Bedford County Board of Commissioners, meeting Tuesday night, unanimously approved a revised school budget amendment which would create three new teaching positions -- an English as a second language teacher, and two positions at Harris Middle School -- by taking $135,000 out of the line item used to purchase new school buses.
Commissioners also formally rejected the original amendment which had been discussed, debated and delayed since August; that original amendment would have created seven new teaching positions.
When it was submitted, School Superintendent Ray Butrum said that six of those were definitely needed and the seventh might well turn out to be needed after students returned from the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration break.
But the county commission failed to approve the amendment, and the county's financial management committee appointed a special committee composed of four school board members and a county commissioner to review it.
Since that time, the school system has made some staffing changes, and says it can now comply with state-required pupil-teacher ratios with the three new positions.
Commissioner Jimmy Woodson, a former teacher and principal who is now a school bus driver, said that while he would vote for the amendment, he wants to make sure that the ongoing need to replace old school buses is not forgotten.
Woodson was one of three county commissioners who had to read a disclaimer before their vote acknowledging that they were school system employees, and thus had a potential conflict of interest, but pledging to vote based on their conscience and their obligation to their constituents. The other two were Linda Yockey and P.T. "Biff" Farrar.
In other action Tuesday night:
Commissioners approved a resolution asking the state to make improvements to State Route 269 between Wartrace and Bell Buckle, citing safety concerns and the growth of Cascade School over the past 35 years.
Commissioners approved the placement of a Civil War Trails marker at the courthouse.
Commissioners approved increasing the license fee for animals adopted from Bedford County Animal Control from $63 to $65, to fund ID tags for the adopted animals.
The commission approved the creation of an additional position in the county probation office.
The commission revised the action it took last month allowing the financing of new cars for the sheriff's department, revising the number of cars from 9 to 10. Commissioners say last month's motion was an error and the intent was to purchase 10 cars.
Commissioners appointed Mary Burks (3rd District) and Robert Cecil Johnson (9th District) to the Bedford County Agriculture and Education Center board. County Mayor Euguene Ray still hasn't found a nominee for a 1st District vacancy on the Emergency Communications District board, and so that vacancy, first brought before the commission in May, was deferred once again.
Commissioners approved surplus property declarations from Juvenile Court, the county mayor's office, the Circuit Court clerk's office, and the school system.