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Citizen input sought on future of middle schools

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

Regardless whether the county’s two middle schools are renovated or the two are merged into a newly constructed building, it will require “some level of tax increase” to fund them, according to county officials.

As a result, Pulaski County Board of Supervisors will hold a public meeting Monday, Jan. 13, to discuss the future of the middle schools and hear input from the public. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the County Administration Building on Third Street in northwest Pulaski.

Pulaski County Administrator Pete Huber said the school board is obtaining proposals to determine the estimated cost of renovating or building. Since the cost will be contingent upon which option is pursued, he said, no estimate has been made as to how much of a tax increase would be needed.

A public notice advertising the Jan. 13 meeting states that “it will cost a significant amount of money” for either option. “The Board of Supervisors would like to hear general comments from the public about the debt obligations needed to pay for improvements and the corresponding tax requirements to meet this debt,” the notice adds.

Detailed information about a study the school board commissioned comparing renovation of Pulaski and Dublin middle schools to construction of a merged school can be viewed at the county website, www.pulaskicounty.org.

Comments

comments

56 Responses to Citizen input sought on future of middle schools

  1. Lucille

    January 8, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    we need everyone to try and attend the meeting on Monday the 13th. We the taxpayers of Pulaski County can not afford another debt. We will be paying on the other 2 schools for another 20 or more years. When the older citizens are gone then who is going to pay for this.You go and check the tax records and see how many citizens under the age of 40 own a house. So again I say, we can not build another new school.

    • Janet

      January 13, 2014 at 9:05 am

      How many of those older individuals bought their houses in the thirties or forties? That is the average age of people with children in this county. If we hope to have new and prosperous people move into this county then we must provide schools that are functioning and not about to fall down around the students’ ears.

  2. pchsdad

    January 8, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I agree 100% Lucille. Im not anti education or anything of the like (in fact I’m college educated), but the fact remains the the home owners of the county cannot handle this tax burden. If an alternative tax to real estate and personal property can be used to make this burden equal to all county residents, then I am all for it. I am thinking a tax like tobacco, meals or lodging would be more equally distributed thus making the burden more manageable and fair.

    • Janet

      January 13, 2014 at 9:06 am

      Would be nice, but there is no way that a sales tax would fund this expense.

      • pchsdad

        January 13, 2014 at 5:27 pm

        Then the burden should not be placed on the homeowners. Even better, show me a report that gives the breakdown of the savings from consolidation. There should be reductions in faculty and staff, savings from transportation that need to be shared. Another item of interest is if there is only one middle school, then there is only one sports team..no long two feeder schools into the high school, this means fewer kids getting developed….just a thought.

  3. Taxpayer

    January 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

    This county is crazy if they build a new middle school. Over $52 million is still owed on the existing new schools. Like Lucille said, who is going to pay for this??? Just let the old schools run their course. If a new school is to be built, it should be a new high school and make the high school a middle school. There’s plenty of land on the high school property, albeit wooded. Montgomery County citizens are up to their eyeballs in debt over all of their new schools and are getting taxed over and over again. Don’t let that happen here!!! Kudos to Frances Viars for standing up for the average citizen in Pulaski County!!!

    • Va Girl

      January 10, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      If there’s going to be another school merger whether the taxpayers like it or not, then yes…the topic of utilizing property already owned where the high school sits should be introduced at the meeting.

      We are already taxed enough, that is for sure.

    • MR

      January 13, 2014 at 11:42 am

      The current middle school buildings HAVE ran their course. If you read the same article as I did, you will understand that something has to be done NOW. The decision that needs to be made is to either renovate the buildings or build new school/s. I can not understand how anyone can reason with continuing to pour money into the existing buildings. Especially considering that most reports are suggesting that the cost would be about the same. I am a 40-something homeowner whose children won’t even benefit from a new school and I am all for it. I’d be happy to pay additional taxes to ensure that our children are safe. This subject has been beaten like a dead horse, it is time for the decision to be made.

