Poplarville schools request same millage

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monday, the Poplarville School District Board of Trustees approved the creation of a campus police department and the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget.
Starting a campus police department will affect the duties of resource officer Joe Smith, who is stationed at the middle school and lower elementary, Poplarville School District Superintendent Carl Merritt said.
“He is a seasoned safety officer that has been with us for about 10 years,” Merritt added.
This move will change his title to school resource officer and will give him the ability to carry a weapon, arresting powers and the ability to file state reports, Merritt said. He will also be able to receive more training and there will be more opportunities to apply for grants, Merritt added.
“He will be considered like any other policemen or school resource officer,” he said. “This move will be a benefit to our school and our children’s safety.”
Smith’s salary has always been included in the district’s budget, Poplarville School District Finance Director Samantha Sandifer said.
Poplarville police officer Al Tynes serves as the district’s other full-time resource officer and is stationed at the high school and upper elementary, Merritt said. Tynes is also on call district-wide.
In another matter, the Board approved the budget for the fiscal year 2016-2017.
During coverage of last month’s budget hearing, Sandifer said the projected total revenue for the upcoming fiscal year totals $18.7 million.
Revenue for the district is derived from ad valorem taxes, the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, Title I, child nutrition cluster, special education, e-rate and 16th section leases.
The total amount of expenditures expected for the new year, which began July 1, totals $18.8 million, previous coverage states.
The district has asked for the same ad valorem tax rate, 60 mills, since the 2012-2013 school year and that number did not change this year, Sandifer said.
According to the district’s website, the first day of the 2016-2017 school year for students is August 3.
The next Board meeting will be held on August 8 at 6 p.m. in the boardroom at the district office on Julia Street.

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