There is a new wrinkle in the idea of keeping Tyrone Elementary School open in the face of potential school closures by the Fayette County Board of Education. Though no vote has been taken, members of the Tyrone Town Council are giving unanimous support to having the town participate financially in the cost of installing a sewer line to the school from the Southampton subdivision less than a mile to the north.
The timeframe involving the decision to close as many as four Fayette County public schools, including Tyrone Elementary, is down to a matter of weeks. Meantime, a statement by Mayor Eric Dial during the public comments portion of the Jan. 28 school board meeting indicated that though it would require a vote by the council and though he could speak only for himself, Dial believed council members would consider the town’s participation in installing the sewer line from Southampton subdivision to the school on Senoia Road as an investment in Tyrone and its future.
The price of running the sewer line to replace the school’s aging septic system is expected to cost a minimum of $200,000-$300,000. The south side of Southampton subdivision, the area closest to Tyrone Elementary, is approximately one mile from the school. The sewage is treated by the Fulton County Sewer Authority via a contract with Fairburn.
Council members after the Feb. 1 retreat were asked individually for their perspective on the matter. All agreed they could support the town putting up funds that would support the installation of sewer to Tyrone Elementary.
Dial on Monday said if eventually accepted by the school board, the town could access a portion of the sewer fund to finance the project. Neither Dial nor council members commented on the amount of the financial contribution that might be involved in the project.
The town’s sewer fund has a balance nearly $1 million. Current obligations total approximately $100,000, leaving the majority of the balance of the sewer fund available if ever needed.
Commenting on as aspect of the use of town funds for a potential sewer project, Councilwoman Linda Howard stated her belief that even if such a project were undertaken it would only apply to Tyrone Elementary. If closed later by the school board, a new use of the property would not include sewer service.