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Teachers receive furlough days back
What was a hope at a Glynn County Board of Education meeting in October became reality Tuesday when the board voted to eliminate two unpaid furlough days for teachers and staff.

The school year started with five furlough days on the calender, saving about $350,000 per day in the school's tight budget. One has already been observed and another previously had been eliminated. Only one furlough day now remains.

Andrea Preston, assistant superintendent of finance, first recommended at the Oct. 22 board meeting the elimination of two furlough days in March.

In an effort to be cautious and to avoid a possibility of having to rescind the action later, board members decided to wait until the meeting Tuesday for up-to-date revenue figures from Preston.

Based on Preston's number crunching, including a look at the current tax collection rate, as well as changes in taxing of vehicles, she remained confident the two days could be eliminated.

Not only did the board receive more than it anticipated from its one mill property tax increase - $2.4 million total - it also is collecting overall taxes at a better-than-expected rate.

Preston suggested the budget be amended for the future to expect to collect 94.5 percent of taxes rate instead of a 93 percent estimate.

She added that the county tax assessor is confident next year's tax digest will be even better.

It wasn't the only positive news the board received Tuesday. The board passed a resolution regarding the long ago-closed Fourth Street landfill that will give the school system $37,000 from the state.

Dave Smith, interim director of the Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority, gave the board a check for $15,230 from Darden Corp., the company that owns and operates the Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants at 300 Glynn Isles Market.

The company is temporarily exempt from paying property taxes, an incentive given it by the development authority, which is holding the title to the property until the exemption expires.

The payment Tuesday represents the amount Darden would have paid in school taxes, one of the requirements of the deal it made with the authority.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at slundgren@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.



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