Marshall County taxpayers should be the winners in terms of money saved by having the schools' maintenance crew work on the county's buildings.
That's one of the conclusions after another joint meeting of the County commission's and the school board's buildings and maintenance committees last week.
The school board had already voted to stay with the contract, and now the commissioners spoke out in favor of it, too.
"I like the way we're going," Mary Ann Neill said.
The contract is to have the schools' maintenance crew provide similar services to various other county buildings.
"I know we can make it work," said County Commissioner Wilford "Spider" Wentzel.
Budget committee chairman Mickey King agreed. "This is going to be a work in progress for years," King said. "We never had any idea how many hours we were spending on maintaining the buildings; no track of what was being spent."
School Board member Craig Michael said, "Already it's been positive for the county and for us"
"The board voted unanimously to continue (the contract) as written," said school board maintenance committee chairman Randy Perryman. "The motion was made that the County Commission would fund 30 percent of the maintenance supervisor's compensation package. I wasn't sure if you were aware of that."
"We'll have to look at it and see how the commission wants to proceed," King said. "It will have to go to the full commission through this committee and the budget committee."
Michael got a confirmation from King that the school system will be paid for two full-time employees at $16 per hour, plus their benefits, every month.
"The only item the board will hear back on is the percentage of the supervisor's salary," Michael said.
"We'll look at it again during the budget process," promised King. "We're just voting tonight to honor that contract."
"We want it to work." Michael said. "Once we get a better understanding of scheduling, we can study it again."
"Yes," agreed director of schools Roy Dukes. "We can do a lot of evaluating to make this more effective."
County budget director Freda Terry mentioned the problems with the roof at Marshall Elementary School that maintenance director Sheldon Davis had brought to her attention. She asked if the commissioners wanted to do a fund to take care of capital projects, but they were cool to the idea.
"What is their fund balance for?" asked Wolaver.
"We have to live within our means," cautioned Don Ledford.
King pointed out that people are way behind paying their 2008 property taxes, with over $800.000 owing. Terry added that Cosmolab was the biggest debtor, and since they had declared bankruptcy they had stopped making even minimum payments.