New boiler and roof on the horizon
Lake Holcombe School Annual Meeting/Board Meeting
By Ginna Young
The trend of state aid continues to go down, down, down, as discussed at the Lake Holcombe School budget hearing Oct. 28.
“State aid is down again, to $172,000,” said superintendent Kurt Lindau. “I think we’re losing 15 percent every year, until we hit zero.”
Because Lake Holcombe is viewed by the state as a high property value school district, with equalized aid, the local tax levy has to pick up the difference. Lindau explained that if someone owns a $100,000 piece of property, their school tax is $880.
The 2020 budget was set, with projected revenues of $6,250,336; expenditures of $6,242,117; and district valuation of $431,000,685, with a mill rate of $8.80. The local taxy levy was also set at $3,793,628 for school operation, to include maintenance and transportation vehicles, debt service, capital improvements, food service and community service.
Also discussed, were changing board salaries. Currently, salaries are $1,200 for base, for 12 meetings and the annual meeting, with $45 for each special meeting, as well as $375 additional for the president and $500 additional for the clerk.
“I’ve never felt comfortable without someone from the public making a motion to increase it,” said board clerk Jeff Anders. Lake Holcombe School Annual Meeting
To that effect, Anders made a motion to leave salaries as is, which was voted on and approved unanimously.
It was also agreed to set the 2020 budget hearing for Oct.
After that, it was on to the regular meeting, where roof and boiler replacement led the discussion. Lindau reported there is $613,182 in Fund 46 (Capital Improvements), for the replacements.
Lindau says the roof is straight forward, but the boiler is a complicated thing to do, as the system has multiple fuel sources used. Lindau mentioned it would be nice to tie the system together to have one digital control package.
“There are a lot of moving parts to it,” said Lindau.
Because it is a big project, Lindau asked CESA to take a look at the cost analysis for fuel oil, wood chip and propane use over the last 10 years, with a projected cost savings of $21,000 each year, with just propane.
“The boilers are starting to show some real wear now,” said head of maintenance Tom Hayden. “We rebuilt that fuel cell 20 years ago, and it’s showing some wear.”
Lindau requested the board engage CESA in facilities management services, to assist with the complex building system, which would ensure proper solutions are sought and that the building system works as designed upon completion.
“We make sure and you make sure, you’re good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars and make sure this is done right,” said Lindau.
Members approved the contract with CESA not to exceed $8,000, to oversee the project and call for bids.
The board also agreed to hire NEOLA, a company that provides board policy services to more than 260 school districts in the state. The boards subscribe to keep their policies up-to-date.
Lindau said without the company, the Wisconsin Association of School Board’s (WASB) policy resource guide is really the only resource, but that it takes a lot of digging to find out what is the correct procedure.
“Staying abreast of policy is a very time consuming and complicated task, because, every time a law changes, language in your policy likely has to change as well,” said Lindau.
Lindau says the company will work to “Lake Holcombize” the policies. The cost of the services is $14,900 for the first year, and $3,600 annually after that. Lindau says the fees are a bit steep, but that he has seen a large amount of work would need to be done to have updated policies.
Board president Brian Guthman says the fees are not as expensive as not having the proper policy, if a legal matter came up. Lindau agreed and said he will bring summaries of tweaked policies to the members so they can see any changes.
In other business, the board accepted donations of $70.85, from Eastbay Lodge to the music department; $1,000 from the Lake Holcombe Lions Club, for boys basketball uniforms; $100 from Gregory Mitchell, to the after-school program; $250 from Michael and Beverly Schmitt, for boys basketball uniforms; $82 from the Lake Holcombe School retirees, for the golf program; $1,000 from PRIDE, for boys basketball uniforms; and $89.34 from the Knights of Columbus, for the special education program.