Georgia: Watching out for schools

Georgia: Watching out for schools

April 5th, 2009 by Beverly Carroll in Georgia

For several years after Wood Station Elementary School was completed in 2004, Colbert Hollow Road parents had to detour eight miles around a bridge to get their children to school.

The bridge was being rebuilt because it did not meet state requirements for school buses to cross it.

The project took nearly four years and $1 million to complete.

"It cost a lot of money because there was not a collaborative effort in planning when the school board selected the site," Catoosa County Commission Chairman Keith Greene said. "The county had to spend considerable amounts of money to upgrade the bridge. Had there been communication, the county wouldn't have had to rush to get it done."

Mr. Greene's solution is to add a school representative to the county's five-member planning commission.

He proposes to make an alternate member a full member to keep an uneven number -7- on the commission to avoid tie votes.

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for Tuesday morning before the commission's regular meeting at Catoosa Hall on Lafayette Street in Ringgold.

Since he took office, Greene has evaluated several of the 14 civil boards governing a variety of governmental agencies in the county.

Earlier this year, commissioners approved his recommendation to ask state lawmakers to dissolve the public works and solid waste management authority - her said to save money and end duplication of commissioners' work.

Commissioner Bobby Winters, who served on the public works board, objected to the move and the reasoning.

Catoosa County board of education member Billy Joe McDaniel said he supports the idea of improving communication between the school board and the County Commission, by having representation on the planning panel.

"It couldn't hurt," Mr. McDaniel said. "I think both (boards) need to get better at communicating."