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Paynesville Press - March 22, 2006

School board approves capital bond

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Area School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, March 14.

*The board approved a Capital Facilities Bond of $440,000 in order to complete seven sections of roof replacement this summer.

The district has put off roof replacement due to a lack of available funds in its capital budget, superintendent Todd Burlingame told the board. (This year, for instance, the district had to replace a boiler at the high school.) At the end of this school year, the district's balance in its capital fund is expected to be $92,300.

The district's facilities committee recommended this bonding approach, whereby the district will borrow (or bond) against future aid. Payments over the ten-year life of the bonds will normally be about $60,000 per year, with the district paying nearly $540,000 over the life of the bonds.

Next year, the bond payments will come from the district's capital funds, said Burlingame, and starting in 2007-08 the district can levy approximately $59,000 per year for deferred maintenance, which will be used to repay the bonds.

By bonding, the district can afford to start roof replacements, which require more upfront money, rather than continuing to patch its roofs. The roofs now have "patches on top of patches," said Burlingame.

"The nice thing is we can get started with our roofs and get some of the worst roofs done this summer," he added.

*The board approved declaring old trophies as surplus property and selling them to the Bulldog Booster Club for $1. The Bulldog Booster Club intends to hold a silent auction for the old trophies at an all-school reunion on Friday, July 21, and Saturday, July 22, this summer.

State trophies and other notable trophies, including those currently on display, will be kept by the school district, but the school district has so many old trophies that it does not have adequate space to store them all. Board members agreed that the all-school reunion would be a good time to allow alumni to bid on them, giving anyone interested a chance.

The Paynesville Area Historical Society does have interest in acquiring some trophies for its museum, Press editor and historical society board member told the school board last week. Extra trophies could also be donated to Special Olympics, which reuses trophies, the school board noted.

*The board was informed that graduation has been set for the 2006-07 school year for Sunday, June 3, 2007. The board approved the 2006-07 school calendar at its last meeting in February.

*The board heard a report from building and grounds supervisor Donnie Mayer concerning continued testing of contaminated soil at Paynesville Area Elementary School. The old fuel tank was removed at the elementary school in the summer of 2004, and contaminated soil was found, with fuel leaking from the old tank.

The school district has monitored the soil through a number of test wells, Mayer told the board. At first, his staff bailed four gallons of fuel per week from the nearest well, and now it bails only one quart per week at the nearest well.

While Mayer believes this shows that the problem is diminishing, the school district will need to comply with recommendations from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency regarding this contaminated soil. Digging up the new tank - which is double-lined to prevent any future leaks - would be costly, said Burlingame, and the district hopes not to have to do this.

*The board approved correcting an easement it previously granted to the Lake Koronis Recreational Trail along the school ball fields and Burr Street. The proposed trail - to be built this summer from the city to Old Lake Road, connecting to the city beach on Lake Koronis - is eight-feet wide and will run along Burr Street. Only a five-foot easement is needed from the school district, not eight feet, as part of the trail will run in the city's street right of way.

*The board approved allowing a five-year-old student to attend kindergarten at PAES. In Minnesota students must be five by Sept. 1 to start kindergarten; this student did not turn five until October but started kindergarten in Michigan before moving to Minnesota. The board approved exempting this student from this policy and allow the student to continue in kindergarten this school year.

*The board approved hiring Judy Larsen for three hours per day as a dishwasher/server in the food service department, effective Monday, March 13.

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