The Campbell County School Board unanimously approved Monday evening entering into a cost-sharing agreement with a developer to build a drainage system to help limit the amount of stormwater that spills onto school properties along Laxton Road.
Last month, Superintendent Robert Johnson told the school board a developer planning to build a storage unit facility on a vacant lot across Laxton Road from Brookville High School contacted the school division.
Johnson previously said the county was considering the installation of a level-spreader system, which changes the flow of water, directing it into stable areas without causing erosion. After the division spoke with Brian Stokes, an environment manager with Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management with Campbell County, as well as the division’s engineer, it was recommended the school board not approve a level spreader “for a couple of reasons,” Johnson said.
“It would require a lot of maintenance, which the developer obviously didn’t want to assume responsibility, and we found out through code since it’s on our property, we would own it. If there were issues with that design, that would come back to us and no matter what kind of agreement we had with the developer, we would still own it,” Johnson said.
With Brookville High School Principal Tom Cole’s approval, Johnson said the recommendation is to enter a cost-sharing agreement to “improve the water channel from culvert to culvert.”
“Basically we would assume the cost for the design and to draw up the cost agreement, and the developer would pay for the actual work of having that channel complete,” Johnson said.
He said the agreement would result in improvements to the division’s property.
“We have drainage issues. Because of the way old regulations were, [water] just dumps in, and we have erosion. Brian Stokes from the county said under a lot of circumstances we may in the future have to clean that up. This is an opportunity for us to do that,” Johnson said.
School board members David Phillips and Gary Mattox were absent during Monday’s meeting.
Also during Monday’s meeting, Johnson presented state budget proposals from Gov. Ralph Northam, the Senate and the House of Delegates.
A common proposal among the three budgets is funding for a 5 percent salary increase for Standards of Quality positions.
Localities must contribute funds to the 5 percent increase, which Johnson said would equate to $2.5 million for Campbell County Public Schools.
“We would be between $900,000 and $1 million short of being able to pull that off,” Johnson said to the board. “When we come back in March for that first [budget] meeting, you will have a draft and recommendations about what we would have to do to pull this off, but as I’ve heard from you throughout the year, compensation is a priority.”
Johnson said when budget discussions began in the fall, the division had other requests from departments, such as funding for additional mental health counselors.
Another “highlight of these budgets” is funding for lowering counselor to-student ratios.
“There should be a budget hopefully in the next two weeks, so by the time we come back in March, hopefully we have solid numbers, and we’re not trying to figure out what’s happening [with state funding],” Johnson said.