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5K run/walk with a heart

Octoberfest will hold its seventh annual 5K run/walk on Tuesday, Sept. 27, in downtown Taylorsville, with all proceeds going toward medical expenses for Lisa Maskalick.

She and her husband, Shawn, own Spencer County Physical Therapy located in Elk Creek. Maskalick was diagnosed with stage 3 invasive metastatic breast cancer.

Last year, there were over 300 registered runners and walkers. A check in the amount of $10,266.58 was presented to retired TES teacher Devona Hickerson to fight ALS. Hickerson lost her battle with ALS on Nov 28, 2021.

Then-freshman SCHS student Casey Desilvey was the winner of the race, with a time of 15:39.4, almost a full three minutes ahead of second place finisher and high school cross country teammate Graham Dwyer, who came in at 18:38.1.

This time last year, The Spencer Magnet covered the 5K event from the view of an outsider, keeping up with those in the race, taking photos, and reporting on their progress and times. This year, the event will be covered again, only this time as a participant in the race, relying on friend of The Magnet, Mindy Rose of MDK Real Estate Photography, to cover the photo-taking duties.

The race kicks off at 6:30 p.m. The $25 early registration ends on Sept. 23.

The Kids Fun Run will begin following the last runner over finish line. The entry fee is $10 for early registration, $15 for late. No T-shirts will be given, medals only. For download an entrée fee, and to view a map of the course, go to www.scoctoberfest.com.

A listing of all the winners will be included in the follow-up story in the Oct. 5 edition.

For a personal pre-run editorial, see “Running” on the Forum page, page B4.

For questions on the 5K, call 502-422-2672.

The Octoberfest Pageants were held last Saturday. Winners with photos will be published in a future edition of The Magnet.

Octoberfest will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1. The theme for the 2022 festival is “Jungle; We’re “Wild” about our town.” Octoberfest is a community/family event with vendors and a kids’ zone and there will again be a beer tent in the parking lot in front of the county attorney’s office at 7 West Main Street. There will be an area available to purchase and consume beer, but it will not be allowed outside of the designated area.

There will be a Parade that civic organizations, school groups, and church groups are encouraged to enter a float in, which will leave the high school at 10 a.m. and will be ready to roll down Main Street at 10:30 a.m.

Just for fun, there will be a mullet competition this year. There are no rules, except it needs to be you own natural hair, with a first place prize of $75.

Also, you can show off your cornhole skills by entering the cornhole tournament. For more information, call Chris Graves, at 502-477-1712.

For more information, and to download entry forms, go to www.scoctoberfest.com.


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AG Cameron speaks at chamber luncheon

Attorney General Daniel Cameron was the main speaker at the Spencer County-Taylorsville Chamber of Commerce Nibbles & Knowledge Luncheon on Sept. 15.

Cameron started out his speech by telling the over 50 people in attendance about growing up in Elizabethtown, and working in his father’s local coffee shop. “Small businesses are the foundation of our country. I got to make cappuccinos and lattes, and I liked it, it was a good experience. I value the time that I’ve spent there shopping retail, and I know from how they had to handle business, any conservative approach the government says that the best way to ensure economic success is for Frankfort and Washington,” said Cameron. “What my office strives for is for businesses and individuals to find Kentucky a safe and hospitable place to call home. Businesses perservering are living proof of what the Commonwealth can achieve, when the communities are willing to come together,” he added.

In Cameron’s opinion, as communities have surpassed one hurdle, COVID-19 and everything that came with it, they’re facing another, record high inflation.

“Small business owners throughout the Commonwealth are impacted by inflation. Fortunately, provided administration has put together a policy wish list of needs. We need to restore common sense to Washington, and that’s exactly what my office is all about,” he said.

Cameron then discussed some accomplishments by his office. In the early days of the pandemic, the governor placed restrictions on travel when some-one left the state. Once back, the traveler(s) would have to quarantine for a period of 14 days. Cameron’s office went to federal court, and was able to get that travel ban rescinded because it was deemed unconstitutional.

