Athens school board discusses village street, well issues
The Athens Board of Education discussed but took no action on agreements with the village of Athens during Monday’s meeting.
School board member Tom Ellenbecker will add verbiage to an initial agreement between the Athens School District and the village of Athens on plans to reconstruct Schlegel Street, which is where buses load and unload students in front of Athens Elementary School.
Several years ago, the Athens school board decided to purchase one third of Schlegel Street closest to the school from the village, when the village was widening this road. The village of Athens plans to make improvements to the portion of Schlegel Street between Maple and Elm streets, which is in desperate need of repairs, in two to three years.
The agreement between the school district and village is currently worded to say the school district would be responsible to pay one third of the cost for the village to replace the street, curb and gutter, and sidewalks. After the road improvements are finished, then the school district would pay for the cost to transfer the portion of Schlegel Street it owns back to the village. The school district would then no longer be responsible to pay for any street improvement costs in the future. Tom Ellenbecker said the school district will need a list of road construction line item costs from the village to improve Schlegel Street, before the school board will be able to approve an agreement between the two parties. He said the reconstruction of Schlegel Street could get very expensive for the school district. He said the school district could be responsible to pay one third of the cost to test the soil underneath the road to make sure it’s strong enough to withstand heavy school buses being parked on top of the street, new soil base material, asphalt, sidewalk, curb and gutter and possibly even the replacement of old water and sewer lines underneath the street that connect to Athens Elementary School.
The school board also discussed how much money it should charge the village of Athens each year to access three village wells located on the school district’s property. The village was paying the school district $100 per year to access the wells during the 15-year land lease, which has now expired.
School board members argued at Monday’s meeting it wasn’t fair the school district was paying just under $4,000 in rent per year to the village of Athens for school extracurricular events held at Athens Community Hall and Erbach Park.
Tom Ellenbecker will also correct wording on the lease agreement between Athens School District and the village of Athens to state the lease would automatically renew itself for an additional 15-year term, not for an additional 15 terms like it currently reads.
The school board plans to make decisions on the two shared agreements between the school district and the village at either its March or April monthly meetings.