BIC sets public meeting dates

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
BIC superintendent Gaylon Taylor holds up a replica of what one of the yard signs promoting the Sept. 16 millage election will look like.

The Buffalo Island Central School Board set two public meeting dates to discuss with parents as well as patrons the district's proposed new preK-12 grade facility to be built on Highway 18 at the Mississippi County/Craighead County line.

The meetings will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, in the BIC West cafeteria in Monette and Thursday, Aug. 28, in the BIC East cafeteria in Leachville. Parents and patrons are encouraged to attend the meetings. During the public meetings Superintendent Gaylon Taylor along with district faculty and others will address community concerns as well as the district's need for the project.

"I'm ready for the millage vote," Taylor said later in the meeting. "I have talked to people that are adamantly against it and people that adamantly for it. We have got to convey to our people that a no vote is a vote against education. I want to commend you guys (the board), you have done what is right and what is best for our kids. Someone had to provide an education for you and we have to provide an education for our kids now and future kids of this district."

Yard sign are ready to go up promoting the Sept. 16 millage election. If approved by the state the new preK-12 grade facility would for the first time bring together the Leachville and Monette campuses for a unified Buffalo Island Central School.

At the beginning of the meeting a grandmother raising two of her grandkids addressed the board about the difficulties of having one of her grandchildren bused to Monette. The woman explained that her granddaughter is in the third grade and they live in Leachville but because of space issues her granddaughter has to be bused to Monette with the high school students, which makes it difficult on her to have one child in Leachville and one in Monette.

"I will talk to both the principals and look into the situation," Taylor said. "If there is space at Leachville we will try to get her moved back there. Our current rule is the last in the district is the first to be bused, and we try to keep the numbers at both schools even. The shuttle bus is not a great situation but it is the best we have right now. I promise you I will look into this."

The district would like to eliminate these types of problems with the unified campus. Architects with Little and Cromwell as well as site manager Adam Seiter have been looking into grants for the plan. Because the BIC district has students from both Mississippi and Craighead County the Hazard Mitigation Plan for either county can be used for applying for funds for the new preK-12 grade facility's tornado safe room. Taylor said what would be a big help to the district is if the counties would update their Hazard Mitigation plans.

"We are not going to hide anything from the people," Taylor said. "People know the land for the new facility is in a low area but if we can use dirt close by it would be a cost savings. The land is more than suitable for building but we would like a full soil report so we know if we can use dirt on the property for fill."

The board agreed and a full soil report will be done. The group also discussed the possibility of getting a rural development grant to help with the cost of running sewer lines to the project. Later in the meeting the board passed a resolution giving Taylor the authority to sign for the district the land contract for the site where the proposed new school will be located. Taylor said the contract is ready and all parties have signed.

In other business the board accepted Bimbo Bakery's bread bid and Turner Dairy's milk bid. They also voted unanimously to hire Erica Davila to work in the cafeteria. Taylor said the district has advertised for bids to seal and do asphalt work on school parking lots. He also said the district is getting bids to repair storm damage. Taylor met with girls and boys coaches as well as elementary coaches and this year intermural teams will be 4-6th grades.

The next BIC school board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8, in the MAC facility.

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