UPDATED; Talladega City BOE approves budget, capital improvement ‘wish list’ | The Daily Home

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the fact board member Sandra Beavers questioned a series of checks written to one constractor. A previous version said the checks had been written to multiple contractors, but that was incorrect.

TALLADEGA — The Talladega City Board of Education voted 4-0 to approve a budget that included a slight deficit and 3-1 to approve a five-year capital improvement project during a meeting Tuesday evening. 

Board Chair Mary McGhee was not present for the meeting, and board member Sandra Beavers cast the dissenting vote against the capital improvement budget. Beavers did not explain or defend her “no” vote.

Board member Chuck Roberts acted as board chair in McGhee’s absence. The meeting took place on the Zoom platform; Beavers could not be seen at all by the other participants and was late in casting her vote on most occasions.

The capital improvement plan is what Superintendent Tony Ball described as “basically a wish list” consisting of 18 projects costing between $50,000 and $35 million. The latter project involves the “construction of a new middle school or a single elementary school” using an unknown funding source. 

The capital five-year plan, which is not binding but must be submitted to the state Board of Education, also includes a $100,000 paving project and $500,000 for new concessions and restrooms at Mary Dumas Stadium.

The budget is essentially the same as the one discussed previously.

According to Chief Schools Financial Officer Lesley Bollendorf, two grants, for gifted and at-risk students, resulted in an increase in both revenue and expenditures, which balanced each other out. As a result, the final budget still shows the same $400,000 difference between revenues and expenditures as the draft presented last week.

The system begins the year with a fund balance of $4.6 million, meaning the board is still expected to have more than $4 million in reserve at the end of the year.

The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

  • Approved the minutes of the Aug. 11 and Sept. 1 board meetings by a vote of 3-1, with Beavers dissenting;

  • Approved the Unsafe School Choice Option Policy based on the state policy. The policy, which is required by the state, allows students who have been the victim of violence at one school, to transfer, without penalty, to another school within the same school district;

  • Approved revisions and updates for the job description for payroll clerk;

  • Approved a supplement for Patricia Carthy for the ROTC drill team;

  • Hired Joseph Darden (replacing Alyssia Smith as 12-month custodian at Salter Elementary School) and Antoinion Tanner (itinerant nine-month custodian);

  • Accepted the resignation of bus driver Calvin Jones;

  • Approved family leave for Tamron Graham, CNP worker, at Salter;

  • Tabled the desktop technology technician job description and salary schedule;

  • Approved the regular monthly financial report by a vote of 3-1, with Beavers dissenting;

  • Heard Beavers question several checks written to one contractor for various maintenance jobs and request a time line of when work on these projects had started;

  • Heard board member Jake Montgomery ask if the board had money available to purchase two new buses for the coming year. Bollendorf said there was money in the budget for one, and she would check on fleet renewal funds for the other;

  • Approved a field trip request checklist for athletic events only; and

  • Once again heard Beavers say parents in her district were “confused” by the use of the Apex computer learning program, a self-guided program for students who will not be returning to class next month. Ball had previously asked for a list of parents who had contacted Beavers with concerns but said Tuesday she had not provided the list.

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