Surplus spending approved

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 15, 2009

By David Vitrano


RESERVE—The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board recently approved some projects that will be funded by a surplus generated by a one-third cent sales tax in the parish. The expenditures will total a little over $1.8 million.

Of the projects, the most expensive is the repair of the HVAC system at Fifth Ward Elementary School. That project is expected to cost about $1 million.

Another of the major projects involves the procurement of three new school buses to replace some of the older buses in the fleet. Of these, one will be equipped with a wheelchair lift.

The board approved a motion to accept bids for the buses. The cost is expected to be $210,000.

After the motion passed, board member Russ Wise suggested a couple of the older buses be put aside for use on school field trips. He said having extra buses on hand would facilitate longer trips as time constraints hinder trips involving buses that must also be used to transport children to and from school.

Wise also suggested field trips to nearby colleges and universities might be beneficial. He reasoned many students in the parish have never seen a college or university, and a visit might influence their decision about whether to attend an institution of higher learning.

Other projects included in the surplus spending include the purchase of various food service and technology-related equipment and additional property for John L. Ory Magnet School.