Proposed Harrison school budget calls for $2 million
by Gail Marsh
New roofs, paving projects, yards of carpeting and
a science lab renovation are some of the projects being considered in the
Harrison County Board of Educations 1999-2000 budget, according to a preliminary
Board members spent a day last week looking over
the projected $71 million budget for the next school year, which is a $2
million increase over last year.
We made up this tentative budget after getting
input from staff throughout the county, and we feel it makes good use of
our limited resources, said Robert E. Kittle, superintendent of schools.
Most of the increase in this years budget is due
to the recent pay raises for state employees and increased allocations
for the public employee insurance and retirement programs. The state will
reimburse the county for those additional expenses.
More than 87 percent of the budget is set aside
for salaries and benefits, which leaves 13 percent to cover utilities,
maintenance, transportation, food service and other miscellaneous expenses,
We try to spend our tax dollars wisely, and we
appreciate the support weve been given from the county with the excess
levy. Its helped to provide things we couldnt do without, he said.
The excess levy next year will provide more than
$1 million for textbooks and nearly $1 million for teaching supplies, equipment,
library supplies, science equipment, special education staffing, extracurricular
activities, band and music programs and art and technology supplies.
Each school gets a share of the money based on a per-pupil allocation.
The excess levy, which runs through 2001, also will
provide more than $840,000 next year for building and facilities projects.
Tentative plans call for new roofs at Lincoln High School, Washington Irving
Middle School and Johnson
The money is also slated to replace doors at a number
of schools, renovate the science lab at South Harrison High School and
replace carpeting at Big Elm Elementary, Nutter Fort Primary and Intermediate,
Lincoln High School and South Harrison Middle School.
Levy funds for athletic facilities total $250,000
in next years budget. South Harrison High School is scheduled for the
biggest allocation, $108,000, to help bring the schools football field
up to Secondary Schools Activities Commission specifications. Tentative
plans call for a fence to be constructed around the field, replacement
of goal posts, repair of the home side bleachers, the addition of band
bleachers to the end zones and an increase of 500 general seats.
This has been a priority for us and we hope to be able to get these
projects under way as soon as the budget is approved, Kittle said.
Other schools and tentative allocations include:
Bridgeport High School, $46,000 for fieldhouse and bleacher repair and
construction of a weight room; Bridgeport Middle School, $12,500 for outside
restrooms; Liberty High School, $28,000 for sports equipment and gym floor
refinishing; Lincoln High School, $35,000 for new dugouts and bleacher
repair; and Robert C. Byrd High School, $20,000 for field maintenance and
We get many, many requests and we cant fill them
all, but we feel this is a good, balanced budget that does provide for
a great number of those requests, Kittle said.
If there are funds to carry over at the end of this
year, some other projects may be considered, but Sharon Haddix, board treasurer,
said it is still too early to tell what the bottom line will be. Last year
the school board had a leftover balance of just $100,000 out of a $69 million
Right now were looking at about $400,000 as an
ending balance, but we have a few more months to go. We can always make
an adjustment in July, she said.
A copy of next years tentative budget will be available
for public viewing after April 18 at the school board office on E.B. Saunders
Way and at the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library.
A public hearing will be held April 28 before the
board approves a final budget. A copy must then be sent to the state Department
of Education by April 30 in order to obtain state approval.
North View home sustains heavy damage
by Gail Marsh
No one was injured in an Easter Sunday afternoon
fire that caused more than $45,000 in damage to a house in North View,
fire officials said.
The blaze began shortly before 2 p.m. at 1301 N.
14th Street, a 2 1/2-story, stucco house owned by Marty Antoine. Antoine
reportedly lived in the home with his two daughters, Mary Jones and Kay
Perry, and their three children ages 12, 12 and 7.
According to Clarksburg Fire Department Capt. Joe
Gonzalez, when firefighters arrived they found the front room on the second
floor of the house fully involved.
Gonzalez said Mary Jones was in the kitchen cooking
lunch and was not aware that a fire had started on the second floor.
As I understand it, a passerby called when he heard glass breaking
and then saw the flames shooting out of the second floor. With the wind
the way it was today, once the windows broke the flame spread very quickly,
The North View engine, which was on scene within
one minute after the call, was joined two minutes later by firefighters
from Central Station. Gonzalez said one crew attacked the fire from the
first floor stairway while a second crew laddered to the porch roof and
fought the blaze though the front windows. The remaining firefighters hosed
down the roof and extinguished hot spots from the ground.
The fire was under control within 20 minutes, but
firefighters remained on scene for two hours to ensure that the fire was
out. The blaze was contained to three rooms on the second floor and to
the attic, while the first floor received water damage.
The familys pet hamsters, housed in a bathroom
on the second floor, were overcome by smoke, Gonzalez said.
It is believed that the fire started in the front room of the second
floor of the house, but no cause for the fire has yet been determined,
Clarksburg Fire Inspector Bernard Fazzini began
an investigation on Sunday, and the investigation will continue again today.
Clarksburgs first Citizens Police Academy set to
by James Fisher
With the Clarksburg Police Departments first Citizens
Police Academy coming to an end Tuesday night, at least one of the students
says she feels sad the sessions are over. Its kind of like being 18 and
playing your last few games, Mary Kay Oliverio said at the next-to-last
class. Thats not really a good analogy, but its the best I could think
Graduation ceremonies are set for Tuesday at 6:30
p.m., but Police Chief Raymond Mazza said this is not necessarily the end
for the class.
Class members will have alumni meetings once a month
for citizens and police to interact and talk about problems and solutions,
The class has met for three hours each Tuesday since
Jan. 5 and class members say they have bonded with each other as well as
learned about the trials and tribulations of being a police officer.
T he 15-week course covered a variety of topics ranging
from hiring officers, domestic law, firearms safety and traffic violations
to court procedures and department hirings.
The class also took field trips to many city and
county law enforcement facilities as well as the Central Regional Jail
in Flatwoods. We kind of expected a classroom-type situation, but the
discussions have really opened up, said Mike Kozakewich. On the breaks
you see people talking and discussing things and sometimes getting into
arguments. Then when the officers come back, theyll ask their opinion.
Class discussions sometimes even take on a life
of their own, he said. Members will sometimes talk about one point with
the officers and each other for 15 or 20 minutes as people relate their
own thoughts and personal experiences.
This is exactly the result Mazza was hoping for
from the class. In forming the academy, Mazza said his goal was to get
community members more involved with problems that may exist within Clarksburgs
People in the neighborhoods are often more aware
of crime than the officers, he said, mostly because of the sheer numbers
Clarksburgs officers are usually so busy responding
to one call after another that it leaves scant time for community policing
and patrolling neighborhoods.
Were looking for people to become leaders in problem-solving,
along with the police, in the neighborhoods, Mazza said. He also said
he wants residents to form neighborhood watch programs and help police
rid Clarksburg of drug-dealers and other sources of crime. At least two
of the class members have already taken lessons back to their neighborhoods.
Oliverio and Carl Hardy are very much involved with
community relations in their respective neighborhoods and say the academy
has been a boost. Im the neighborhood contact person and now I know who
to call when there is a problem, Oliverio said. We also have a newsletter
we send out and Ive been taking my class notes home and we sit and pull
out things to share with our neighbors.
The police department has also felt an impact from
the 15-week academy, Mazza said. Class members sharing information with
neighbors and friends has resulted in officers making several arrests and
becoming aware of problems in the city.
I think the quality of life will be better in their neighborhoods
and throughout the city, Mazza said. Weve learned a lot and broken down
a lot of barriers. Hopefully the friendships we have formed will last forever.