08/16/04 — Wayne commissioners to consider school counter-offer

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Wayne commissioners to consider school counter-offer

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on August 16, 2004 1:56 PM

The debate over teacher supplements will be back before the Wayne County commissioners Tuesday.

The county board has called a work session to discuss the school board's latest offer in negotiations, which have lasted nearly two months.

Also Tuesday, the commissioners will again be considering new zoning and land-use rules for areas around Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

And the county could decide to give up to $300,000 to a company interested in buying the APV Baker plant.

The commissioners will convene at 8 a.m. Tuesday for a briefing on the agenda. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the commissioners' meeting room, third floor, Wayne County Courthouse Annex, 224 E. Walnut St.

Currently, Wayne County public schools pay teachers 3.5 percent over their state-mandated salaries. Nearly all school systems pay supplements as an incentive to allow them to hire and keep teachers.

The Board of Education has repeatedly asked the commissioners for more money to increase the supplement to 5 percent or more to help the system compete with neighboring counties.

In June, the commissioners ordered the supplement be raised to 6.5 percent for all certified, classroom teachers. That would affect the pay for more than 1,070 teachers and cost around $1.4 million the first year.

The county has given the school system an additional $762,924 this year in operating expenses. The school board was asked to cut its budget to make up the difference.

Since then the school board has insisted that certified support staff, including guidance counselors, librarians and social workers, also be included in the supplement raise. The school system could then only afford to increase the supplement to 5 percent, the school board said.

The school board approved its latest position at its meeting last week.

Zoning package

Since December 2003, county officials have been working on a proposal to zone or rezone about 26 square miles around Seymour Johnson and the flight lines of jet traffic. The goal has been to limit construction in areas with high noise and potential for accidents.

The county's plans would not affect land within the city of Goldsboro or its planning area, but the City Council is considering its own regulations.

The commissioners plan to call a public hearing on a final package of zoning and land-use rules.

APV Baker

The commissioners could decide Tuesday to give a $300,000 grant to Turkington Industries as an incentive to buy the APV Baker plant, which makes baking equipment.

The board held a hearing Aug. 3, during which Joanna Thompson, president of the Wayne County Economic Development Commission, said that three companies are vying to buy the Goldsboro plant.

She urged the commissioners to help Turkington Industries of Lancashire, England, buy the plant because it would keep it open. That would preserve 120 jobs paying an average salary of $46,000, she said.