The government also issued two executive orders that kept perishers from gathering in person for church. “That’s protected by the First Amendment. We believe that the legislature should be in a position of making determination of output, and not how we should manage ourselves. With all of those things, we saw that pandemic, and what I think people want, as we move forward, is an approach that is based on common sense and fair play,” said Cameron.

Another issue Cameron touched on was ESG investment practices. “ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance policies. ESG athletes don’t want public companies to prioritize shareholder return. You know what our pension is invested in? The best and brightest companies that will blow your money. Most said they want our public companies and hard earned dollars to enact social change. This is hardly the free market capitalism that you should support,” said Cameron. “Earlier this year, I released one of the first attorney general’s opinion in the nation on ESG investment practices, that included that ESG driven investing is not only un-American, but also incompatible with companies’ pensions,” he added.

Cameron also discussed the losses attributed to scams.

“We’ve often seen trends in 2021 of the most reported scams involving investment impersonation, and hidden investment scams that didn’t really involve the sale of fake financial opportunities. These scammers promise lower novice investments, guarantee generous return, and claim to have complex investment strategies to attract investors. Many of these cryptocurrency scammers capitalize on the growing popularity of cryptocurrency to reward investors and only their investments. The best way to avoid falling prey is to research before you invest, and be wary of guarantees of the promises and other top scheme that we’ve seen,” said Cameron.

“We’ve also seen an increase in identity theft. Over the last two and a half years, my office has worked diligently to send out regular letters to warn about both existing and potential threats, and we also set up a website to report scams at www.ag.ky.gov/scams,” he added.

Another topic that Cameron discussed was the the opioid epidemic in the commonwealth.

“Now, when I started my remarks, I talked about how together we can make Kentucky a safer, more hospitable place for everyone. And there’s no better way to do that than to fight back against the opioid epidemic. This drug crisis is wrong to many doctors, and to the families and loved ones, and has significantly hurt our workforce. Let me assure you that we have seen in my office the pain caused by drugs, and not only have we seen it, we’ve responded to your wants. The finalization of the settlement with some of the largest distributors and manufacturers of opioids was recently announced. These companies, Johnson and Johnson, Amerisource, Bergen McKesson, and Cardinal Health, will be paying a total of $478 billion for the role they played in exacerbating the crisis. And 50% of that money is going directly to our counties and cities, along with the other 50% being handled by the state.

“Earlier this year, my office announced the formation of the opioid abatement advisory commission to administer the state’s portion of these funds. We expect the commission will finance projects, treatment and recovery services, along with transportation scholarships for certified addiction counselors and behavioral health providers, prescription drug monitoring programs, training for law enforcement and health care providers, emergency response services, education initiatives, pretrial services, wraparound services, and other opioid abatement pro-grams. This division is comprised of community leaders from all across the Commonwealth, and it’s already held two meetings. I’m confident that their work will help break the cycles of addiction that have plagued our people for far too long,” said Cameron.

“In the meantime, I encourage you all in industry to give serious thought to how those settlement dollars can best serve your community. What programs are needed, what route can we come alongside, to assist in good work that they’re doing? Ultimately, how can these funds right the cycles of addiction? The road to curbing drug abuse will not be easy, but we are committed to staying the course of our workforce safety of our communities,” he said in closing.

SHELBY FARMS

Andrianna Marshall with Shelby Farms Senior Living sponsored the lunch consisting of chicken fingers, green beans, mashed potatoes, and peach cobbler with ice cream for dessert, provided by LakeCity Mart.

Marshall, her husband, and their four children live in Spencer County. Shelby Farms is a personal care and memory facility in Shelbyville, which is for those that have Alzheimer’s or dementia.

“So that is actually something I work with professionally and personally. I do a lot with the Alzheimer’s Association. There is a Walk to End Alzheimer’s coming up on Saturday, Oct. 15. I like to say that I support them so much, because I want to be put out of business one day. So it would be wonderful to not need a secured area for those that have Alzheimer’s or dementia,” said Marshall.

