The Corbin Board of Education approved a two-percent property tax increase.
At a special called board meeting Thursday, the board unanimously approved Superintendent Dave Cox’s recommendation.
Cox noted it marked the first time in six years the board had not taken the four percent increase permitted by law.
While the school system has completed major construction projects for the foreseeable future with the completion of the renovations to the Corbin Traditional School building on Kentucky Ave. to house fourth and fifth grades, and the addition to the Corbin Primary School to house third grade, Cox said increasing costs in other areas could quickly put the school system in a financial bind without the increase.
“We don’t have control over things like fuel and utilities,” Cox said.
“If you don’t request some increase, it affects you from now on,” he said.
Cox noted that the increase would mean an additional $55,000 in revenue for the schools, while the owner of a home with an assessed value of $100,000 would pay an additional $6 per year.
If the school system had taken the full four percent, it would have generated an additional $110,000 to $125,000.
In other business Thursday, the board discussed the future of the former Corbin Intermediate School and Corbin Elementary School buildings.
Cox said since the buildings have become vacant, he has had several inquiries concerning what the school system plans to do with them.
One option mentioned was for the school system to keep the intermediate school and renovate the gym area and some of the classrooms to serve as a career academy.
The goal would be to augment the programs offered at the Corbin Area Technology Center to include classes in HVAC, masonry and plumbing.
“There are real values in those careers,” said Director of Pupil Personnel/Grants Mark Daniels adding that currently the nearest training facility for those programs requires a three-hour drive.
Cox said if the board decided it wanted to sell one or both of the buildings, it would require approval from the Kentucky Department of Education.
“There are several steps required to get KDE’s blessing,” Cox said. “If nothing else, this would educate us on the process should we decide to move forward.”