budget is approved
The budget for the 2004-05 school year was approved at the school board meeting Monday, June 21.
Superintendent Stan Kress noted that the proposed budget is the lower than any of the past 3 years.
Summer projects were discussed with most of them decided on at a special meeting last week. Big ticket items are heating system replacement for a portion of the Middle School and window replacement at the Middle School. They are still working up the bid packages with the engineer and architect so they don’t have a firm estimate on prices for these. Depending on those costs, they may be able to do several other projects. They’ll have just over $100,000 in plant facility funds available with approximately $60,000 committed, using rough estimates for the above work.
Items already approved are high school: west entry window replacement at the gym; a cover over the stairs to the shop; moving the flagpole, installing a light by the southeast corner, building a stairway to the lower parking lot, replacing water fountains in the hallway and grading and graveling the parking lot. Middle School: building a water line to the band room, fixing outside door to play area, painting hallways and bathrooms, painting outside of building, replacing several white boards, electrical wiring to the upper classrooms for computers, irrigation pipe to baseball field and Middle School grounds and develop sprinkler system, heating system replacement, hot water to science room, replacing windows. Elementary School: sprinkler system to playground (paid with elementary school funds). Football field: curb around inside of the track (paid for mostly with high school and middle school funds raised from pop sales).
With the heating system replacement they are looking at a couple of options, a basic system and a better system that would cost more now but cost less to operate. Dan Forsmann commented that he hates to see a lot of money sunk into a fancy system when they may have to look into closing a building in the future if enrollments continue to dwindle.
Kress agreed that maybe they need to develop a long range plan to address the possible closure of a building. He doesn’t see it happening for at least 6 or more years.
The teacher negotiations agreement was ratified. For the fourth straight year the salary scale is unchanged except on the bottom end where a law was passed this past legislative session raising the minimum teacher salary.
Fuel bids were opened and Coleman Oil, which serves Nuxoll Shell, was awarded the bid. They were nearly $2,000 lower on estimated price for a full year’s worth of fuel than Primeland.
Resignations were approved for Kerry Flatt, first grade teacher, and Joyce Lorentz, elementary school custodian.
Melissa Lane, who was the teacher cut in the budget cuts, was approved for hire to replace Flatt. They will advertise the custodian position.
The transfer of federal forest funds to the plant facility fund was approved. They received $270,640.42 this year. $215,000 of that is used to pay the loan for the elementary gym project with the rest available for projects outlined above. The rest of the money available is from lottery funds and carryover from last year.
In administrative reports, Rene’ Forsmann reported they are proceeding with training for ISIMS. Cottonwood is piloting this program which the state will require all school districts to use within a couple years. It is a grade and attendance management program and in the future will allow parents to log on to a website and using a password, check on their children’s assignments and attendance. The local district agreed to pilot the program because the grade and attendance program they were using is being phased out and it didn’t make sense to sink thousands of dollars into an upgrade of that system when they’d have to change to the state required system within a couple years. Albertson’s is funding this project to the tune of $70 million per year for 5 years.
The board adjourned to an executive session at 9 p.m. The next regular meeting will be Monday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m. This will also be the annual meeting.