Monday May 4th, 2015 12:12PM

GSB reviews no tax increase plan

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Gainesville School Board members have a plan to prevent a property tax increase to support the 2015 budget, presented Monday night by Chief Financial Officer Janet Allison.<br /> <br /> Allison said because of the improving economy and a stronger tax digest, the Board may roll back tax mills.<br /> <br /> "We presented to the Board the concept of going ahead and rolling back from 7.59 to 7.48 mills," Allison said.<br /> <br /> The Board plans to adopt the millage rate rollback at its August 18th meeting, with final approval in September. Allison added that under the plan less money would be need from the fund balance.<br /> <br /> "We were planning dip in $3.6-million, but because our fund balance was higher than we estimated, we're going add back a million there and then a half million difference in the tax revenue," Allision said. "So we'll be dipping in $2.1-million, less than we planned."<br /> <br /> FEWER REFUGEES<br /> <br /> School Superintendent Dr. Wanda Creel said she's ready for her first school year in Gainesville starting Thursday, and that includes a smaller number of refugee students than expected.<br /> <br /> Dr. Creel said the system's English Language Learner program has room for them.<br /> <br /> "We are not seeing the number of refugee students that had been anticipated at this point from the state and federal government," Dr. Creel said. "We have a total of about 20 students."<br /> <br /> Creel said student education this year would focus on new assessments with new standards for the students.<br /> <br /> NEW HIGH TECH, OLD IDEA<br /> <br /> A new $200,000 computer system will help students and save money this school year, according to Gainesville School System Technical Director Keith Palmer. Palmer said the money is in the budget for the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure which replaces the need to buy more desktop computers.<br /> <br /> "It's the same amount of computer power but it transfers where it's coming from," Palmer said. "We can have a large server but with what we call thin clients on the end."<br /> <br /> Palmer said the system is an improved version of the early computer servers which fed work stations.<br /> <br /> NEW SCORE BOARD COMING<br /> <br /> Board members gave unanimous approval to a memorandum of understanding that allows the Gainesville Athletic Club to improve the City Park Stadium Sign and collect revenue from posted advertising on the sign.<br /> <br /> Hall County Commissioner Jeff Stowe appeared as an Athletic Club member and said the revenue would be used to buy school athletic equipment. Stowe said with the Board's approval, work would begin and the scoreboard would be ready by Gainesville High School's first home game in September.
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