Buses to omit flashing lights at six stops

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 8/23/00.

School buses in the Paynesville Area School District will not be using flashing lights nor stopping oncoming traffic at six pick-up spots this year.

Phyllis Nielsen, owner of Paynesville Motor and Transfer, informed the Paynesville Area School Board by letter that a new state statute eased some restrictions. Buses are not be required to use the flashing lights at stops where the students do not cross the street to board, if the bus can move out of the traffic lane to stop.

Pick-up spots exempted in Paynesville are at these residences: Jerry Humberts and Delwin Liebrenz, both on Highway 55; John Fredrick, by the Melrose Credit Union; at Grace United Methodist Church; at the Ron Mergens and Ric Koehns on Highway 23; and at Larry Riens on 263rd Avenue.

At the Rien residence, the stop created a hazard for traffic turning onto 263rd Avenue from Highway 23. Any traffic turning south did not have room to be off the highway and were waiting amid the highway traffic.

At the Fredrick residence, near the Melrose Credit Union, oncoming traffic potentially could stop on the railroad tracks.

Board member Bob See questioned whose responsibility it would be if something happened while a student was boarding the bus. Board chairman Pat Flanders felt the responsibility would be the same as now.

The board approved Nielsen's recommendation to not use the lights at the six stops. However, they approved checking to see if their insurance had any concerns. If there are, the motion could be rescinded at the next meeting.

Other business
•The board approved the bread and milk bids for the coming school year. The board received two bids for dairy products. The low bid of $65,706 from Oak Grove Dairy was approved. Metz Baking ($9,003) was awarded the low bakery bid, out of three bids.

•The board approved two-year contracts for Matt Dickhausen, community education/activities director, and Lew Storkamp, buildings and grounds supervisor.

•The board approved a contract for Barb Koehn as food service accountant. Koehn's position as food service manager was eliminated in July. This position was created to fill a void.

•The board approved joining the Administrative Outreach Claims Project, endorsed by the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA).

Superintendent Howard Caldwell was scheduled to attend an meeting on Friday, Aug. 18, to learn more about the project. "It doesn't look like we have any hoops to jump through to be in line for federal funds," Caldwell told the board.

The district could receive approximately $20 per student in addition to having the MSBA represent its interests before state and federal officials at no cost to the district.

•The board approved hiring Sandy Sheets and Ron Weinke as custodians. They replace Cal Anderson and Al Hubred, who retired.

•The board approved a part-time kindergarten teaching contract for Dina Hengel.

•The board approved the resignation of Catherine Weber, a part-time food service worker.

•The board approved a maternity leave for instructional assistant Michelle Voecks, starting in October.

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