“A big thing for me is, if you ever have somebody who just have questions about Senior living, unfortunately, it’s a lot more complicated than people realize, until they’re in the midst of it, and they just don’t know what to do with their mom or dad, or their loved one. So I really just want to help give guidance if people ever have questions. We are having a presentation at the end of September about the 10 warning signs for Alzheimer’s, as well as a happy hour,” she added.

ACTIVE HEROES

The non-profit speaker for the month was Cortney Burden with Active Heroes. Their mission statement states that they provide a community through recreational and therapeutic services for the military and veteran population, and their families.

“So basically, what we’re doing is trying to give a lot of love and support to our active duty members, their families, but also our veterans. A couple of things that we do is host events. So the recreational part, that is where I feel like I specialize. We are really trying to recreate the atmosphere that’s on a base. If you’ve ever been on a military base when we have a cookout, or we’re celebrating the Fourth of July, you just have people coming from all over the nation, you have people who are maybe an officer, somebody who’s been in the Navy for 17 days, all of these people are around this event, and everybody finds a way to have a great time. We learn about each other, and we create a camaraderie that’s really hard to replicate out-side of that audience. What we’re doing in Active Heroes is trying to do the same thing. We want people to feel comfortable, but we want people to feel loved, and we want that camaraderie that you get when you’re in the military,” said Burden.

The Active Heroes campus consists of 147 acres and is located at 1022 Ridgeview Drive in Shepherdsville. “There are creeks, and streams, and beautiful trees, and there’s so much to do, and also maintain, which is where the volunteer part comes in. We have a disc golf course that is free. It’s something you can just kind of do with your family, your friends, you just need a break, or you want to connect with nature, come out and do that. We offer events like the Jeep Jamboree, which I love. I’m a Jeep owner, and I love the Jeep jamboree. The Jeep community is a large community, we love each other, and we love to show off our vehicles. We bring those people out, and they get to enjoy their retreat,” said Burden.

The Active Heroes campus also has therapeutic services, including equine therapy. “Active Heroes does a wide variety of therapeutic and recreational therapy, so I just want you to learn more about it. And when you they get involved in some capacity, maybe you’re someone that loves to weed eat, and if that is you, I will come immediately and get your phone number, because we have all these 147 acres, so that presents lots of weed eating opportunities. Maybe you’re someone who just wants to host a lunch or donate some money, and speak about your business, and how maybe your business could partner with Active Heroes. Or maybe you have a large group of people who love to donate, come out, and let’s talk about opportunities for your business,” said Burden.

“So, there’s so many ways you can get involved. The financial donation is one part, hard work through a weed eater or chainsaw is another part, but also, just sharing the word about what we’re doing, because it’s kind of hard to know everything we’re trying to do in one sentence,” she added.

“There’s so many things that you can do. Just come out there, and you’ll be hooked. It’s beautiful. It’s wonderful. Bring your family. This is something you can do with your friends and with your family. You’d be amazed by the amount of people that will get out. Once you see what we’re doing, and you get to be a part of it, because it’s not just volunteering, but you leave feeling better than when you arrived. I promise, just give us a chance. Go to www.activeheroes.org, and please get involved,” Burden said in closing.

PANDEMIC SURVEY

Jennifer Wilson with KIPDA was in attendance and handed out a pandemic survey. The purpose of the survey is to help inform the Economic Development Administration (EDA), and local governments of the county’s business’ needs since the COVID-19 pandemic began. To fill out the survey, go to www.resilientkentuckiana.org/covid-19/business-covid-19-impact-survey/.

Rivers Edge Venue & Rentals will providing the linens, chair covers, and center-pieces for the luncheon. For more information on the chamber, contact Dawn DeRossett at 502-387-0302 or visit www. spencercountykychamber.com.


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'Meat on Main' a classy affair

“Meat on Main” by Ventucky Creations was met with pleased patrons. The pop-up restaurant hosted two seatings for dinner on Saturday, Sept. 17. With both seatings filled, over 70 patrons dined on this delicious four course meal.

