Sales Tax Referendum, New Bleachers on WCBOE Meeting Agenda
A sales tax referendum and new bleachers were on the agenda for the Wheeler County Board of Education during its monthly session on January 8.
The Board adopted a resolution to hold a referendum during a regular election on May 21 to continue a one-cent sales and use tax to finance capital outlay projects and retire previously incurred debt in the Wheeler County School District. The sales tax currently being collected in the county began on April 1, 2021, and is anticipated to reach its collection maximum prior to its expiration on March 31, 2026.
The new tax, if approved by voters, will commence on April 1, 2026, or the first day of the calendar quarter immediately following the quarter in which the Sales Tax for Education now in effect is terminated. The proceeds of the tax will be used for retiring previously incurred general obligation debt and financing capital outlay projects for educational purposes at a maximum collection of $3 million.
The Board also approved the purchase of new aluminum bleachers for the Wheeler County stadium at a cost of $40,000. The new bleachers will replace aging wooden seating on the home side of the stadium. Seating on the visitors’ side is aluminum and was installed in the 1990s.
School System Facilities Director Gregory Wilcher said the new aluminum seating can be ordered and received within four to six weeks, and will be installed by system employees. He said the seating is durable and easy to maintain. During the session, the Board discussed the need for new lighting for the baseball field. Current lighting is obsolete and poles are in need of replacement. Wilcher will research replacement products and costs and the Board will receive an update in the near future.
The Board approved the allocation of $100 per night for bus drivers’ overnight stays while transporting students to out-of-town events. Lodging for the drivers is funded through the budgets of organizations requiring transportation.
A resolution signifying the completion of the system’s project to construct its new K-12 school was passed by the Board. The action enabled documents to be finalized so the system can receive final reimbursements from the state which funded a major portion of the construction costs.
The Board also approved the $50,000 purchase of a used heavy duty truck with winch and bucket capabilities to include in its fleet of vehicles for use by the transportation and maintenance departments. Funds from the system’s earlier auction of excess equipment after moving to the new school will be used to fund the purchase.
Over the holidays, the state issued retention supplements to school employees. The state allocated to Wheeler County $1,000 each for 105 employees, around 66% of its staff. Superintendent Suzanne Couey stated that superintendents in surrounding counties had reported similar funding percentages. While the Board had the option to divide the 66% in funding between all of its 160 employees, the Board voted to allocate $1,000 each for all full-time employees and $500 each for part-time employees. Funds will come from the system’s General Funds.
The Board approved rehiring Tim Quigley, who previously served as Wheeler County Middle/ High School Band Director. He replaces Glaeden Boyd whose resignation was accepted by the Board.
Other personnel changes included the resignation of paraprofessional Maci Spell; the employment of Janie Cahill as Wheeler County Elementary School (WCES) Counselor, replacing Kelli Rice; the hiring of Christie Jones as WCES paraprofessional, replacing Maci Spell; and the hiring of Sue Bridges as substitute kitchen staff.
The Board’s 2024/2025 calendar was approved with one change, the October meeting will be held on the first Monday of the month due to a federal holiday; otherwise, the Board will meet on the second Monday of the month. Board and System calendars are posted on the System’s website.
The Board’s next session is scheduled February 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Board office in Alamo.