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Hall school board won't help county repave Sardis school's driveway
Commissioners had offered to split the costs with school system
0719sardis
The Hall County Schools Board of Education agreed Monday to patch a portion of the Sardis Enrichment School’s driveway potholes instead of helping split more permanent repairs with Hall County, which said it couldn’t afford to pay for the whole job. - photo by Tom Reed

Between the Hall County Board of Commissioners and the Hall County School Board, there aren’t enough extra funds to repair an elementary school driveway.

The school board decided Monday to turn down the county commission’s proposal to split the bill on repairs to a driveway at Sardis Enrichment School.

Rather than foot its portion of the bill, estimated at $26,000, the school board will patch some of the driveway to make it safer for students.

Hall County owns the driveway, which runs through Sardis Enrichment School to the Sardis Sports Complex.

On Thursday the county voted unanimously to cover the cost of labor to repair the driveway if the school board could pay for the materials.

Public Works Director Ken Rearden estimated the materials cost at $26,000. The cost was too much for the school board or the county to pay.

Parents use the driveway to drop their children off at school and pick them up at the end of the day.

The driveway is also used for emergency evacuations. It has several large potholes and general wear and tear.

“What we’re probably going to do is just fix our portion, and they can take care of their portion,” Hall County Superintendent William Schofield said.

Schofield and SPLOST Coordinator Damon Gibbs were surprised by the county’s offer to repair the road using county-funded labor.

They didn’t know about the county’s motion at their meeting Thursday until the next morning, when Rearden contacted them through email.

On Monday Gibbs asked Rearden if the county could pay for both the labor and a greater portion of the materials. The commission said it couldn’t, Rearden told Gibbs.

“We’re going to patch it and try to get through another year,” Gibbs said.

Rearden and Commissioner Billy Powell brought the driveway to the county’s attention before the school board was aware of the cost. The commission voted immediately in favor of the project.

“So really, the school board didn’t have any advance notice,” Powell said in an interview after the commission meeting.

Gibbs said the offer came at a time when funds were scarce everywhere. Though both parties wanted to repair the driveway, the money wasn’t available, he said.

“It’s not an issue of nobody wanting it. It’s a funding issue,” he said.

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