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Council endorses school project

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By Vince Luecke

TELL CITY - Elected officials in Tell City gave their endorsement last Monday to a planned $10 million renovation of Tell City High School that will go to township voters during a Nov. 3 referendum.

Superintendent Ron Etienne outlined the project during the council's regular meeting Oct. 5.  It would finish work undertaken over the past couple of years to improve the high school, including renovations to the original 1928 building.

Etienne said the school district has a "very strong chance" of obtaining zero-interest federal money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Funds would be used to update the high-school science department and update and expand the school's kitchen. Interior changes would also allow the district to move seventh- and eighth-grade students to the high school as part of a plan to close Tell City Junior High School.

That move, which would see sixth-grade students taught at William Tell Elementary School, could eventually save up to $400,000 per year. Savings would include immediate cost reductions in utilities as well as payroll costs as retiring teachers, in some cases, aren't replaced in future years.

Much work has already been done at the school, including renovation of aging, less-efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and work on the top floor of the 1928 building.

New handicap-accessible restrooms have also been installed on the building's main floor and the school pool renovated. Recent landscaping to the exterior grounds was also undertaken, much of it done through a volunteer Outreach to Teach program.

Open House Sunday

Etienne and others at the school invite the public to tour the school during an open house Sunday, Oct. 18, beginning at 2 p.m.

Oct. 19 is the first day to cast absentee votes in the referendum and voting continues through noon Nov. 2.

Voting hours will be 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 pm. Monday through Friday. The office will also be open the two Saturdays before the election, Oct. 24 and Oct. 31, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Absentee voting can also be done through the mail by filing an application through the clerk's office. The deadline for absentee-by-mail applications to be received is Oct. 26.

Residents with questions about voter registration or absentee voting are invited to stop by the clerk's office or they can call 547-3741.

The board's vote in support of the project moving forward was unanimous and Mayor Barbara Ewing, who normally only votes in case of a tie, said she, too, hoped the work would take place.

Tower-Painting

The city's water board also met Monday evening and awarded work to paint the city's water tank near Troy to an Evansville company that submitted the lowest of six bids opened last month.

Board members and Water Utility Superintendent Dale Poole initially voiced skepticism about Preferred Tank and Tower's $29,875 offer to paint the  tower's 250,000-gallon tank in Tell City's industrial park along Indiana 545. The amount was less than the city's estimate and $20,000 less than the next-lowest bid.

A check of utilities and communities that had used the company gave positive and even glowing reports, Poole told the board. Since it will use a local crew, the company won't have to pay lodging costs and can pass on those savings.

"Everything I've heard about them indicated they are a good company," Poole said.