by Hunter Dawkins

At Monday evening’s meeting in Gulfport, the Harrison County Board of Trustees for the school district voted unanimously to accept a change in the policy agreement allowing public comments not dealing with personnel matters to be granted.

According to the members of the school board, a recent recommendation by the Mississippi School Board Association (MSBA) in their recent training spoke about giving public commentary at the local district meetings.  The Board of Trustees agreed to let up to ten people speak for no longer than three minutes.

Woodmen Life company donated $500 to the general fund of Harrison Central and Orange Grove Elementary Schools in Gulfport.

In other actions, the school board approved allowing West Harrison High School to contact the Harrison County Board of Supervisors for a load of sand on the baseball and softball fields, authorized a $63,872.06 payment to Hardy & Associates for professional services on three school projects, and approved a request to waive three school days missed due to inclement weather during Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves state of emergency.

The final payment of $17,342.66 to SprinTurf, LLC was granted by the school board for the turf replacement at West Harrison County High School in Gulfport.

In an annual budget procedure, insurance coverage of $468,234.54 was given to the Mississippi Municipal Workers Compensation Group for 2020-21 premium beginning October 1, 2020.  This is the second year of the three year contract that was signed in 2019.

Finally, the school board adopted a request from RDJ Properties to modify their current 16th Section Land lease to reflect the fair market rent value as determined in the appraisal.  The company will now have the option to change their rent adjustment to:  CPI Scale, Amortization Char, or Five-Year Review.

According to the Mississippi Secretary of State who is the manager in all 16th section land in the state, a provision for review and rent adjustments at each five year anniversary, based upon updated county or municipal tax rolls for Category 1 Standard Leases, and based upon the All Urban Consumer Price Index – All Items (CPI), or an appraisal paid for by the lessee, whichever would indicate the greater increase for Category 2 Standard Leases.

Said appraisal must deduct the value of any improvements belonging to the lessee which substantially enhance the value of the property.

Additionally, the contract and amortization schedule for the capital lease shall be obtained (the lessor can provide this) and entered in the minutes of the school board based on the accounting from the state auditor. Capital leases must be included in the General Long-Term Debt Account Group.

The next meeting is scheduled for October 5 at 5:30pm in the Gulfport administration building.