The one-night event was hosted at the local chamber of commerce. The building was trans-formed into a fine dining restaurant, and featured music from guitarist Aaron Crane. The well-lit room was a great atmosphere for date night, and to meet some new people at your table. With everyone excited for the meal, it was easy to chat with the guests at each six top table. People were buzzing about the menu that had previously been announced, and curious as to future plans.

The meal began with a spring mix salad with cranberries, and homemade croutons. It was a perfect start. The house-made vinaigrette had just enough tanginess and sweetness to get your taste buds ready for the next course. The appetizer was a hot brown arepa. This flaky pastry dough had diced tomatoes, sliced turkey, and bacon packed into it, and topped with a riff on the traditional hot brown mornay sauce. The sauce was something you wanted to take home by the gallon, it was so good. The main entrée was a slow roasted beef dish. The meat was so tender it split the moment the fork touched it. The carrots, potatoes, and asparagus were deli-cious, especially when you put some of the stewed sauce on them. It was finished beautifully with a sliver of sweet cornbread which helped to clean your plate all the way since it would be inappropriate to lick your plate in public. It was that good! The final course was a delicious des-sert with a local touch. French vanilla ice cream from a nearby creamery was on top of our very own Teacup’s chocolate cookie. The bourbon caramel sauce drizzled on top created the perfect-ly smooth bite.

The overall experience was incredible. The music was wonderfully soft, but still enough to keep you engaged. The company may have been people you didn’t know, but it was easy to connect with the excitement for the meal. This was a great way to meet more of the locals. Thankfully, the chef has plans to continue to do pop-up events in the coming months. You don’t want to miss this experience. A great addition to Spencer County.


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BOE passes 4% school tax increase

The Spencer County Board of Education gave the public an opportunity to voice its views on the proposed tax rate for the year.

And at the end of the public hearing and discussion during the regular meeting, taxpayers in Spencer County will see a decrease in their real property tax rates.

The possibilities ranged from the compensating rate of 57.7 cents per $100 of assessed property to a maximum rate of 60 cents, reflecting the 4% increase allowed by House Bill 44.

Melanie Mantle, Library Media Specialist at Spencer County Elementary School was the only person in attendance that signed up to speak. Mantle addressed the board asking them to support acting superintendent Chuck Abell’s recommendation.

“The 4% tax rate is what we need in this district to allow our schools to provide what is best for our students. We can’t wait on funding from the state or federal level. If we do, it’ll never come, or if it does, the money runs out quickly, leaving the local school districts with the burden of creating the revenue our schools need. We must count on our community to help fund education by education. I don’t just mean teacher pay raises. I mean recruiting and retaining teachers, paying for mental health professionals that can help the overwhelming number of students coming into our schools with these needs. And attracting support staff for our buildings. Education also means having a room to educate our students.

“Have any of you visited our schools lately? All of our schools are busting at the seams. SCES currently has enough students enrolled to receive another teacher, but our school legitimately has no room for another classroom. We are using every square inch of our building to accommodate classes and offices for our staff. I know TES’s flex rooms are over capacity in most rooms [also].

“If our community continues to grow at this rate, we need to make sure that our school system is prepared with sufficient funds to build new schools or add on to existing schools. People that are moving to our community are living here for quality schools and quality education. We need to make sure that those funds will be available by taking the maximum 4% increase that we can take each year. Again, please support Mr. Abell’s recommendation, so our county will be ready to educate our students now, and in the years to come. Thank you.”

REGULAR MEETING

Greg Murphy, Chief Financial Officer, presented the board and the 50 plus people in attendance with a breakdown of the tax options available. There were four options available, the tier one rate, the compensating rate, the subsection one rate, and the 4% increase. However, the board could set the rate somewhere between the those possibilities, and a higher rate could be adopted, but that would be subject to voter recall.

The real estate tax rate adopted last year was 61.9 cents per $100 of assessed value and with the 4% increase rate this year, there is a 1.8 cent reduction in the tax rate. This means the real estate tax rate can be lowered by 1.8 cents, and it will still generate an estimated 4% more revenue than the prior year.

