County, school board discuss lights, lottery

By Kitsey Burns Harrison -

The Yadkin County Board of Commissioners and Board of Education held a joint meeting on Monday evening. The two groups enjoyed a meal together prior to a meeting where they shared details about ongoing projects within the county and the school system.

County Manager Lisa Hughes updated the school board on the ongoing project to create new trails and possibly a dog park at the Yadkin Memorial Park. The county is continuing to apply for grant funding to help with the costs of those projects.

Hughes also spoke briefly about the NC Education Lottery money. The amount the county has been receiving will be decreasing significantly.

“I know everybody’s frustrated with the lottery. Y’all probably hear more than we do,” County Chairman Kevin Austin told the school board.

Austin said a representative from the NC lottery spoke at the last meeting of the Association of County Commissioners.

“They’re taking a bold step, the lottery commission,” Austin said. “They’re going to take a position on how lottery funds are used. They’re going to make the argument that the way the lottery has been diverted has hurt the overall health of the lottery and therefore the ability to help children and education.”

Austin encouraged members of the school board to make their voices heard with state legislators on how lottery funds can best be used within the education system.

In the school board’s report to the county, Superintendent Dr. Todd Martin presented a plan to the board to update all the lighting at county schools to more energy efficient LED fixtures. Duke Energy is offering economic incentives to businesses who upgrade to the new and more efficient LED lights so Martin said now would be the best time to make these changes. He asked the county to consider assisting with the costs associated with the upgrades.

Martin also shared details with the board about new classes students will have access to through the Yadkin Center of Surry Community College and online courses taught by local teachers.

“Were making positive efforts towards giving students more choices,” Martin said.

He said they also were working on marketing to promote the message of Yadkin County Schools. A new website is also in the works for the school system.

Austin called the Yadkin County School System “the best.”

At the close of the meeting, school board member Rex Baity thanked the board of commissioners for their continued support.

“Thank you for everything you do for the kids of Yadkin County,” Baity said.

Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.

By Kitsey Burns Harrison

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