Federal funds will be used to buy new buses

January 05, 2000

The Washington County Board of Education plans to get three new school buses, hire a new mechanic and buy supplies with military money.

Washington County Schools recently received $302,000 in federal funds related to the Army's closing of Fort Ritchie. The check was unexpected, according to Director of Budget and Finance Chris South.

The Department of Defense's Base Realignment and Closing Commission distributed the money to offset the financial impact and inconvenience of closing the installation. Children of military personnel were enrolled in the school district.

Following staff recommendations, the School Board voted to use the one-time allocation for items in next year's budget. The BRAC money reduces the board's request from the County Commissioners from $6.8 million to $6.5 million.


If the county approves the second quarter budget adjustments, the school system will buy three buses for $167,000. Textbooks, maps and globes will cost $117,000.

A master heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanic position will be created for $38,970. That cost is offset by the elimination of a project engineer's departure. The remainder of her salary was $20,781.

School construction projects for the next budget year have been fully approved by the state, according to Director of Facilities Management Dennis McGee.

The Interagency Committee on School Construction approved a $2 million allocation for South Hagerstown High School's $4.6 million renovation in November.

Last month, the IAC granted $4 million for the project, to be funded in the fiscal year beginning this July. The IAC also approved planning for Williamsport Elementary School.

McGee said that sets up the state to give $3.4 million toward that $6.7 million renovation project in the fiscal year beginning in July 2001.

School system employees can learn more about eight tax-sheltered annuity providers approved by the Washington County Board of Education at two upcoming general information sessions.

The School Board put out a bid for TSA vendors and worked with a consulting firm to review the responses. The board reduced the number of companies that will service employees in the future to eight.

Each provider was required to complete and certify annual calculations and indemnify the board in those calculations. The eight providers have signed contracts and will begin providing services July 1, according to Human Resources Director Phil Ray.

Informational meetings will be held at North Hagerstown High School on Jan. 20 and at Springfield Middle School on Feb. 3. Both sessions begin at 7 p.m. Brad Smith of the consulting firm Bolton Offutt Donovan will lead the sessions.

A TSA fair featuring representatives from the eight companies will be held at Springfield Middle School at 9 p.m. on Feb. 24.

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