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Budget woes for BOE

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By Beth Braden

Campbell County Schools are looking for a way to operate on $1.4 million less than they had last year.

But despite the shortfall, the board of education passed the fiscal year 2012-13 budget on Tuesday night.

“The school budget is a reduced budget compared to the previous year, substantially reduced. We’re still in need of additional funding,” said Jeff Marlow, Campbell County finance director.

While the approved budget accounts for $1 million in lost funds, the board of education still needs to come up with the remaining $420,000 dollars.

“It [the budget] requests the county commission to provide the additional $420,000 in the form of property taxes,” Marlow said.

If the commission decides not to provide the money, the board of education will have to revise its budget by making more cuts. Marlow says building projects could be cut if the county commission doesn’t fund the money.

“They’s $526,000 there so they can eliminate all but $100,000 of it and be back in balance,” he said.

Board member Johnny Creekmore was the only one to vote against approving the budget.

“We didn’t get here overnight, and we’re not gonna get through it overnight,” said Campbell County Director of Schools Donnie Poston.

In other business, the board of education heard from Jon Craig of GlaxoSmithKline who proposed an employee vaccination program within the schools.

“We wanted to make sure we keep all the employees healthy as best we can. It doesn’t cost the school districts any money. Those employees interested in participating in this, it is paid for out of the insurance,” Craig said.

Craig says that GlaxoSmithKline has started similar programs in Union, White, Putnam and Scott Counties, as well as in Oneida. Employees will be vaccinated for diseases such as Whooping Cough, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

E.L. Morton, Campbell County Chamber of Commerce director, addressed the board about a 1.23-acre section of ground by Shoney’s in Caryville. Morton proposes using the land as a county tourism information center, but a utility easement and TVA restrictions complicate the plan.

“We understand the restrictions TVA has on that ground. We have couple of approaches we think can benefit the county,” Morton said.

Board member Eugene Lawson expressed concern that tourists could become lost trying to navigate their way off and back onto on the interstate.

“If you can’t find your way through, they aren’t gonna come back if they come the first time,” he said.

Before any plans for a tourism center can move forward, the chamber will have to get approval from TVA.