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Graduation rates improve in Washington County

Robert Houk • May 21, 2018 at 7:44 PM

Washington County Director of Schools Kimber Halliburton delivered what she called “some good news” to county commissioners Monday. Halliburton said the the county continues to make “significant” strides in improving its high school graduation rate.

She said David Crockett High School saw its graduation rate improve from 90.6 percent in 2017 to 92 percent this year.

The graduation rate at Daniel Boone High School also improved from 93.8 percent in 2017 to 96.5 percent this month.

“Our county school system continues to progress,” Halliburton said. “I want to thank county commissioners and let you know your investments are paying dividends.”

In other commission business Monday:

• Washington County has created a temporary beer license for temporary events hosted by “bona fide” charities and nonprofits who are exempt from federal taxation. The requirements to obtain a temporary permit to sell beer are the same as for regular beer licenses, and the applicant must also pay a non-refundable fee.

However, the county’s resolution say the licenses are good for no longer than a five-day period.

• Commissioners voted to take $291,230 out of the capital projects fund to cover the county’s portion of right–of-way acquisition for the Knob Creek Road overpass project. The money will be paid to the city of Johnson City, which is the lead local agency on the $5.8 million state project.

As a result of a federal matching grant, the city and county will each contribute 10 percent to the total cost of the project.

• Washington County has accepted a $10,000 grant from the state Department of Health. Originally, the grant was to be used to create a walking trail inside a new park in Boones Creek.

County officials, however, determined the funds were insufficient to build a practical walking trail. Instead, the director of the county’s Health Department received approval from the state to spend the funds to install bicycle racks in the town of Jonesborough.

• Commissioners approved spending increases totaling more than $130,000 in the current budgets for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington County Detention Center.

Rising fuel costs have necessitated an additional $30,000 for the sheriff’s office. An additional $100,000 is also needed to cover extra food costs at the jail, which is above its average daily capacity for inmates.

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