News Briefs

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A glance at some of the latest news in the area:

Board of education announces awards dates, graduation dates
At the Polk County Board of Education meeting held May 11 at Stearns, several dates were announced. Underclassmen awards will be presented Friday, May 29 at Polk County High School at 9 a.m. The honors dinner will be held at the Purple Onion in Saluda on Tuesday, June 2 at 6 p.m. Senior awards will be presented Tuesday, June 9 at 7 p.m. at PCHS. The Polk County Early College graduation will be held Saturday, May 30 at 11 a.m. at the Tryon Fine Arts Center. The Polk County High School graduation is planned for Wednesday, June 10 at 7 p.m. at the football field. For those unable to attend, the school system will stream the underclassmen awards, senior awards, Polk County Early College graduation and the PCHS graduation on its website. A link will be posted soon on

Early College academic calendar approved
Also at the board of education meeting held May 11, the 2015-2016 academic calendar for Polk County Early College was approved. The first day of classes will be August 10, two weeks earlier than the rest of the county. The Early College follows the academic calendar of Isothermal Community College as much as possible, according to Dave Scherping, technology/accountability director. Christmas Break is scheduled for Dec. 21 – Jan. 1. Spring Break is tentatively scheduled for April 11-15, 2016, based on when Polk County believes ICC will schedule their Spring Break.

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Lunch prices to increase at PCMS and PCHS
Lunches at Polk County Middle School and Polk County High School will increase by 10 cents, or four percent, in the next academic year, with students who pay for lunches seeing an increase from $2.55 to $2.65. Charlotte Sullivan, finance officer, presented a memo to the Polk County Board of Education Monday night asking for approval of the rate increase, stating that the price “is calculated each year so the price is equivalent to the price reimbursed by USDA for free and reduced lunches.”

Polk schools to submit $5.3M budget to commissioners
The Polk County School System will be submitting their 2015-16 local budget to county commissioners by May 15. The proposed budget of $5,370,788 represents a $100,000 increase over the 2014-15 budget request. The board also is requesting $407,000 in capital outlay. Included in that figure are funds for numerous capital improvement projects identified by a board committee over the spring in consultation with the schools. The budget and capital outlay request were approved unanimously at the May 11 board of education meeting.

Corners to be placed on Saluda stage for safety
Corners that are not sharp were scheduled to be installed on the brick stage at McCreery Park in downtown Saluda. Archie Hardy with the Saluda Parks Committee approached city council on Monday, May 11 to ask permission to place the new corners. Hardy said the corners are really sharp on the stage and children could be injured if they ran into them. The parks committee scheduled to install the corners on Tuesday morning.

Saluda approves several budget amendments
Saluda City Council approved several budget amendments during its May 11 meeting at city hall. Some of the amendments included to increase city hall building maintenance by $1,600 and city hall utilities by $3,000; to increase police maintenance and repairs by $2,500 and to increase the water/sewer budget by $41,500 for items such as operations and supplies and maintenance and repairs.

Saluda agrees to pay off Ozone Drive loan early
The City of Saluda decided to pay off its Ozone Drive loan early. Council met May 11 and agreed to go ahead and pay $17,000, which is the remainder of the loan over the next two years.

Saluda receives $2,500 sponsorship for Coon Dog Day
Tangie Morgan, with the Saluda Coon Dog Day Committee, announced to city commissioners during the May 11 meeting that the festival received a $2,500 donation from a phone company.

Saluda approves home tour proceeds to go towards depot purchase
Proceeds from this year’s Saluda home tour, put on by the Saluda Historic Committee, will go to the depot project. Saluda commissioners met May 11 and approved the committee’s decision to put all proceeds from the tour towards the depot project. A group of residents formed a historic depot board, which recently filed for nonprofit status. The group is leasing the depot currently and trying to raise money to purchase the depot to one day be a museum.

Saluda makes repairs to Salisbury Street water line
Saluda planner Jon Cannon updated city council during its May 11 meeting that a new water line was buried along Salisbury Street. There had been problems with the water line freezing and causing ruptures in the road. The line was buried 2-3 ft. deeper than the city’s frost barrier, Cannon said. Cannon also said he has requested a price on paving to further stabilize the road. Salisbury resident Ellen Rogers said the road went from the worst road situation to the best and she couldn’t be more pleased. Rogers also said she would prefer the road not be paved.

Landrum Council approves billboard renewal
At its May 12 work session held in council chambers, council members discussed the pros and cons of renewing the city’s billboard contract with Fairway Outdoors for the sign located on I-26 westbound near exit 15. Council members would like to see businesses in town gather information from customers and visitors as to why they visit Landrum, how they learned of Landrum, and where they came from, for future use in determining whether the billboard is an effective marketing tool. In the council meeting following the work session, members voted to approve the $19,864 contract for a year. The city also has a second billboard in Henderson County, N.C.

Landrum Council holds first reading of local accommodations tax ordinance
At the May 12 city council meeting, council members held the first of two required readings of Ordinance 2015-01 An Ordinance Providing a Local Accommodations Tax. This tax will allow the city to collect 1.5 percent of the gross proceeds derived from rental or accommodations furnished to travelers.

By Leah Justice and Claire Sachse