Ethan Steinquest/Macon County Times The Macon County Commission voted to hold monthly meetings alongside the Macon County Board of Education to discuss funding for a new elementary school starting Monday, after a vote at its meeting held Sept. 3. Pictured are (from left): Macon County commissioners Jeff Hughes, Michael Slayton, Tony Wix and Scott Cothron.

Ethan Steinquest/Macon County Times

The Macon County Commission voted to hold monthly meetings alongside the Macon County Board of Education to discuss funding for a new elementary school starting Monday, after a vote at its meeting held Sept. 3.

Pictured are (from left): Macon County commissioners Jeff Hughes, Michael Slayton, Tony Wix and Scott Cothron.

With the county's budget set, the Macon County Commission now looks to meet with the Macon County Board of Education to further discuss how to fund a new elementary school, which has an estimated price tag of $31 million.

At its meeting held on Sept. 3, the commission approved a motion that will see joint meetings with the school board begin, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 16.

"We'd said we would delay (any joint meetings) until you all got the budget passed," Macon County Director of Schools Tony Boles said, addressing the members of the commission. "I really think, and some of the school board members think too, that we need to meet as a whole body, not just the budget committee, because I think we need everybody's input."

Macon County Mayor Steve Jones suggested the meeting time to allow all members of the commission to attend, and the vote was approved unanimously.

"(That time is) about an hour before regular session," Jones said, noting that meetings would continue to be held the third Monday each month. "I feel like ... an hour is sufficient time."

Boles agreed with using an hour for the meetings, although that time frame may be revisited as the process continues.

The new elementary school's primary funding source is the sales tax increase passed in last November, which has collected $481,338.05 from January through June according to figures released on Aug. 21.

Revenue generated from the sales tax is earmarked for the school, with preliminary estimates placing annual funding between $850,000 and $975,000.

The joint meetings between the commission and school board could solidify the length of time it would take to pay off the project, with the board hoping to have a more concrete price tag for the school in October and the commission looking into how much it can contribute.

Initially, the board had estimated it would take 25 years to finance the school based on $1.25-$1.35 million annual payments. At the time, the school's projected cost was between $24 and $30 million, and the board based the payment plan on a $24-26 million build.

Jones also presented a list of the county's insured buildings, a preliminary stage of the county's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance Plan. Seventy-eight structures are accounted for in the list, with 47 publicly accessible to people with disabilities.

"We've got a lot of work down the road, and there will be a lot of expense to this that's got to take place," Jones said. "There's nothing we can do about it. It's all about ADA compliance. But the thing we've got to have by January is a plan on how we're doing this."

Some of the structures, such as concession stands and storage buildings, may not be required to be ADA-compliant, and the county is looking into those possibilities to save expenses.

The commission approved a motion to send the building list on to its next meeting for further discussion.

The Macon County Commission's next meeting will be held on Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Macon County Court House.