Blount Money Woes

By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief
By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief

Maryville, Blount County (WVLT) - Classroom cuts and the potential for a new school. Those are just some of the items at stake in Blount County as the school board takes it's wish list to the County Commission.

In a rare meeting the Blount County commission met with the county's school board to discuss their budge increase request from just over 71 million dollars to 79 million. School officials said increased revenues would partially solve their request but would need an additional five million from the County Commission.

"I gives the county commission an idea, a more in depth idea of what the school systems needs really are. And I'm really pleased by the way the meeting is going so far," School Board Chairman Michael Treadway says.

Some commissioners questioned school board members on their decision to cut four classrooms to a proposed new elementary school in west Blount county.

"Under their guidelines that they label schools as, as soon as this school opens up day one it will be labeled intolerable," Commissioner Scott Helton says.

The group also hashed out old issues as Superintendent Alvin Hord said if it were up to him there would be two School Resource officers in the high schools and one in all the rest.

"I think for their safety and welfare of our children I think it's extremely important," Treadway says.

While school board members see their funding request as needs, some commissioners see them as items on a wish list and they may not get the five million dollars.

"Of course the commission is going to tell them I'm sure that we just don't have the money to fund that kind of increase," Mayor Jerry Cunningham says.

"I would see it a difficult task to generate some extra revenue by increasing the property taxes," Dr. Robert Ramsey says.


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