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Macon schools get $100,000 more from county

Macon County Schools got a little extra to fix up their buildings when some bids for the Parker Meadows recreational complex came in low. All of the extra money went to education, with $39,400 going to Southwestern Community College and $100,000 to MCS’ capital outlay fund. 

“Everybody’s familiar with the new schools Macon County built over the last few years,” County Manager Derek Roland said. “The schools aren’t new anymore, so there are things that are happening and little fixes that need to be made, and in some cases big fixes. HVAC systems going out, leaky roofs.”

The first of the “new” schools built, South Macon Elementary, was completed in 2000, so at this point it’s 14 years old. In its spring budget request, MCS had asked commissioners for $700,000 in capital outlay, but the recommended budget allocated only $99,000. When extra funds became available, commissioners were happy to point them toward the schools. 

In an ideal world, though, the line item would be for more than $200,000, said Commission Chairman Kevin Corbin. 

“You should be allocating at least 1 percent of the cost of your building,” he said, “and in rough numbers the buildings are worth about $50 million, and that’s probably on the low end.” 

The school district hasn’t yet decided how it will use the extra funds — there’s a long list of possible projects to pick from — but they’re happy to have some extra flexibility in a year of tight budgets.

“I certainly would like to thank Chairman Corbin and County Manger Derek Roland and the other commissioners for increasing our funding at all,” Superintendent Chris Baldwin said.