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Ludlow Schools Join Others in Request for Lower Rate Increase from Duke

The Ludlow Board of Education has joined with other districts in Northern Kentucky in a resolution to the Kentucky Board of Education to offset the 14.3 percent rate hike that Duke Energy will enact in April.

The Board officially passed a resolution that it will provide up to $1,124 in the effort to negotiate with Duke Energy to try and reduce the rate hike.   

All of the districts in Northern Kentucky have now joined in the effort to persuade the energy company that the rates charged to schools are already high and do not need to be higher. Since all the districts have joined in, the board expects that Ludlow will only need to contribute $769, but the resolution had to be written for the higher amount.   

Superintendent Michael Borchers hopes they can make a difference in the cost. He told the board that they have managed to take the district's energy demand down 50 units by installing a new HVAC unit in the elementary, and by trying to be conscious of the energy that they use.

The board approved the 2017-2018 working budget Thursday night, which is $5,865,300.

The high school gym project cost $316,978 and all of the money allocated for the project was used. The board also approved the re-roofing of the gym, and although the job was approved for $120,000, the project came in for a price of $100,372. The extra money will stay in the capital outlay fund for future projects.   

The HVAC in the elementary school will also be addressed, a project that originally was estimated at $1,015,000, and came in lower at $975,525. That extra money will also stay in the capital outlay fund.

The board voted to request $16,262 from the capital outlay fund for other repairs and routine maintenance. Borchers said the district should have state approval by November.

The board passed a resolution supporting the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative Grant which funds the program with the Building Association and Boone County schools. Ludlow currently has three students in the program.

The board approved an emergency certification for a part-time preschool teacher, Vickie Baker.

At a recent parent university, held for students and their families from kindergarten through 6th grade, approximately 79 families and 226 people attended. Dinner was provided, and parents met their child's teachers. It was also reported that the school is working with the Kenton County Library to provide all the students with library cards that are kept at school.   

In recent years both the elementary school and the high school spent a good amount of money on the Kentucky Virtual Library, where students can watch educational videos and such. With the library cards, the schools can save the money because the library has all those resources.

Borchers announced that he will be meeting with Kenton County officials about the properties in the city that have not paid property taxes. He told the board that if they can compare notes on the properties, they can learn what else they can do to try and collect the taxes. He said that currently the district is collecting 86 percent of their taxes.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor