WILLIAMSON - “Under normal circumstances and without day after day of rainy weather, our maintenance department has always been able to keep up with the grass cutting jobs at all of our schools,” stated Mingo County Board of Education (BOE) Superintendent Randy Keathley. “This is the first year we have experienced these problems.”
Keathley was speaking about the numerous complaints his office has received during the summer months regarding the tall grass on area school football fields. Several parents have strongly voiced their concern about their children not being able to practice their sports on the field due to the lack of upkeep and maintenance.
“We have experienced an atypical summer season,” said the superintendent. “The weather definitely hasn’t been very cooperative. The grass grew at such an accelerated rate that it would have had to have been cut at least once a week, if not twice.”
“Since the fields aren’t used during the summer months, we use our staff and our equipment for other priorities, such as the grounds surrounding the schools and the playground areas that are utilized by the public while school is out of session.”
When asked about the downed section of chain-link fence that surrounds a portion of the Tug Valley football field, Keathley stated that he was sure it would be repaired or replaced, whatever the maintenance crew felt was necessary.
“We will take care of these issues before the first day of class. I assure the public these matters will be addressed and corrected. We are short staffed and our employees are spread thin,” said Keathley.
Keathley told the Daily News that he wanted to express his appreciation to the Mingo County Commission and to the Judge’s Work Program for all of the assistance they have provided to help with projects such as the grass and weed cutting.
“The commission is very supportive of the needs of the Board of Education and we appreciate that more than we can say.”
Keathley is speaking about the county workers who recently cut the tall grass on the Tug Valley Football Field and the bank surrounding it; the Kermit and Lenore K-8 school fields, as well as the fields and surrounding property at the Gilbert Middle School.
“We are taking the problems that arose this summer and using them as a learning tool to see what adjustments and changes we need to make to assure these issues aren’t repeated next year,” commented Keathley. “The safety and well-being of the students of Mingo County are our number one priority and that is not a responsibility we take lightly.”
The Mingo County BOE will hold their regularly scheduled meeting this evening at 6 p.m. at the board’s office on Sycamore Road (Cinderella Hollow). The meeting is open to the public and persons are encouraged to attend if they have an issue to discuss with the BOE members.