Lewis County business owner David McCoy addressed the Board of Education regarding school-owned property being used by a private company, specifically H & M Motors, owned by Larry Haddix. Haddix and his wife Carol were also present.
McCoy told board members and Superintendent Robin Lewis that H & M Motors is parking vehicles in the parking lot behind the car company and Robert L. Bland Middle School in Weston. In a letter McCoy wrote to the Lewis County Board of Education, he asks for enforcement of Policy 9.4.1 regarding Commercial Use of BOE Grounds, and not allowing county tax payer’s dollars go to the aid of a private business by ongoing and willful violation of the policy.
McCoy presented photographs taken from the RLBMS parking lot showing H & M Motors’ vehicles parked there. He also attached a tax map which he said, “Clearly identifies BOE property owned to the edge of this business.”
The Lewis County Assessor’s Office clearly states on their website that tax maps are not accurate representations of property lines.
McCoy said he sent his letter to the state’s attorney general’s office and the state board of education.
Haddix spoke to the board after McCoy. He summarized H & M Motors’ contributions to the school system over the years. He said his business and the schools, particularly RLBMS and Lewis County High School, have always had a strong working relationship, adding that he is very aware of his use of the parking lot and he is very appreciative for being allowed to use it.
Haddix said they have not failed to meet a request that has come from a particular school or the BOE itself. H & M Motors has talked to RLBMS students about automotive related topics, offers free helium for events at area schools, including Prom and Homecoming, maintains the road between the two businesses, and contributes over $20,000 annually to Lewis County charitable organizations and events.
Haddix also said they have contributed to the Toys for Tots drive at RLBMS, writing a check to the school for $2,500 for that program last year.
“Over the past seven years, that’s $17,500 we’ve written checks to Robert L. Bland,” Haddix said.
Haddix added that they have provided the use of their parking lot for car wash fundraisers for LCHS’s football team, and matched those funds, totaling $4,800 over the past three years.
In other business, Policy 3.55 was presented for its first reading. This policy references reduction/transfer of service personnel employees by location. Supervisor Chris Derico said they are trying to update the policy to be in compliance with future personnel issues down the road. He said this would be used going forward and has no bearing on past decision. It has been moved to its second reading.
Derico said the Summer Food program is going well, and he will have accurate totals in the fall on how many meals were served. He also reported that an A/C unit is leaking at LCHS, causing a false fire alarm to sound.
Board member Mike Holden reported that Fred Eberle Technical School received a welding grant. Board President Debbie Clem said a board treasurer needs to be appointed, and will be decided at the next meeting.
A special meeting to set the superintendent’s goals is scheduled for Aug. 1 at 6 p.m., and the next regular board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. at the board office.