Rome BOE OKs deal with V3

September 1, 2018

The Rome Board of Education unanimously approved a one-year agreement with V3 Publications on Friday morning in which the school system will pay at least $117,600 for public relations services.

Board members approved the agreement during a called meeting after two months of discussion, paving the way for it to take effect today. Earlier this month, board members requested for Superintendent Lou Byars to have the agreement put into a contractual format and include several recommendations on the guarantees of the local company’s services.

During caucus on Aug. 14, board members said they would approve the agreement with their recommendations included.

According to the agreement:

The specific annual fee for public relations is $57,600. However, if V3 writes more than 65 news releases/feature stories in a given month, the school system would be charged for each one which exceeds that level — $75 for a news release and $125 for a feature story.

The annual fee is $36,000 for photography and $24,000 for graphic design and marketing management. The school system would pay an extra $100 for any photography shoot over the 40 shoots for a given month.

For design projects outside what would be covered under the annual fee, the system would pay on an individual basis.

V3 was being paid by the school system on an assignment basis since January, Byars said earlier this month, costing an estimated $3,000 to $4,000 a month.

The school system can end the agreement with V3 anytime throughout the year so long as they give the company 30 days notice.

Tashia Twyman, the director of communications and public engagement, will oversee the company’s services for the school system, including being the one responsible for approving their assignments.

The services of V3 stated in the agreement include writing news releases, taking photos, working with local media companies, creating and sharing materials to brand the school system and managing social media. V3 will “work as an extension of the RCS in-house public relations department,” the agreement stated.

Also on Friday, the board approved two resolutions concerning the completion of two projects — the reroofing of the middle school, and the reroofing of the high school as well as HVAC replacement. The resolutions accompanied two amendments to signify the final cost of the two projects as part of the process to receive state reimbursement funding, which requires the school system to use local funds up front, Byars said.

The final cost of the middle school roof project was $1.5 million, and the cost of the high school project was $5.5 million, Byars said. The system is expected to receive a total of $3.2 million in state reimbursement funding for the two projects, he added.

The board also gave the go-ahead for the establishment of a committee, made up of school system personnel and community members, for selecting students for the REACH Georgia program, joining over 140 school districts. The scholarship program provides $10,000 each for as many as five eighth-graders to use for college.

Byars said there is no financial obligation required from the school system to participate, and committee members would select eligible students for the needs-based scholarship. The number of students who can receive the scholarship depends on the level of contributions from the community, which the program taps for sponsors to secure the $2,500 community contribution to provide a scholarship.

The scholarships are aimed at providing motivation for students who may not be in a position to pursue a postsecondary education, either a four-year institution or technical college. Also, if the students end up attending Berry College or Shorter University they could receive a matching contribution of $10,000, Byars said.

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