The real news at the North Crawford School Board meeting last Thursday was that longtime teacher, coach and athletic director Dave Bergum would retire at the end of school year.
Bergum is a Special Education EBD teacher. He also serves as the school’s athletic director and head baseball coach. He has served as the girls basketball team coach in the past.
Acting district administrator Brandon Munson also informed the board that school nurse Erin Morrison and bus driver Gary Nelson were also resigning at the end of the school year.
The meeting began with an hour-long presentation by Ron Garrison, representing a company called UNESCO. The Twin City-based company specializes in identifying, funding and implementing energy saving projects primarily in K-12 schools.
The consultant reviewed the collaborative process that has led to the process of identifying worthwhile projects. Then, he talked about the alternative funding options.
Finally, he reviewed the implementation phase, when his company acting as a general contractor makes money. The point of the projects is energy savings and UNESCO is a contractor who will guarantee savings, which are figured into the financing OF the projects.
There are three methods of financing an energy savings project, according to Garrison. One would be to use Statute 660133. This method is used to implement a project whose savings would pay for itself over the life of the facility. UNESCO guarantees the savings and the finances are built around those savings.
Another method is to use Act 32, which allows the district to raise revENUE limits and increase the mil rate under a special energy efficiency exemption. Under this method, the debt service is stretched out over 20 years in annual payments.
There is also Act 28, which allows a district TO raise the mil rate for just one year to pay for the project. It is typically used to finance smaller energy efficiency projects, usually under $1 million.
In all the projects, a key element is a performance contract that will assure the savings to the district with an authorized company like UNESCO.
There was a brief discussion of the district’s long-term need for a new roof on the school building.
Using a higher rated insulation value in the roofing project could qualify it for energy savings, Garrison explained.
An advantage of using these options is a long run cost savings for the project.
“So from the taxpayer point of view it’s significantly less expensive,” board president Mary Kuhn noted.
The board will continue to work with UNESCO on identifying projects that would be advantageous to the district.
There was a discussion of the current superintendent evaluation process.
Board member Jim Dworschack took exception to the phrase the evaluation is a “consensus decision.” He said that consensus is arrived at by everyone agreeing on the final decision and this is not the case with the superintendent evaluation.
Kuhn conceded it was not consensus, but majority opinion of the board that created the final evaluation.
Dworschack outlined a plan for improving the superintendent job description, which he believes would improve the evaluation process.
The board seemed resolved to improving the job description going forward.
In other business, the North Crawford School Board:
• approved the new food service debt policy, which encourages the early notification of parents of debt and their options
• approved the list of 2016 graduates including the six foreign exchange students, who will receive certificates
• agreed to add Zoophonics for 4K and 5K students in the summer school program, as proposed by teachers Amy Allbaugh and Sue Klema
• approved Anna Davidson as the new yearbook advisor
• increase the district’s donation to the Gays Mills Swimming Pool to $750 from $500
• approved providing four $250 Trojan Scholarships from the school’s beverage fund
• approved adding Rev Trak software to allow the district to accept credit and debit card payments for the lunch program with parents picking up the 3.5 percent financing charge
• decided to purchase a 2015 lawn tractor from Tractor Central for $11,700 to replace a tractor purchased in 2001
• approved purchasing a new school bus using savings in energy costs this year
• approved one year contracts with a two-percent increase to the base wage for: Director of Maintenance Harry Heisz, Food Service Director Hannah Gauthier, Transportation Supervisor Jared Powell, Computer Support Specialist Donna Starkey and Director of Resource Development Tarasa Lown