“So some people might question isn’t it isn’t a tax decrease? Whatever the rate is that the board levies tonight, it will be a decrease in the tax rate. Whether a taxpayer pays less in property taxes ultimately depends on things that are not within the board’s control, meaning the property assessment. If a taxpayer lives in the part of the county that has been reassessed since last year, then that person very possibly may be paying more, even if the board lowers its tax rate. And my understanding is that typically about 25% of the county is reassessed every year.

“A home that was assessed last year at one amount, that same home assessed the same amount this year. The action that the board will take tonight will be a reduction in that person’s tax bill,” explained Murphy.

The highest real estate tax rate that was levied in Spencer County was in 2017, when it was 66.2 cents. The rate since then has steadily decreased to 61.9 cents last year. Some comparisons to other school districts and counties were presented. The average of the five counties surrounding Spencer County real estate rates adopted last year was 72.6 cents, with Spencer being at the bottom of that list, being 10.7 cents lower than that average, with Jefferson County being at the top.

The Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (OVEC) is made up of 15 school districts, including Spencer. The real estate rates adopted last year in the OVEC district averaged 75.4 cents, with Spencer being 13.5 cents lower. Frankfort Independent and Anchorage Independent were at the top of the list.

As far as revenue scenarios, the compensating rate is the lowest rate that typically would be adopted. If that was adopted, it would be a reduction of revenue into the general fund of about $137,000. The 4% increase rate would generate approximately $234,000 in additional general fund revenue.

Spencer County has had $55 million in new property growth in the past year, with $43.6 million being the average over the past five years. That kind of growth allows the district to lower the tax rate while still having the additional revenue that’s needed in a growing school district.

The district’s SEEK revenue is projected to be $10,768,000 for next year, a decrease of $322,000 since 2018, so less money will be coming in as costs continue to skyrocket.

“No matter what tax rate the board adopts tonight, the real estate tax rate set will mark the third decrease in three years, and it will also mark the fourth decrease in five years. Also, the real estate tax rate set will be the lowest rate that this board has had intended,” said Murphy in closing.

Abell then spoke to the board his rationale behind his 4% recommendation.

“There’s four basic pillars that are based on our conversation. First and foremost, it’s been pointed out that we are in the midst of a staffing shortage. It’s becoming increasingly more challenging to find quality teachers within the districts. Districts around us are addressing their salary structures to attract teachers, and in order to maintain competitiveness with those districts, [we need to be competitive in pay] to get the staff that we need.

“The second reason tonight are the ESSER funds, that are more than likely going to come to an end in a couple of years. We currently have six positions that are funded out of ESSER; intervention teachers at each school, and two mental health professionals. Those funds are going to be gone, and no longer available to us. Mental health issues are not going to disappear, and the gaps that exist with our kids aren’t going away. Those services are going to need to be continued to be provided for kids, and it’s up to us to do what’s necessary. There needs to be a revenue generator to offset that loss when the time comes.

“The third thing that I think is important to point out is that we are facing an unfunded mandate. The expectation is that all campuses have a School Resource Officer (SRO) in the upcoming years. I hope that the legislature gives us some funding to compensate for that, but there’s no promise of that taking place. The additional SROs required in the district would cost us about $250,000 each and every year. We currently have a contract for $58,000 with one SRO split between two people. That price does not include the equipment that’s required, such as weapons, vests and a police car parked out in front of each building.

“The last thing that I’ll touch on is one of the most concerning to me, not just for this scenario, but also in terms of our bonding capacity, and things that we’ve gotten moving forward. All of our schools are at the largest capacity that they’ve ever been. Our high school has over 1,000 kids for the first time ever. We have no place else to put our kids. And if you look at the real estate market, there are new lots being opened up in multiple areas all across the county, so that’s not going to get better. We’re going to have to find a way in the next three or four years to probably build a new elementary school. We’re going to need to find ways to potentially add on to the high school. It’s so important. We need to generate funds to plan for that, because at some point we’re probably going to be looking at land acquisition, and that’s not cheap.

