The Franklin County Schools board heard about plans to build a new track at Franklin County High School at its meeting Monday.
Other plans call for resurfacing the tennis courts at FCHS and the track at Western Hills.
“The Franklin County Board of Education needs to request approval from the Kentucky Department of Education to reseat the local planning committee and consider an additional finding in order to change the current district facility plan at Western Hills High School and Franklin County High School for the following additions at both locations,” FCS Superintendent Mark Kopp told the board.
“Relocate, construct the Franklin County High School track to be an eight-lane track so they can have meets, resurface the Franklin County High School tennis courts — they’re desperately in need of resurfacing — and resurface the Western Hills track for the same reason.”
Kopp said the track would be located in an open space located behind the current baseball team’s outfield and that the visitor’s side bleachers from the football field would be moved to the new track.
Field events would be held in the center of the track.
The board voted in favor of requesting to reseat the local planning committee. All work at the tracks and tennis courts would be subject to the board’s approval.
Kopp gave an update on HB5, known as the bourbon barrel tax, which was passed by the House on Monday and sent to the Senate.
FCS receives about $3 million from the tax, which HB5 strives to eliminate.
“This past Friday we had a legislative call with our leadership here in the state, superintendents and with the school board association on the call, and the proponents of that legislation, the sponsors, have agreed to some concessions,” Kopp reported.
“What they agreed to do with a separate house bill was to hold school districts harmless for any funds that they lose if that bill is passed. What that would mean for us is that floor level of $3 million, what we are currently getting this year, in perpetuity we will receive that $3 million payment as part of the funding process moving forward if this bill passes.”
A state fund would be used to pay the $3 million, and there’s an opportunity the district could get a little bit more money than that over next few years.
“In speaking about this, we were encouraged to be thankful that they were willing to work with us and give us these concessions, which I am,” Kopp said. “I’m very thankful that we won’t lose all of that funding. At the same time, I’m also cautious in saying that any future legislative body can outlaw that provision at any point. They could outlaw it next year and that money could be gone.
“I do not and will not support that piece of legislation simply because it will eventually put the burden on the taxpayers of this community and other communities instead of an industry that’s thriving right now. So from my perspective I can’t support that.”
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