTA, Inc. as the engineering firm, and a BG-1 (Buildings and Grounds) document to the Kentucky Department of Education.
Superintendent Ed McNeel said the bond would be for $1 million in renovations to the Tech Center.
“It’s the second round of applications. … There are two sites that are really in need of renovations, the middle school and especially the Area Technology Center. … This would be an outstanding start in improving this (the Tech Center),” he noted.
After a motion was made, the QZAB application was approved.
In other actions, approval was given to create up to three school nurse positions and the salary schedule for the position for the 2013-14 school year. In addition, they approved a modification to the school nurse job description, eliminating the requirement to hold a bachelor’s degree, and to require a school nurse to hold a valid Kentucky registered nurse certification.
Also approved was the district to participate with Eastern Kentucky University and the Clinical Apprenticeship for Preparing Teachers grant initiative, with the district receiving a sub-award of $104,171. Croley noted the total amount of the grant is $500,000. A contract with Air Source Technology, Inc. to provide an Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act three-year re-inspection, on authority of the Kentucky Division of Air Quality, with the electronic version costing $1,680. A cooperative membership agreement with the Kentucky Educational Development Corporation for $4,064.08 was approved for the upcoming school year. And the board approved continuing their participation in the energy manager partnership program with the Laurel County and Williamsburg Independent school districts for the new school year.
Also, approval was given for the final documents for the turn lane project at Corbin Primary School, the tennis and soccer lights project, the lighting protection system project at Corbin Primary, and the trash compactor at Corbin Middle School.
Kentucky Educational Collaborative for State Agency Children memorandums of agreement for the new school year were approved for two state agency children’s programs — one with ASPIRE for $41,510, the other for the Corbin Educational Center through the state Department of Juvenile Justice for $91,915. In addition, the Day Treatment Fiscal Year 2014 contract with the state Department of Juvenile Justice was approved for $81,000.
Board members also approved a deed of easement for the City of Corbin for a walking path, which is part of the city’s Bacon Creek Trail project. School Board attorney Bob Hammons said the city is working on the project which would start where Whayne Supply Company is, go behind Johnny Wheels, with a lot of the trail built on existing blacktop.
“Future plans are to continue up to the bypass. It will be a bike and walking track, which would be lit at night, and be handicapped accessible. It’s going to look and be nice,” he pointed out.
McNeel gave an update on school facilities, saying the last coal-fired furnace in the district was being removed at Corbin Intermediate School. In its place will be two new gas-fired furnaces that will be installed and ready for the new school year. He added renovations at Corbin High School are almost finished.
“We will have school open in August,” McNeel said.
Toward the meeting’s end, the board discussed the recent assessment sent out by KSBIT, the Kentucky School Board Insurance Trust. The insurance pool for public schools in the state defaulted earlier this year, and after KSBIT’s default, Corbin and other public schools will be required to make an annual payback over a 20-year period.
It was noted KSBIT gave districts until June 21 to respond to the assessments, with KSBIT giving two estimates on the payback — one of 55 percent confidence, the other with an 80 percent confidence.
Croley said after the meeting that KSBIT’s wording is vague.
“It’s their way of saying ‘We think you’re going to owe us, say, an 80 percent chance you owe us $1,000.’ How do you make the decision when you don’t have the numbers? KSBIT needs to give final numbers before we have to make a decision,” she stated.
The school board went into executive session to discuss threatened litigation. When they returned from the executive session and returned to the regular meeting, Hammons announced no formal action was taken. But the board did choose to have McNeel write a response to KSBIT in regards to the assessment. A motion was made and approved.
Before the school board meeting, 11 employees who retired from the district this current school year were honored at a reception. The retirees were given a large engraved crystal bowl and special recognition for their years with the school system.
The 11 were Billie Brown, an instructional monitor at Corbin Elementary; Charles Chrisman, a teacher at Corbin Middle School; Cindy Creech, a teacher at Corbin High; Cheryl Godsey, a cook and baker at Corbin Primary; Janice Lawless, a teacher at Corbin High; Joy Miller, a teacher at Corbin High; Judy Mitchell, lunchroom manager at Corbin Primary; Debbie Prewitt, a teacher at Corbin Primary; Elizabeth Reese, a teacher at Corbin Primary; Mary Stamper, a secretary at Corbin Educational Center; and Ruth Wagers, a cook and baker at Corbin Primary.