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Rushford-Peterson School Board: Finances not flush but healthy

Fri, Jul 21st, 2006
Posted in Education

RUSHFORD - As both the Activities Director and principal at Rushford-Peterson high school, Brad Johnson says he tries for balance and to "walk a fine line between academics and activities."

Johnson opened the R-P school board meeting last week with a lengthy presentation on the state of extra-curricular activities/sports in the district. Johnson reminded the board of the tough budget cuts made four years ago, and that slowly, many of those things cut, in both academics and athletics, are being restored.

His presentation was a preamble to his request for an additional track coach and a pay raise for helpers from the community who perform services like running the chains for football, scoreboard operators and ticket takers at all events, and more. According to Johnson, the district is behind neighboring districts in what they pay helpers. The board approved the hiring of the coach for approximately $2,300 and granted the pay raises for helpers, which would result in an extra $2,000 a year.

The board also approved a request to supplement $35,000 in equipment being purchased by the Booster Club with an additional $5,000 from the district. The combined sum will go mostly for purchasing portable athletic storage units, but will also cover some new lighting and fencing needed at Niggle Field, as well as a portable P.A. system that can be used in the gym as well as at the field.

Head track coach Gary Wade was present to request that funds of $10,900 be allocated to repair the long and triple jump pit at the track. Even though the pit was just upgraded last year, the solution was unsatisfactory and resulted in a "rise" between the cement and blacktop. According to Wade, the rise is enough of a danger that the district would not be able to host track meets next season. Chuck Eidenschink inquired whether Wade had approached the Booster Club, to which Wade responded that he'd come to the board first since the track is a school facility. The board approved the repair with the request that Wade also approach the Booster Club to ask whether they had funds to assist with the cost.

District secretary/bookkeeper Karen Thompson reported that the district would not qualify to borrow funds for Aid Anticipation this year, but that's actually good news. The district's accountants looked at the completed and apparently impressive cash flow worksheet and determined that the district could possibly apply for up to $300,000, considered a small amount, in Aid Anticipation, but that the borrowing costs wouldn't make it worth it. Ehlers recommends that if the school sees a cash flow problem before receiving their state aid, that they write up a resolution with a local bank for any necessary borrowing. The board approved the resolution.

The board also approved increasing the Community Education director position from .75 to fulltime so that an offer might be made to Elizabeth Theede. Board chair, John Nitecki, who was on the interview committee, commented that Ms. Theede has the potential to benefit the district in the area of communications because of her background.

The board appointed Roger Metz to meet with other representatives from the local E.D.A. board in considering building requests and storm water run-off near the school's property near the football field.

Informational items

• The board set their required Truth in Taxation date for December 18, 6:30 p.m.

• At Nitecki's urging, the board will continue to look at their priorities, set at the working session in May. Nitecki will select one of the board's stated objectives to discuss at the next meeting. The board will also review the most recent land survey of the property near the football field.

• Four community members have filed for the three open school board positions, to be determined in the November election: Eric Thompson, P.J. Thompson, Dan Munson, and Greg Smith.

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