The YME school board invited Gary Olsen, of Ehlers & Associates, to discuss possible structures for capital and debt levy bonds to fund the final project payments of the 2011-12 facilities improvement project.
Olsen presented four options on how to continue, each with varying interest rates and levy prices.
Board member Jane Hagert raised the issue that the Board shouldn’t go forward with a plan that goes against what the Board had promised before construction began.
“No matter what option we choose, the taxpayers will be paying less than what we originally asked for,” Board member Tim Opdahl said, due to the cost being $700,000, down from $1.25 million.
The Board asked the opinion of Barry Evenstad and Financial Officer LeeAnn Boushek, both agreeing that a ten year option would be the least burden on the taxpayers.
“Definitely 10 [years]. You get it done faster,” Evenstad said.
The majority consensus was to pursue the 10-year option.
During the Advisors report, Athletic Director Tim Knapper discussed the “high priority” for replacing the Crow’s Nest at Volstead Field.
“It is the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) system. Contractors won’t touch it,” Knapper said.
A brand new structure built on the North side of the field with a new press box, 500 seats, and handicap assessable features including ramps would cost around $175,000, as compared to similar setups in MACCRAY and Cottonwood.
Acknowledging the steep price, Knapper shared that he found a used press box on an online auction from Maple Lake that was, during the time of the meeting, only at two dollars.
The school board mulled over what action to take, eventually deciding to give the final decision to the Building & Grounds Committee after Knapper and a handful of others went to Maple Lake to see the condition in person.
“Safety wise, it would be in the schools best interest to tear [the Crow’s Nest] down,” Chairman Grant Velde said.
In other news:
• Middle School / High School Principal Michael Meihak presented RARB, or the Restorative Attendance Review Board, a reform of the truancy policy.
“We need to work on our truancy,” Meihak said. “We need more bite and bark for those who are intentionally skipping.”
The RARB handbook describes the program as a “community directed process” that included a partnership with Family Services, Law Enforcement and Public Health Departments.
• The Board approved a series of resignations and hirings of coaches, including resignation of assistant girls basketball coach Tim Knapper, JH girls basketball coach Pete Scheffler, assistant dance coach Ashley Vikander and assistant football coach Trevor Schulte. The new hires were Julie Jaenisch, Jenna Dorn and Meghan Jensen, all assistant danceline coaches, as well as Tim Knapper as the JH boys basketball coach.