School board discusses football field drainage

Although the Italy School Board of Trustees took no action, they spent a great deal of time at their monthly meeting Tuesday night discussing the football field and the lack of drainage.

Speed Hamby, maintenance director, addressed the board concerning the conditions of the field noting that a contractor removed the crown when they resurfaced the football field in the early 1990s. Hamby said this has been an issue since he started with the district three years ago. He also said the water used to water the field has a high sodium content that is not good for the grass. Hamby planted Bermuda grass that did not take hold due to the heavy rains this area experienced early in the school year.

Hamby presented board members with a review from a drainage expert. He said he had two other reports that, basically, said the same thing. The report estimates it would take approximately $12,000 to bring in sandy loam and make necessary repairs to the field.

Curtis Riddle, board member, said the district did not have money in the budget for the project and felt taxpayers should not be forced to pay for someone else’s mistakes.

He suggested Hamby “rip the field” in sections. This “rips” would fill in over time and would allow the water to drain. Hamby said there were irrigation lines in place as well as an electric line running across the field.

Jimmie Malone, superintendent, said this was the time to prepare the field. He said they had not planned to spend $12,000 but said the district would work within budget constraints to work on the field.

In other business, the superintendent named Ann Hyles Employee of the Month.

Hyles, who has been with the district 39 years, graduated from Hillsboro High School and attended Hill College and North Texas State University with a major in Home Economics.

Malone praised her efforts with homebound students, working with the pregnancy cooperative, FCCLA, preparing banquets, sewing game jerseys, counseling and teaching home economics.

“I am proud to be your superintendent,” he said.

Hyles thanked the board members and expressed her appreciation to the board for their service. She said theirs was a thankless job.

Malone said the current student enrollment is 640 with an average daily attendance of 587 or 95.66% of student population. Malone said the district should strive for an average daily attendance of at least 96%.

He also noted the Texas Education Agency commissioner is considering three options to figure the adjusted average daily attendance due to the flu outbreak this year. One option is to allow districts to kick out low attendance days due to the epidemic, to take this year and the previous year’s ADA and average the total or to drop this year’s total and average the previous two years’ ADA.

Malone also reported an anonymous donation of $600 made to the district. He said it was for student activities. He noted the district greatly appreciated the donation.

Financially, the district expended 28.69% of its budget and received 26.44% of the projected budget as of November.

Riddle complained about the district spending more money than it received for the month of November. Monica Boyd, business manager, said the district always spends more money at the beginning of the school year and it eventually evens out toward the end of the year.

The board approved the second reading of the TASB Update 86 with CV local provision remaining at $25,000, approved minutes from the November meeting with a correction and approved budget amendments.

The board will meet on Monday, Jan. 11, in executive session for the superintendent evaluation. A regular board meeting is set for Tuesday, Jan. 12. Both meetings begin at 7 p.m.