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Class Notes: Gainesville faces budget challenges
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The Gainesville City Board of Education faces stiff challenges as it puts together its 2013-14 budget.

At a work session Monday night, Chief Financial Officer Janet L. Allison said that while the system could end this fiscal year with a fund balance of $6 million to $6.5 million, it also likely will have to deal with some financial hurdles.

The district’s teacher retirement and health and other insurance costs are expected to rise by about $1 million, she said.

“And then, rolling up on the salary schedule alone will be at least $300,000,” Allison said, referring to longevity increases that are included in the $1 million rise.

“And that’s just for the number of people we have this year,” not taking into account additional hires, Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said.

The school board plans to talk next week in more detail about expenses for next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

“We’re going to have to make some decisions,” Dyer said.

As things stand, the district could end up cutting into its ending balance by at least $2.6 million, Allison said.

“And that’s with 10 (employee) furlough days (in the budget),” she added.

Brenau plans to name tiger statue

Brenau University recently received a large tiger statue that now sits just off Green Street in front of the university.

But Brenau officials think that tiger needs a name and are encouraging those with ties to the university to submit suggestions.

Entries can be submitted by students, faculty, administration, staff, alumni, students taught by Brenau graduates and family members of any of those groups. If you fit into one of those categories, you can go to, fill out the form and enter your suggestion by June 1.

Each entry should be for just one name, but you can submit more than one entry. A full list of rules for the contest is available at

Judging will take place during the summer semester and a grand prize will be awarded for the winning submission.

The statue was donated by Ike Belk, son of the founder of the Belk department store chain, who has donated similar pieces to more than 40 colleges and universities. The tiger was sculpted by Gregory Johnson and installed in early March.

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