6/26/2017 1:36:00 PM Unit 3 board rejects petition on consolidation
Unit 1 board approves merger resolution 6-0
By TOM COMPTON
As anticipated, the Hutsonville Unit 1 Board of Education approved the resolution presented by the Committee of Ten recommending consolidation of the Hutsonville Unit 1 and Palestine Unit 3 districts.
The board voted 6-0 to approve the resolution, with Travis Matthews not present. The Unit 3 board, however, voted 5-2 to reject the petition (see story on this page).
Also at the meeting, the board heard an update from Superintendent Julie Kraemer regarding the FY 2017 budget. Kraemer explained that overall, the district will still have positive fund balances as of June 30, and end the year with over 1.2 million and no fund transfers needed. The state still owes the district over $100,000 in pre-k and $100,000 in categorical payments. They only received one payment from last fiscal year and one from this fiscal year.
Summer maintenance is coming along as custodians work around summer camps and shootouts. The high-school hallway has been stripped and waxing has begun, as well as work in cleaning, shampooing, and waxing at the grade school.
Kraemer reported the district was fortunate to again have the Crawford County United Way sponsor a Day of Caring. Several projects were completed including resurfacing blacktop area, white rock on the nature path, and painting the benches out front. She also shared that a Heath grant for a reading project and STEM activity for Hutsonville and for the Palestine-Hutsonville football team were received.
Diane Stephens reported they have changed the scope of Title I to match the new federal laws, and continue to see very positive results with the school-wide Title I Program.
Other action included authorizing the superintendent to advertise for bids on tires, bread, milk and other dairy products, appointing Chad Guyer as the IASB delegate and adopting the annual prevailing wage resolution reflecting the latest prevailing wages.
The board performed the annual review of the district's Wellness Policy, as required by law; updated Title I policy and District SIP Policy. approved handbook changes for 2017-18; and set fees, registration, and admission for 2017-18. A $10 discount will be offered to those whose register on line and the registration fee is received or postmarked by Aug. 4.
After an executive session to discuss personnel matters the board accepted the resignation of coach Ray and Scott Zane. They accepted retirement letters from Paula Thorlton effective at the end of the 2017-18 school year; Guy Rumler effective at the end of the 2018-19 school year; and Cindi Rumler effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year
The board set administration raises and non-certified staff raises.
Travis Titsworth was hired as high-school principal.
"I don't feel it is in our best interest," said Palestine Unit 3 Board of Education President Corie Biggs. And following that, the board voted 5-2 not to approve a resolution to consolidate with Hutsonville.
During the Monday-night meeting, the Hutsonville-Palestine Committee of Ten presented the board with the petition to consolidate the two districts under an 11E-135 consolidation, forming one new district. A time for discussion was allowed with several comments both for and against the consolidation. The main two questions were, "Have you looked at other options, and is the state going to force a consolidation."
Several board members addressed the questions, with answers of "yes" and "no." Yes they have looked at other options and discussed them, but no, not in the great detail that the Committee of Ten was asked to look at option 11E. No, the state is not forcing consolidation, but yes, the state did recommend a financial adviser when the district was facing an $850,000 deficit a few years ago. Biggs did note that he believes four schools were forced to make some changes by the state due to their poor financial status.
After hearing other comments and questions from the audience, board member Joel York made the motion to approve the resolution and Don Wagoner seconded the motion. The motion was then defeated 5-2, with York and Wagoner voting "yes," and Shari Eckert, Corie Biggs, Jeff Besing, Susan Hawkins, and newly appointed Tara Vennard voting "no."
The board then heard a three-part presentation from Kale Calvert of ADG Architecture and Design Group on the parking and traffic flow at the grade school, the ten year life safety study of the grade school, and a prioritizing of repairs needed at the high school.
Calvert presented a basic traffic flow pattern to help with congestion at the grade school. He also presented two option for expanding parking in front of the grade school by 16 stalls or 39 stalls and an additional entrance. Depending on the material used, oil and chip, asphalt or concrete, cost range from $21,060 up to $178,000 for all concrete.
The 10-year life safety study showed only minor corrections were needed, mostly in regard to updated signs and removal of a couple of doors.
At the high school repairs were given four priorities. First being roofing the gymnasium. Option one would be to themographic scan the roof, followed by cutting and patching damages areas. Option two is a complete tearoff, repair and replacement. Costs range from $57,500 for option one to $169,200 for a new roof.
Priority two is the exterior brick masonry. Calvert explained the main problem is the metal over the window openings is rusting and push up against the bricks. Repair of the widows is estimated to cost around $12,000. Repointing the upper east side wall, which is the worst, is estimated at $18,900. Doing the entire wall would cost around $100,000, with repointing the entire building at around $440,000.
Priority three is the replacement of three antiquated electrical panels at $16,200. Priority four would be to replace the ceiling panels in the gym after the roof is repaired at a cost of around $32,500.
While each of the projects can be completed in phases, Calvert said costs could go up. To complete all of the priority items at full estimated cost would be $657,900.
In other business the board approved Aunt Millie's Bakery and Prairie Farms the milk and bread bids for the 2017-18 school year.
It was approved to transfer $40,000 from the Working Cash fund to the Transportation Fund. It is considered a loan and will be repaid when revenue is received.
The Annual Risk Management Plan was reviewed, and the fee schedule for 2017-18 was approved with slight changes.
The contract with for athletic trainers with Crawford Memorial Hospital was tabled until Tangi Waldrop can get information regarding the $500 cost increase. It will be reviewed next meeting
The school district approved bus transportation for the Summer Reading Program at the First Presbyterian Church
The board approved the IHSA and IESA Co-Operative agreements with Hutsonville.
The board authorized the superintendent to begin the annual budget process for 2017-18
In personnel related matters the board regretfully accepted the resignations of elementary teacher Patti Neff and grade school secretary Becky McCrillis. The board also accepted the resignation of Lisa Hyde as a part-time custodian, and Walter Fritchie as a part-time bus driver.
The board authorized the listing of the elementary school position, custodial position and grade school secretary.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 17.