  4. Tax payer business owner

    January 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Y’all have no clue. I own a small business and sit firmly to the right but my wife works in one of those middle schools. They are a nightmare and renovations are likly to cost as much if not more than building one new one. Bet y’all don’t have a clue how backwards out middle schools are compared to other locals. Did you realize that when the ancient intercom system at Pms stopped working no one could fix it so they gave them Walky talkies ? Or that the councilors office is a former broom closet less than 5×5? Yes it’s a tough pill to swallow but it’s unavoidable.

  5. taxpayer

    January 9, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    So instead of spending any money you would rather see our children sit in these run down buildings,where they barely have heat neither have a/c. Atleast give them some updating. Some modernization for learning purposes. Pulaski is ran down, outdated and unliked by many. So don’t bring the schools down with it.

  6. PC Parent

    January 10, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Have any of you been inside the middle schools lately? Trust me, they have run their course! We can only kick this can down the line so far. The middle schools have been neglected for too long and are now in terrible shape.

  7. MR

    January 10, 2014 at 11:59 am

    So let’s just raise our taxes a little bit now and FIX

  8. MR

    January 10, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    So let’s just raise our taxes a little bit now and FIX the 76 years old schools, and maybe just maybe the economy will miraculously improve and then we can raise taxes more to build a new school. I really don’t care if it’s a high school and move our middle school students into the current high school or not. But, it is time to consider our children of Pulaski and not the old folks that run everything. I have lived in Pulaski all my life and the motto has always been “If the rich social climbers aren’t going to benefit than it is not needed” OUR CHILDREN DESERVE BETTER SCHOOLS, F.Y.I. I AM A HOME OWNER

  9. Elizabeth

    January 10, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Don’t bring Monkey County into any conversations over here. That Board of Supervisor’s and the School Board approved pretentious schools. Take a tour of Blacksburg High and Price’s Fork Elementary to see what NOT to do. Pulaski County does not have the population or tax base to support two brand new middle schools.

  10. Jennifer

    January 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Everyone is so worried about their taxes going up and granted I am not excited about it but I have been in both middles schools in the past year for different events and they are both in terrible condition. I also think if the county decides to consolidate that both middle schools are in prime locations that someone may want to come in and build new homes or townhomes. I do not have a child that attends either school but I do know this is not fair to the children that do attend them or the people that work at them! I see so many people that love Pulaski Middle and how it overlooks the town. Then move the school board, all the county and town offices there and use the building. See how long they last without air condition in the summer or how long before they make improvements to have a better place to work! I would like to know what steps have been taken to SELL not rent out the other closed schools in the county. Newbern in a great location for people to build houses, close to the lake overlooking the countryside and historic Newbern. The old Riverlawn is in a great location to expand the neighborhood. If you could sell all the closed down schools it would be a considerable amount for rebuilding new schools!

    • pchsdad

      January 10, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Jennifer, no business or County administration jumps blindly into such a huge financial commitment, one that could bankrupt it. I agree the middle schools have seen there better days, for I attended them as well. The way this should be handled is in a 10 year plan. In this ten years, budget money, save money where revenue is greater than expenses and use this to fund the project. In the business world its call retained earnings. We the county should be able to self finance 50% of the costs ourselves. In the meantime, select the site, begin preparing the site using the county’s own manpower and resources. This can be done, and done in a method that least effects the ones that have to fund this, i.e. the real estate owners, not the renters, not the government subsidized housing, the ones who have a mortgage. I for one cannot afford for my house payment to go up $300 to $400 per month due to the increase in my escrow needed to pay the real estate taxes for this new school. THIS MUST BE DONE WITH THE LEAST EFFECT ON THE TAXPAYER.

      • Janet

        January 13, 2014 at 9:10 am

        Too bad a 10 year plan wasn’t put in place 10 years ago before the schools started falling down around our kids and a crazy expensive fix had to be made. That has been the problem-it has been put off and put off. Let’s just hope that something else big doesn’t happen in during the 10 year plan phase. Yes, I am a home owner.

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