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Paynesville Press - April 21, 2004

School to remove fuel tank, refinance bonds

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Area School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, April 13.

*The board approved the low bid to remove a 12,000-gallon underground steel tank, used for fuel oil storage, and to replace it with a 6,000-gallon double-wall fiberglass tank. The low bid, from Pump and Meter of the Twin Cities, was for $30,979. The district also received bids for anchoring the new tank, if needed, and for clean up, if any soil contamination is found.

The district uses fuel oil as a back-up heating source, allowing the district to save money on its electric bills.

*The board expressed interest in refinancing its 2000 bonds for the auditorium and fitness center project, which total about $3 million. Currently, the district could refinance its bonds, lowering the average interest rate from 5.70 percent to 4.29 percent, saving district taxpayers over $170,000 over the life of the bonds, which run until 2020.

The savings would not start until 2011, when the district's levy for debt repayment would be lowered accordingly.

The board could hold a special meeting in the next month if bond rates are really favorable for refinancing to approve the final deal.

*The board approved adjusting its 2003-04 budget as follows. The major change is general fund expenditures, which increase by almost $200,000 due to salary settlements, insurance costs, fuel prices, and other costs, said superintendent Howard Caldwell.

2003-04 Old Budget
Fund Revenue Expenditures
General $8,567,236 $8,411,982
Food Service $380,200 $398,044
Comm. Ed. $220,735 $239,073
Debt Redemption $858,245 $818,709

2003-04 New Budget
Fund Revenue Expenditures
General $8,563,919 $8,605,01
Food Service $380,200 $404,485
Comm. Ed. $244,825 $262,143
Debt Redemption $858,245 $818,709

*The board heard a request from Joe Rondeau, a Boy Scout who is looking for an Eagle project. Rondeau proposed building a fence at the Head Start building, which the district owns but leases to Head Start. The board directed Rondeau to meet with building and grounds supervisor Donnie Mayer to work out the specifics of the project.

*The board approved hiring Habben, Hennen, and Company to perform a financial audit for its 2003-04 school year.

*The board acknowledged written notification from the district administrators to start negotiations for a new contract. Their current two-year contract expires at the end of June 2004.

*The board approved a long-term substitute contract for custodian Michael Schwandt, adding three weeks to his current contract.

*The board approved hiring Terry Davidson as an instruction assistant for special education for two months this spring, April and May.

*The board authorized principal Deb Gillman to file the district's application for the 2004-05 title programs.

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