“The bonding capacity is impacted by the decision you make tonight. Part of these funds will go into the capital outlay fund. The capital outlay fund determines what your bonding capacity is. Right now, we have a bonding capacity of about $27 million. At my superintendents conference that I just went to, construction was discussed, and it was pointed out that a project that used to be estimated at $200 per square foot is now going for $350 to $400, and those costs are not coming down.

“I think that asking for this rate is the most effective thing to do. You’re not always going to have this rainy day situation, or this perfect case scenario. You’re able to lower the tax rate, and generate 4% there’s going to come a day that you’re going to need the revenue, and you’re not going to be able to lower the tax rate. You’re going to have to raise the rate, and that’s not going to be a good scenario. I think you take advantage of the opportunity right now to lower the rate, and generate the 4%, and utilize it for the things I’ve discussed. So that’s the basis of my recommendation.”

In the discussion following Abell, board chairman Lynn Shelburne expressed her opinion of what the board should do. “So, as I look at the revenue scenarios, I can agree that taking anything less than a 2% increase is going to decrease our revenue, which would probably not be a good thing. So we’re looking at, in my opinion, anywhere between a 2% to 4% increase, and it doesn’t have to be a whole number. It can be a 2.5, 2.25, a 3.25, or whatever we choose for it to be.”

Board member Tim Truitt asked Abell about the funding for the SROs. “You mentioned possible funding for the SROs. Who determines for us when the funds would be allocated for those positions?”

Abell responded with “We have not been given a lot of clarity in that aspect, and the waiver form that we had to submit was just real generic, but was approved. The legislative regulation just simply states that when funds become available, so there’s really no direction on who determines when that’s available.”

Truitt then asked what would happen if the board elected to we go above the 4% and what the process would be. In that scenario, the board would be subject to a referendum that potentially would have to be voted upon by the community. There would have to be a petition, and it would have to go on a special election ballot, and if it does not pass, the board would have to start over.

Murphy explained the process in more detail.

“Tax bills have to go out as scheduled regardless, so it would be up to the board to say if you’re wanting to go above the 4%, then you are running the risk that a referendum would be successful. In which case you would not be able to get the increase that you were banking on, and you would have to pay for those tax bills to be redone for the school tax. If that were to happen, and if it did not pass, I believe the tax rate would be dropped to compensate,” said Murphy.

The board has to drop the tax rate regardless, because if left as is, an additional 7% to 8% worth of worth of revenue would be raised, and it would have been subject to the referendum.

Abell went on to add some more talking points on why the board should go with the 4% option.

“What the board adopts tonight as the tax rate will be the starting point for next year. So that’s why you have to look at it as a compounding effect. If you start at a lower number than the 4% increase, next year will be a lower number because the compounding effect would impact next year. If there continues to be growth, then you have more room to work with, in terms of what is generated in the future,” said Abell.

Shelburne once again expressed her concern with going for the higher rate.

“Mr. Abell, I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for what you’ve done this year. As far as looking at programs, and looking at ways we can save. That’s never been presented over the years, and I think we have maybe made a small savings in those areas, but I’m still struggling with the 4%. I think each of us have a look at our districts. I’m not in Elk Creek, where there are million dollar homes. Each of us represent our people, and we do what we feel is right,” said Shelburne.

In response, Abell said, “I’m trying to look for the big picture down the road. Three, four, five years down the road. Some of us may not be here, you know, but I know there’ll be tough decisions the board has to make, and I’m trying to put them in the greatest position for success later on down the road. So that’s the proposition again, I don’t like it any more than anybody else. I wish taxes can be reduced. I feel the pain, as my property value was increased by a $1,000. So I feel the same, but also know that the inflation that people experience, the school is experiencing as well. And our costs are increasing as well, and I pass that burden to us. There’s unfunded mandates to come our direction. We have to provide great things for our kids, in order to move forward.”

The vote to “establish tax rates of 60.0 on real property plus the exoneration allowance of .1 cent and 62.0 on tangible property plus the exoneration allowance of .1 center; exempting aircraft, watercraft, and inventory in transit; and establishing the motor vehicle tax rate at 56.0 cents and the utility tax at 3%” was passed with a vote of 4 — 1, with Shelburne being the lone ‘No’ vote.

