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Facility Use Policy debated

POSTED February 8, 2017 3:06 p.m.

DARLINGTON - The issue of waiving facility use fees was brought up at Darlington Community School Board of Education on Monday, Feb. 6.
The school district administration wanted the board to bring up the issue they were having of waiving facility fees. There were two organizations asking to have the fee waived: the Darlington Alumni Men’s Basketball Tournament and the Optimist Club. The administration wanted some guidance on the policy and to understand what the procedure should be.
Joe Riechers asked what the justification for those two clubs wanting the fee waived. For the alumni tournament, some of the money made was donated back to the school. Principal Aaron Lancaster stated that about $400 was donated last year.
“Are they donating to the Boosters or are they donating to the school is sometimes the question, because the fees typically cover some of the overhead the district has and go into Fund 10,” District Administrator Denise Wellnitz said.
Lancaster said the alumni coordinator brought the money to him last year and part of it was put toward the fee and the rest went into the basketball activity accounts, but he was unsure if that has happened in previous years.
“So essentially you are not waiving the fee, it is just going to be paid after the fact,” Teresa Siegenthaler concluded. Wellnitz said that was correct.
Matt Wilson asked what was the amount of the fee. Lancaster stated it was $300 for both days they requested to use the building.
“I just wonder about public reception, if we waive it for some groups and why do we not for some and why do we even have it? If they want to take the fee out of the money they before they donate, that’s fine. I don’t see any good reason to waive the fees,” Judy Huntington commented.
Nick Zuberbuhler didn’t see anything wrong with waiving the fee as long as all the money made is coming back to the school district. He could see waiving the fee more for the alumni tournament than the Optimist Club because they wouldn’t be donating their profits back to the school.
Bob Hermanson disagreed because the Optimist Club is not in the business to make money because it is all donated back into various organizations into the community.
Huntington said that the alumni tournament money is only coming back to part of the school because the fee is taken out and the rest went into the basketball activity accounts.
“What do they use the activity account for? Supplies, stuff we have to pay for already. To me you are just making it more difficult than it needs to be. I think you are making it an accounting nightmare,” Zuberbuhler suggested.
School board president Aaron Wolfe stated that there are two categories for the policy: community organization there is one fee and non-local groups there is another fee. He added that since he has been on the board, they have discussed this policy a couple time and have not been able to find a solution to work for everyone.
“I don’t mind waiving these fees for either of them, but I do feel bad for administration for having to implement this policy if we are going to waive it all the time,” Wolfe said.
Wellnitz wanted it to be clarified that if a request is brought to the school to have the fee waived that it is a one time thing. She commented that some organizations felt that the fee was waived forever once it was waived the first time.
Wilson’s concern was allowing the alumni tournament to pay their fee afterward because the money is not collected during the tournament and not before.
“That is what we have been doing for most of them. We send out the contract and if they send a check that is great. If they don’t we follow up,” Wellnitz said.
Wilson asked if they have waived the Optimist Club fee in the past. Wellnitz said yes.
Wolfe asked if the school kept a record of whom they have waived the fee for over the past couple of years. Wellnitz said she could check. Wolfe said it might be easier to find out which groups they have waived it for the in past and have a new category written into the policy so it will not have to be discussed again.
Hermanson and Wilson agreed that if the school charges the students in a traveling basketball team then they should have to charge everyone else.
Riechers made a motion to deny the waiver for the alumni basketball and the Optimist Club with Huntington seconded. The motion passed with Zuberbuhler and Hermanson voted against.
Building and Grounds Committee
Building and Grounds Committee met and approved the roof bid from Tilsen at a maximum amount of $800,000 that includes their bid of $744,200 plus a contingency to replace the roof on the ag shop, purchasing a new van and the trade in of the Bobcat. Wellnitz has been gathering information from banks on financing for the roof for Act 32 and has received some bids bank. The maximum of the RFP was $4,000,000 and some banks didn’t want to go that high. First National Bank has bid but does not want to finance more than $1,000,000. Wolfe said this financing topic would be on the agenda for the next meeting. Hermanson approved the roof bid from Tilsen and Riechers seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The B&G committee recommended the purchase of a new van from Virtues for up to $25,000. This item was on last year’s agenda but was skipped to save money. The van is no longer reliable to take outside of town. Riechers made a motion to approve with Huntington seconded. The motion was approved.
