Columbia County school officials settled a nearly $64,000 lawsuit Tuesday related to soil contamination.
Fuel from the system's transportation headquarters on Columbia Road seeped into the topsoil of some neighboring property owned by Sample and Son Inc., a landfill company.
The settlement refunds Sample and Son for its testing and engineering expenses, Superintendent Charles Nagle said.
The school system is responsible for cleaning up the soil and monitoring wells in the area for the next five years, schools attorney Pete Fletcher said.
The cost for the cleanup will be paid using the Georgia Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund.
Also on Tuesday, the board adopted a $173 million budget for the coming school year and agreed on a land purchase for a new elementary school.
The board agreed to the nearly $500,000 price from the Pollard Land Co. for 32.57 acres next to the new Grovetown High School on Baker Place Road.
Nagle said he hopes to open the new school by the start of the 2011-12 school year.
The budget school officials adopted is about $3.4 million less than the current year. The decrease reflects an about $10 million cut in state funding, but includes $5.9 million in federal stimulus funds.
To compensate for the loss, officials cut more than 100 positions, including abut 70 teaching and paraprofessional positions, to save about $5.5 million.
However, the board recently approved adding about $160,000 to the budget to fully fund the annual supplements earned by teachers with National Board Certification. State officials cut those supplements by 40 percent earlier this year.
School trustee Mickie Black-burn said teachers invest years in earning the board certification and the board is "morally obligated" to fully fund them.
Board members are expected to give final approval to the budget at the June 9 meeting.
Also, the board named Naesha Parks and Holly Barnes as the new principal of Evans Elementary and assistant principal of Greenbrier High, respectively. Parks was the assistant at Evans Elementary, and Barnes was a lead teacher for the system's special services division.
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