UPDATE: Development Authority of Dawson County awarded $300,000 grant to help with manufacturer BTD’s local expansion project.
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System considers project manager
Would oversee sales tax efforts
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The Dawson County Board of Education is considering adding a position that could save the school system money over the long term.

During its meeting Monday night, the board discussed the possibility of hiring a project manager to oversee the 1-cent sales tax for education.

Voters approved a five-year extension of the tax in 2009. It is separate from a 1-cent tax that supports county and municipal government projects.

The money generated by the education tax can be used only for pre-determined projects, such as acquiring land, construction and maintenance and certain supplies and technology for students.

According to the proposed job posting, the board seeks applicants with "college or technical training and appropriate experience" with "at least five years of experience in administration of construction projects."

"Since this position will deal primarily with [sales tax] projects, we are able to pay half of his or her salary with [sales tax] funds," said Dawson County School Superintendent Damon Gibbs.

"When I came to Dawson County from Hall County [this summer], I noticed that there wasn't a [sales tax] project manager for the schools here," he said. "I called [Director of Financial Services Jamie Ulrich] and had her ask the auditors to check into this position for Dawson."

According to Gibbs, the positon, could "pay for itself twice" due to the projected cost savings measures.

"When we looked at the amount of money that we were spending for [others] to manage those projects, we could hire our own person that could not only do that, but manage our [sales tax] expenditures, as well," he said.

"We found out through the auditors that, because the bulk of the work would be managing [sales tax] projects, we could pay half their salary through [sales tax] funds. That's the only salary that we can do that with."

The project manager would be responsible for analyzing facility needs and developing long-range plans for the system. He or she would also help with site selection for new schools, coordinate capital improvement projects with construction companies and communicate with the state about sales tax expenditures.

"There are two things in particular about the position," Gibbs said. "One of the things that we have had to do in the past several years, because of the size of our maintenance department, we've had to rely on large construction companies to do small projects."

The manager, operating on a 12-month, contract, would report to and work with Stacy Gilleland, the system's director of maintenance and facilities.

"Right now, we are just opening up the position for applications," Gibbs said. "We're going to see what applications we get and work from there."