The trade in of the Bobcat is an annual trade in and B&G met and discussed the cost of the trade in with a cost of $950, which was miswritten in the Republican Journal. Hermanson motioned to approve with Riechers seconding and the motion was approved.
During that meeting Wellnitz had shared a list of projects with their estimated costs with an estimated school year those projects would be completed. The list was reported incorrectly. It was reported that the Server room cooling system was completed for $10,000 along with Fiber run from DEMS to DHS for $12,000. Once the Fiber was run from DEMS to DHS, the Server room cooling system was no longer needed so the school only spent the $12,000. The Baseball field was projected to be complete in the 2016-17 school year for $200,000 when it was completed in 2015-16 for only $20,000. The school district did not spend $160,000 on the Field lights. The school district only paid about $50,000 with much of it being donated by the community. The other items on the list (Gym Floor - $98,000; DHS roof - $800,000; Library upgrade - $100,000-$150,000; HVAC for DHS - $100,000 (new estimate $3,200,000); and Security system - $47,000) were correct.
The Darlington Community School Board of Education also approved:
-a motion for a two-year contract with CESA 3, pending CESA 3’s approval for the two-year contract. The board discussed the 66.03 Agreement with CESA 3 for the Carl Perkins & Technical Education Improvement Act. This year the contract agreement moved from the usual one or two year contract to a five-year contract. Wellnitz was concerned with entering a five-year contract with CESA 3 because of licensures changing for teachers. Wellnitz said she had no problem going to CESA 3 and asking for a two-year agreement instead. Zuberbuhler made a motion to approve a two-year agreement pending CESA 3’s approval with Riechers seconding.
-a donation of $25 to the Student Activity Fund from the Class of 1952 in memory of Ernie Salathe.
-Anna Rose’s request to serve as a volunteer DHS Assistant Track Coach.
-the resignation of Jim Wolf as Assistant Wrestling Coach.
-the purchasing of 60 Chromebooks, licenses and 2 carts for a total of $15,903. The
-the fee of $100 for seniors who wish to purchase their Chromebook, licenses and case at the end of the year. The senior class has only had the Chromebooks 1 ½ years. Each class pays $50 for the use of the Chromebooks and this is the first class being able to purchase them.

By Kayla Barnes
Editor
The issue of waiving facility use fees was brought up at Darlington Community School Board of Education on Monday, Feb. 6.
The school district administration wanted the board to bring up the issue they were having of waiving facility fees. There were two organizations asking to have the fee waived: the Darlington Alumni Men’s Basketball Tournament and the Optimist Club. The administration wanted some guidance on the policy and to understand what the procedure should be.
Joe Riechers asked what the justification for those two clubs wanting the fee waived. For the alumni tournament, some of the money made was donated back to the school. Principal Aaron Lancaster stated that about $400 was donated last year.
“Are they donating to the Boosters or are they donating to the school is sometimes the question, because the fees typically cover some of the overhead the district has and go into Fund 10,” District Administrator Denise Wellnitz said.
Lancaster said the alumni coordinator brought the money to him last year and part of it was put toward the fee and the rest went into the basketball activity accounts, but he was unsure if that has happened in previous years.
“So essentially you are not waiving the fee, it is just going to be paid after the fact,” Teresa Siegenthaler concluded. Wellnitz said that was correct.
Matt Wilson asked what was the amount of the fee. Lancaster stated it was $300 for both days they requested to use the building.
“I just wonder about public reception, if we waive it for some groups and why do we not for some and why do we even have it? If they want to take the fee out of the money they before they donate, that’s fine. I don’t see any good reason to waive the fees,” Judy Huntington commented.
Nick Zuberbuhler didn’t see anything wrong with waiving the fee as long as all the money made is coming back to the school district. He could see waiving the fee more for the alumni tournament than the Optimist Club because they wouldn’t be donating their profits back to the school.
Bob Hermanson disagreed because the Optimist Club is not in the business to make money because it is all donated back into various organizations into the community.
Huntington said that the alumni tournament money is only coming back to part of the school because the fee is taken out and the rest went into the basketball activity accounts.
“What do they use the activity account for? Supplies, stuff we have to pay for already. To me you are just making it more difficult than it needs to be. I think you are making it an accounting nightmare,” Zuberbuhler suggested.
