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R-P may catch a break with flood mitigation bill

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Apr 23rd, 2012
Posted in Rushford Education

The district continues to take strides to see its New School Initiative become a reality. It was announced in March that the district’s need had been recognized by the the House Finance Committee who recommended funding of the initiative to the bonding committee in the amount of $7.5 million. While that amount was far short of the $20 million in state aid they’d hoped to see, it’s a step in the right direction.

Now, through aggressive action, including that of district consultant and lobbyist Peg Larson of RCS Consulting, the district is part of a separate bill written for flood mitigation. The amount of the bill is an additional $7.5 million.

The bill is part of sixteen bonding bills, seven of which are flood related, which will be considered by the House Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee. They total over $132 million, with $69.1 million or 52.3 percent, representing flood mitigation bills.

Should the district be granted the funding, it could be applicable to either a new pre-K through 12 facility or for enhancement of existing facilities. For now, it’s more waiting for the district.

Superintendent Chuck Ehler extended his thanks to Representative Greg Davids, Representative Gene Pelowski, and Senator Jeremy Miller for being advocates for the district’s needs.

In other news, a recent inspection by the fire marshal has left the district a to-do list of projects. While the district has already taken steps to comply with the lesser finds, two other concerns will require more time and costs.

The curtains in the theatre do not meet fire code and will either need to be sprayed with a retardant or replaced. An issue that’s been mentioned before, the district already knows that replacement would come with a hefty $20,000 price tag. Superintendent Ehler is working to get cost estimates for spraying of the curtains, and it remains to be seen which route the school board will take.

In addition, a new entrance and exit to the middle school library will need to be installed, based on particular number of exits per square foot. The district intends to secure compliance of the issue, but also intends to do its own measurements for the library to verify the fire marshal’s findings.

The search for a new accounting clerk and administrative assistant continues on the heels of Karen Thompson’s recent retirement .....
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