Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

BSB told of ROW lease

By Staff, 08/6/18 10:31 AM

BLEVINS – Members of the Blevins School Board weren’t thrilled to learn a section of school property was leased as a permanent right of way to Centerpoint Energy.

In a special meeting of the board, held Aug. 2, Superintendent Stephanie Dixon informed the board former superintendent Billy Lee had made the deal with the natural gas company, leasing the property for $6,800. Centerpoint has to have access to the pipeline being run under the land, which means no permanent structure can ever be placed on the property. The examples given by the board were a football or soccer field. Dixon said Lee didn’t discuss the transaction with the previous board, nor did he have to as the price was less than $10,000.

According to Dixon, Centerpoint would have been willing to work with the district had the company been contacted before digging started. She said the district can file an injunction against Centerpoint, but the district has no guarantee it would win.

There was discussion as to the legality of the transaction as school property can’t be sold as it belongs to the public, not any individual. In the end, it was decided to get a second opinion from another attorney to see what the district’s position is.

In other business, Dixon told the board the district generated $260,000 in Title I funds last year and is set to receive $311,000 this year. However, it was discovered more than $100,000 was not spent from last year’s federal grants. She said the Arkansas Department of Education worked with her to get the money moved into this year’s budget, adding the district must spend 85 percent of these funds and is allowed to carry over 15 percent.

The board agreed to spend $3,000 to enter into a contract with an unspecified company to help the district make sure it’s using its federal grant money properly and making sure the money is spent.

Dixon informed the panel she ordered school supplies for students, spending roughly $40 per student, buying everything but notebook paper. This, she said, was done because many families in the district have trouble furnishing supplies for their children. Overall, she told the board, the cost was less than $4,000, with the funds coming from the National School Lunch Act (NSLA) money.

The board approved policy updates for the 2018-19 school year. It was pointed out this is normally done in March, but circumstances at the time prevented this from occurring. Dixon said school couldn’t start until the policies were approved and the year is set to start before the board’s regular meeting on Aug. 13.

The board also approved changes to the handbook. The main change centered around students being eligible to be valadictorian or salutatorian if they transferred to the district from approved schools in the second semester of their senior year. The board voted to allow such transfers if they occur prior to the start of the second semester of a student’s senior year.

The board approved allowing two students to leave the district, while approving four to move into the district.