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County to give schools money for security
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Warren County Commissioner Terry Bell wants the public to know the county has kept its end of the bargain as it pertains to funding pay raises for school system employees for 2013-14.“We are stepping up to the plate so if they don’t get their money you should say it is the School Board’s fault,” said Bell to Director of Schools Bobby Cox.Cox replied, “I will say that. You are doing exactly what you said you would do.”The discussion happened during a county Education Committee meeting Monday night.Cox earlier requested $1 million to be used for permanent raises for all school system employees, amounting to about $700 to $800 per employee. The request would likely have forced a property tax increase, a plan the Warren County Commission rejected when it voted in May to keep the property tax rate at $1.9955.The County Commission did offer to pick up the bill on some of the improvements to school grounds, thereby allowing the school system to move money out of its improvement fund and dedicate it to bonuses.Outlay notes will be used for the school system’s security package and will include about $350,000 in expenditures, including $141,000 for security fencing, $53,000 for door locks, $70,000 for alarm upgrades, and $49,000 in fire safety upgrades.Cox said if the school system controls its spending for the upcoming year, it can give employees a $500 to $600 bonus in November and possibly another $200 to $300 bonus at the end of the year, reaching the original request of $700 to $800 per employee for the year.