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Paynesville Press - April 2, 2003

Paynesville area meetings

Paynesville School District   •    Paynesville City Council   •   Paynesville Area Hospital District

District #741 School Board

The Paynesville Area School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, March 25.

  • The board reviewed a new budget adjustment proposal from the administration, which now maintains teaching staff at the elementary school but makes more cuts at the high school. In all, the current proposal includes $215,680 in spending cuts, $51,850 in spending additions, and $19,000 in additional fees, totalling $182,830 in budget adjustments. (See story here)

    The board is expected to make a final decision on the budget adjustment proposal at its next meeting on Wednesday, April 8, at 8 p.m. in the media center at the elementary school.

  • The board received a request to fund the one-act play during the 2003-04 school year. This year, for the first time in two decades, PAHS students competed in one-act play, which is sanctioned by the Minnesota State High School League.

    Using donations and volunteer coaching from high school media specialist Joan Nevitt, the students placed second at subsections and advanced to sections this winter. Nevitt told the board that not everyone can hit homeruns, score touchdowns, or shoot three-pointers, and that the one-act play offered an additional competitive opportunity in the fine arts.

    Superintendent Howard Caldwell told the board that technically the one-act play had never been cut from the budget. It simply has not been done in so long that no money is ever allocated for it. He estimated that it would cost $1,500 or so for the program, including an advisor, transportation, entrance fees, and other supplies. The board instructed Caldwell to make a better cost estimate and bring the request back to the board.

  • The board approved allocating the remaining $64,500 balance in the building construction fund for the auditorium/fitness center. The board approved spending $30,000 for additional equipment in the fitness center and $30,000 for equipment in the auditorium while using the remaining $4,500 for any necessary repairs.

  • The board approved the school calendar for the 2003-04 school year. School will start on Tuesday, Sept. 2. The school year will include a two-week holiday break, with no school from Monday, Dec. 22, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2004. The last day of school will be Thursday, June 3, with graduation scheduled for Sunday, June 6.

  • The board approved hiring Justin George as a substitute teacher for the rest of the school year. George replaces his late father, Scott George, in the middle school.

  • The board approved hiring Tom Ludwig as the assistant baseball coach for this spring season.

  • The board accepted a resignation request from high school business teacher Rebecca Hoey, effective at the end of the 2002-03 school year.

    Paynesville City Council

    The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, March 26.

  • The council appointed Kent Kortlever as chief of police. He will replace current police chief Tony Schmitt, who retires at the end of May. (See story here)

  • The council approved a MnDOT grant agreement for the Paynesville Regional Airport. Under the agreement, the state will pay for the first $200,000 of the airport construction and 80 percent of the costs after that. MnDOT previously had agreed to pay 60 percent of the cost, after the initial $200,000, but because the bids for the project were lower than the estimated costs the state will pay a larger share.

    Of the $603,000 for engineering and construction, the state will pay $522,400 while the city will pay $80,600. This does not include the price of land. (See story here)

  • Public works director Ron Mergen asked the council to consider building a bicycle motorcross park at the city well site between Highway 55 and Spruce Street in the Chladek Addition. The park could be built at minimal cost using extra dirt from the stormwater pond to be built by Lake Avenue this spring. The matter will be discussed again at the next council meeting. (See story here)

  • The council approved having Mergen apply for a DNR grant to help pay for new shelters at Veteran's Memorial Park, following a public hearing. The DNR grant could pay for half of the project, which is estimated to cost $18,000. The new shelters could each hold 75 people and will have counters and outlets for crock pots and other appliances.

  • The council also approved having the public works department begin demolition on the changing rooms at the par. These rooms are rarely used and subject to vandalism. The restrooms at the park will also be fixed.

  • The council approved having the Paynesville Area Health Care System pay $25,000 toward stormwater improvements that should alleviate flooding on First Street. The hospital will pay the city $5,000 per year for five years.

  • City engineer Pete Carlson informed the council that construction on sewer and water lines on Lake Avenue should begin on Monday, April 7. Work on the stormwater retention pond should begin two weeks after that, he said.

  • The council approved delclaring a 1993 Saturn, acquired through vehicle forfeiture, as surplus property to be sold by bids. The city will advertise for sealed bids once a clear title is obtained.

  • The council approved granting a liquor license to Koronis Lanes for on-sale 3.2 beer.

  • The council approved refuse permits for West Central Sanitation, Inc., and Onyx Waste Services Midwest, Inc.

    Paynesville Area Hospital District

    The Paynesville Area Hospital District Board of Directors took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, March 26.

  • The board was informed that administration has advertised to hire a new CFO and business office manager, and applications have already been received.

    Later, at the end of the meeting, the board discussed two letters sent to the board concerning these employee changes. Board member Kay Spooner - based on the letters and other contacts with employees - said she was concerned with morale at the facility. She said that morale is a big issue, and "I don't think this does anything to help that."

    Board chairman Don Thomes agreed that morale is a big issue, especially when administration changes and when larger mergers are done. He asked all employees to stick with the organization. While welcoming opinions, he said they would be judged and acted on accordingly.

  • The board learned that PAHCS needs $185,000 to finish its construction project as well as $250,000 to do remodeling at Washburne Court. Therefore, the hospital district will borrow $500,000 to complete both projects rather than the $750,000 they originally thought was needed.

    The construction project at the main campus should be in its final stages, with the construction trailers being removed soon. Remodeling at Washburne Court is expected to be done by June.

  • The board was informed that adminstration is considering charging for private rooms at the Koronis Manor, which is already done at Washburne Court. Doing so would mean an additional $12.77 charge per day, which state aid would cover. It would have a $20,000 to $30,000 yearly impact to the facility. Letters were sent to the residents of the seven private rooms by the first of April and the new rates shoud take effect on July 1.

  • The board was told that administration is negotiating with the St. Cloud Hospital to continue to use their license for home health for a couple months. For 15 years, PAHCS has done home health using their license.

    Continuing to use their license temporarily would allow PAHCS the time to decide if it wants to get its own license (which could take up to six months), find someone else with a license, or to close its home health services, which still would need to be offered by the county.

    Home health is a "loss leader" for the facility, with PAHCS expecting to lose between $30,000 and $50,000 from providing these services this year. But it is also part of its mission to provide a full range of services to patients.

  • The board learned that the tube went out on the CT scanner and a new one was purchased for $75,000. Administration is considering getting a maintenance contract for the scanner.

  • The board approved turning a $4,284 overdue account over to a collection agency.

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