Possible new road discussed

Would ease congestion at school

By Doug Hampton
[email protected]

During the August Stark County School Board meeting, Superintendent Jerry Klooster discussed recent changes at the East Campus of Black Hawk College.  Klooster said, “I met with several area superintendents and local elected officials last week in Kewanee to discuss concerns we share regarding the future operation of the Black Hawk East campus.

Based on recent developments, changes in local campus leadership, changes in dual-credit availability, and reassignment of administrative responsibilities, the group discussed options for moving forward.  The consensus of the group was to take action now to open lines of communication with Black Hawk President Dr. Truitt and the Black Hawk Board of Trustees.  (Area superintendents submitted a letter a couple weeks ago to Dr. Truitt asking for a meeting. That meeting is currently being scheduled.)”

Klooster shared with the board that he had met with the mayor of Toulon to look at options to reduce traffic at the corner of Prairie and Miller Streets.  The option of creating a new road on school property for buses, on the east side of the high school, would remedy the traffic problem at the corner and could be completed in coordination with the planned drain work on the high school parking lot.  The building committee will discuss this option further at their next meeting.

The board approved a tentative budget for fiscal year 2016 estimating that total expenses will exceed total revenues by about $1.2 million.  Klooster reminded the board that, $1M of the projected $1.2M deficit is a result of a planned buy-down of existing health life/safety bonds.”

Klooster concluded that, “we will, of course, know more and have better insight into actual expenditures and revenues as the year progresses.”  The tentative budget will be placed on public display for the 30 days with plans to vote on the budget set for the September board meeting.  Klooster noted that projections will likely change prior to the September meeting.

Tentative Budget
Tentative Budget

With registration held August 3rd and 4th, according to Klooster, “Once we have everyone registered our secretaries estimate our enrollment will be 366 at the Elementary School, 132 at the Junior High and 285 at the High School.  Enrollment is projected to be up slightly at the elementary school, down at the Junior High, and stable at the High School. Once we get our sixth day enrollments we will be able to compare fairly to last year.”

The finance committee recommended to the board, approval of a health insurance renewal plan with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois through the Wyman Group for the 2015-2016 year at a premium increase of about 10.6%.  The plan continues to offer full-time employees a PPO and an HMO option with the same providers as last year.  They also recommended a dental/vision/life insurance renewal with Guardian Insurance at the same rate as last year.  The board approved both recommendations.

During the principals report to the board, Bill Lamb announced that Mike Breese would be announcing the varsity football games.  Breese takes over after Pete Johnson retired from the position last year after announcing for 58 years.  Breese has previously announced underclassmen games.

Tim King, from King’s Financial, presented some bond restructuring options to the board.  Klooster was instructed by the board to work with King to plan timelines and details for possible bond restructuring prior to February 2016.

A request from the vendor who currently stripes the football field to increase his compensation from a maximum of $1,200 to a $1,500 annual stipend, was approved by the board.  The board directed Klooster to ensure that any “extra” field paint work at the football field be completed with existing district staff.

After an executive session, the board accepted the resignations of high school English teacher Michael Bosomworth, half-time assistant football coach Gabe Barta, Samantha Lemkuhl as high school dance coach and Taul Noard as fresh/soph boys basketball coach, all effective immediately.

The board voted to employ: Angela Olson as high school English teacher and Freshman class sponsor, Taul Noard as a half-time assistant football coach, Angie Guarduno as assistant high school volleyball coach, Rebecca Potenberg as assistant junior high volleyball coach, Ashley Hamilton as a 4.5 hours per day part-time cook’s helper, Heather Rucker as a 3 hours per day part-time cook’s helper, Tyler Singleton and Gregg Hoffman both as a 2 hours per day crossing guards in Wyoming, Melissa Lantz as a morning and noon supervisor at the elementary school, Drinda Maher as an After Care supervisor, Patti Wilkinson as prom sponsor and Jamie Joos as morning crossing guard at the high school.  Jenny Joos was also approved as an afternoon crossing guard in Toulon.

Approved for volunteer positions for the 2015 season were Chris Cinnamon as a golf coach and Gabe Barta as an assistant football coach.

The board increased the hours for part-time cook’s helpers Cheri Leezer from 3 to 5 hours per day and Bonnie Delebar from 4.5 to 5 hours per day, and to increase Cathy Webster’s bus aide time by up to two hours per day.

Items that may be discussed at the September 21 school board meeting include: a budget hearing, the letting of snow removal bids, a report from Mrs. Hawkey on test scores, and an audit summary presentation by Gorenz and Associates.

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