• 86°

Officials: School feasibility study on hold

The feasibility study for the establishment of a city school system in Atmore has been put on hold, according to officials.

Dr. Ira Harvey, of Decision Resources LLC, who is heading the study, said Monday it has been on hold since right after the contract was signed.

In March, Harvey met with city officials and citizens, laying out what it entailed in the study. After the city council approved the study, City Attorney Larry Wettermark negotiated the contract with Harvey’s firm.

The cost of the study is $60,000.

Harvey said in a telephone interview Monday, he made requests by email, in writing and under a covered document a formal letter requesting from the Escambia County School System what he needed to complete the study.

“I talked to John Knott and he was very cordial,” Harvey said. “He told me he’d be glad to work with me, and he was happy that I was doing the study.”

Harvey said that Knott hasn’t responded back as well since the first conversation.

Harvey added that he talked with Tax Assessor Thad Moore about the information request as well, and heard back from him Monday morning.

Additionally, he said Mayor Jim Staff and the city of Atmore hasn’t communicated with him.

Staff said Monday the city received a request for financial documents from Harvey’s firm in May. He said they’re still working to compile the information.

Knott said it is protocol for the system to receive a letter from the city saying they have contracted with Harvey saying they’re pursuing a feasibility study.

“Dr. Harvey contacted me in April. He called and left a message, and I returned his phone call,” Knott said. “He was very nice, and laid out what he’s going to do. During the conversation, I informed him that I had not received any notification from the city of Atmore.

“He understood that would be a normal avenue,” he said. “I have talked to the city and asked them to send a notification for the feasibility study and have received nothing.”