By Ashley Rader
Elizabethton City Council voted to release $5 million in bond proceeds to the Elizabethton City School system for the next phase of capital projects.
The first reading of the budget amendment was approved 6-0, with Nancy Alsup abstaining because she was not able to attend the joint workshop on Jan. 31 with council and school board members.
If the amendment passes on second reading, the funding will be available to the school system to use at its discretion.
The total amount of the budget amendment for the bond is $6,346,793. However, after bond fees, the school system will have $5,007,000 to use for the capital projects.
ECS Superintendent Ed Alexander said the school administrators were pleased with the progress and excited to be able to proceed with the projects.
“We are ready to start,” Alexander said. “This has been a long time coming. We are excited, thankful and ready to start.”
The item passed with little discussion. Mayor Curt Alexander pointed out that the funding had been discussed at length in other public meetings before the vote.
“There as already been so much discussion on this,” he said. “Everything had been said.”
There has been continued discussion between council and school officials about the best use of the funds.
The ECS Capital Projects Committee and the Board of Education had previously approved the order of the capital projects to include a new athletic stadium, music room and four classrooms at Elizabethton High School to be completed with the current $5 million bond.
The next phase of construction to be funded in the next few years would include eight new classrooms, new restrooms and improved accessibility at T.A. Dugger Junior High School.
Some council members expressed concern that future funding options for the projects had not been considered and that the projects at TAD should be completed first.
During the workshop on Jan. 31, school board members discussed the order of the projects and the council members concerns.
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