School board president Aaron Wolfe stated that there are two categories for the policy: community organization there is one fee and non-local groups there is another fee. He added that since he has been on the board, they have discussed this policy a couple time and have not been able to find a solution to work for everyone.
“I don’t mind waiving these fees for either of them, but I do feel bad for administration for having to implement this policy if we are going to waive it all the time,” Wolfe said.
Wellnitz wanted it to be clarified that if a request is brought to the school to have the fee waived that it is a one time thing. She commented that some organizations felt that the fee was waived forever once it was waived the first time.
Wilson’s concern was allowing the alumni tournament to pay their fee afterward because the money is not collected during the tournament and not before.
“That is what we have been doing for most of them. We send out the contract and if they send a check that is great. If they don’t we follow up,” Wellnitz said.
Wilson asked if they have waived the Optimist Club fee in the past. Wellnitz said yes.
Wolfe asked if the school kept a record of whom they have waived the fee for over the past couple of years. Wellnitz said she could check. Wolfe said it might be easier to find out which groups they have waived it for the in past and have a new category written into the policy so it will not have to be discussed again.
Hermanson and Wilson agreed that if the school charges the students in a traveling basketball team then they should have to charge everyone else.
Riechers made a motion to deny the waiver for the alumni basketball and the Optimist Club with Huntington seconded. The motion passed with Zuberbuhler and Hermanson voted against.
Building and Grounds Committee
Building and Grounds Committee met and approved the roof bid from Tilsen at a maximum amount of $800,000 that includes their bid of $744,200 plus a contingency to replace the roof on the ag shop, purchasing a new van and the trade in of the Bobcat. Wellnitz has been gathering information from banks on financing for the roof for Act 32 and has received some bids bank. The maximum of the RFP was $4,000,000 and some banks didn’t want to go that high. First National Bank has bid but does not want to finance more than $1,000,000. Wolfe said this financing topic would be on the agenda for the next meeting. Hermanson approved the roof bid from Tilsen and Riechers seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The B&G committee recommended the purchase of a new van from Virtues for up to $25,000. This item was on last year’s agenda but was skipped to save money. The van is no longer reliable to take outside of town. Riechers made a motion to approve with Huntington seconded. The motion was approved.
The trade in of the Bobcat is an annual trade in and B&G met and discussed the cost of the trade in with a cost of $950, which was miswritten in the Republican Journal. Hermanson motioned to approve with Riechers seconding and the motion was approved.
During that meeting Wellnitz had shared a list of projects with their estimated costs with an estimated school year those projects would be completed. The list was reported incorrectly. It was reported that the Server room cooling system was completed for $10,000 along with Fiber run from DEMS to DHS for $12,000. Once the Fiber was run from DEMS to DHS, the Server room cooling system was no longer needed so the school only spent the $12,000. The Baseball field was projected to be complete in the 2016-17 school year for $200,000 when it was completed in 2015-16 for only $20,000. The school district did not spend $160,000 on the Field lights. The school district only paid about $50,000 with much of it being donated by the community. The other items on the list (Gym Floor - $98,000; DHS roof - $800,000; Library upgrade - $100,000-$150,000; HVAC for DHS - $100,000 (new estimate $3,200,000); and Security system - $47,000) were correct.
The Darlington Community School Board of Education also approved:
-a motion for a two-year contract with CESA 3, pending CESA 3’s approval for the two-year contract. The board discussed the 66.03 Agreement with CESA 3 for the Carl Perkins & Technical Education Improvement Act. This year the contract agreement moved from the usual one or two year contract to a five-year contract. Wellnitz was concerned with entering a five-year contract with CESA 3 because of licensures changing for teachers. Wellnitz said she had no problem going to CESA 3 and asking for a two-year agreement instead. Zuberbuhler made a motion to approve a two-year agreement pending CESA 3’s approval with Riechers seconding.
-a donation of $25 to the Student Activity Fund from the Class of 1952 in memory of Ernie Salathe.
-Anna Rose’s request to serve as a volunteer DHS Assistant Track Coach.
-the resignation of Jim Wolf as Assistant Wrestling Coach.
-the purchasing of 60 Chromebooks, licenses and 2 carts for a total of $15,903. The
-the fee of $100 for seniors who wish to purchase their Chromebook, licenses and case at the end of the year. The senior class has only had the Chromebooks 1 ½ years. Each class pays $50 for the use of the Chromebooks and this is the first class being able to purchase them.

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