This vote was greeted with an enormous applause from those in attendance.

OTHER AGENDA ITEMS

Comments from citizens

Todd Prace, president of the Sabretooth Wrestling Club, addressed the board about his concerns on the availability of safe space for members of the wrestling teams. Prace, along with other coaches and parents, voiced their concerns about the school district not following up on their promise of allowing to use the old TES cafeteria for a training area that was promised to them by now retired Director Jim Oliver last year.

“I started the club several years ago with the help of some other coaches. We are here on behalf of the club, and actually, the high school wrestling team as well. We moved into the cafeteria a couple of weeks ago, we were only given two days to practice. For the safety of the athletes and the coaches, in my opinion, that that’s really not enough when you’re talking building technique, building strength, building cardio, things of that nature when we get to the to the competition season,” said Prace.

Apparently, the two days are not regularly scheduled, the teams are able to use the space as it comes available.

“Asking a wrestling team who is an actual entity of the school district to shift their schedule constantly back and forth, I think as it is a little unfair,” said Prace.

“All we’re asking for is a safe, consistent space just like anybody else would. I know there are spaces within possibly even the elementary school, or the Early Learning Center, or even the middle school, that can be dedicated possibly to the wrestling program. And there are many reasons why that we would need those spaces. One of those big things is rolling and unrolling mats. That creates and breeds actual bacteria, leading to skin infections, such as staph, Mersa, and even ringworm, said Prace.

“We lost an athlete last year toward the end of the season because he absolutely could not get rid of his ringworm, no matter what we did. The only recourse I had was to pull him from the state tournament, and that was unfortunate for that young man who slated to be the number one wrestler in the bracket,” he added.

Last year, the wrestling program had two days of tournaments at the high school, one high school, and one youth. “In two days, this wrestling team, as a whole from all levels, garnered over $15,000 after paying the school district and the school for use of their space,” said Prace.

“We understand things will take time, and we’re not requesting to have it immediately. We’re just looking for a safe space for these young men, and women to train for five or six days. My goal at the end of the day is to get athletes that are so good, that they can travel around the world, and be part of World teams. I have had the pleasure of doing that with athletes in other places that I’ve coached. That is really what I’m here for. It’s for the athletes. I appreciate all your time,” said Prace in closing.

STAFFING ALLOCATIONS

Based on current enrollment numbers, SCES now qualifies for an additional teacher at the fourth grade level. They have increased 10 students in that grade from 123 (4.4 teachers) up to 133 (4.8 teachers).

“We’ve referenced growth already several times at this meeting. SCES is in a position where they have qualified for an additional future fourth grade level teacher. We are required by law to re-evaluate these by Oct. 1, but there’s really no reason to wait until our next meeting, because their numbers have surpassed that point,” said Abell.

The board voted unanimously to approve the hiring of one additional teacher for SCES. The cost of this teacher, approximately $52,500, would come from the General Fund.

ONLINE LEARNING MINI GRANT

A KyOLXC Kentucky Online Learning Experience Collaborative Mini Grant just became available this week, according to Abell. The grant of $5,000 that does not require a match and is being offered to the school district to allow the Virtual Academy teacher and coordinator, Mike Gross, to receive trainings, and make connections with other Virtual Academies throughout the state.

Professional development, and any assistance around Virtual Learning is almost nonexistent, so KET started this collaborative to assist districts throughout the state with ensuring a positive and effective virtual learning experience.

The grant runs through Sept. 30, 2023. Any monies not spent will be returned to KET. Grant monies can only be spent on travel to and from trainings and meetings, and any registration fees associated with the aforementioned trainings.

The motion to approve conducting an online learning experience collaborative was passed by all.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

The board then went into executive session for a discussion of status and strategy in proposed and pending litigation; and for discussion which might lead to dismissal of an employee.”

There was no action taken after returning to the public portion of the meeting.


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