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School Board votes to determine cost to upgrade restrooms at Miles Park, Middle School pavilion

By Bill Short

Millington Schools logoThe Millington School Board voted unanimously this week to determine the cost to upgrade the restrooms at Miles Park and in the Middle School pavilion.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Larry Jackson and seconded by Cody Childress.
During discussion shortly before the vote, Jackson said Millington’s taxpayers are the ones whose families go to the parks.
“If you go by the middle school, you’ll see people sitting there at lunch,” he noted. “You’ll see people on the weekend. A lot of folks have cookouts.”
Before making “any further statement” regarding its plans, Jackson said, the board needs to know how much it will cost to have “first-class restrooms” at the ball fields.
When people visit the city to watch their grandchildren play, he wants them to be “pleased” that they can use clean, well-lighted and well-maintained facilities.
“I hate to think that, when somebody comes to Millington, he has the idea of portable johns sitting at the ball park,” Jackson noted. “I would at least like for us to spend a little money before we make a final decision on the restrooms.”
Dr. David Roper, superintendent of the municipal school system, said he assumes that the board will want to follow its “usual” procedures. If the estimate exceeds $10,000, he said it will require the board’s approval.
“Yes,” Board Chairman Don Holsinger acknowledged. “But we’re not going to do the work right now. We’re just going to get the quote.”
Board Vice Chairman Greg Ritter said he and Childress have “talked a little bit” about this issue.
“He said he’s happy to look at it from a plumbing standpoint,” Ritter noted. “But he can’t get in.”
Because the middle school is the “property” of the municipal school system, Roper said he can make sure that the board members have access to the pavilion restrooms.
At its Oct. 6, 2014 meeting, the board voted to transfer two parcels to the city and request a third one from it by a quitclaim deed process.
The first two proposals were to transfer to the city a park adjacent to E. A. Harrold Elementary School and property adjacent to the middle school.
The third proposal was for the city to transfer to the school system a small portion of the “back building” at the middle school that is located on property actually owned by the city.
But in a subsequent work session, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen decided that it was not “comfortable” with the quitclaim deed process.
One of the attorneys for the city had suggested that a better way to proceed was to develop a “common-interest agreement” regarding the parcels’ usage and maintenance.
At its Dec. 1, 2014 meeting, the school board approved the common-interest agreement. But the city board subsequently chose not to move forward with that agreement.
Roper has said that the attorneys for the school board and the city are attempting to prepare the “final wording” on a proposed agreement.
Although it relates only to the property at the middle school, he has said it addresses the “back building,” as well as the pavilion at Jameson Park and the restrooms within it.
Under the proposed agreement, the school system would grant an easement to the city, so the pavilion and its restrooms could be accessed. In exchange, the city would quitclaim to the school system the property on which the “back building” encroaches.
Roper has said the attorneys are attempting to determine some “final language” regarding whether the easement would be permanent, have a “specific expiration date” or could be cancelled after a certain number of days’ notice.
Because a “liability issue” is also being considered regarding the pavilion and its restrooms, Roper has said the school board’s attorney would like to have a “hold-harmless clause” included in the agreement.

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