Posted on

Athens establishes rainy day fund

The Athens Board of Education voted at Monday’s meeting to allow the school district to establish a rainy day fund to pay for maintenance of its school buildings in the future.

Jeff Mastin, Athens schools superintendent, will create a Fund 46 account so the school district can deposit leftover money in the school district’s budget each year to be used to pay for future long-term capital improvement expenditures.

The school board buildings and grounds committee held meetings to develop a top-10 list of the school district’s most important long-term building improvements needed. The first priority on the list is replacing the air handler shaft and updating the computer software, which would cost $26,000.

Buildings and grounds committee members decided the next important need is to replace the kitchen cooler and freezer costing $21,000. The No. 3 item on the school buildings improvement list is to renovate the middle/ high school bathrooms at $75,000, No. 4 is to replace a section of roof for $60,000 and No. 5 is to replace the elementary school’s playground equipment at $150,000.

The buildings and grounds committee only has estimated costs for the following last five long-term maintenance needs on the list: Update technology education spaces for $150,000, parking lot improvements at $40,000, replacing the track at $300,000, constructing a multipurpose outdoor facility for sporting events and practices at $4,000,000 and renovating the high school locker rooms at $100,000.

In other school news:

_ The school board approved a tax levy of $2,207,086 tax levy for 2020-21, which is $36,775 less than the current year. This equates to a 1.6 percent decrease in the property tax levy. The tax mil rate will be $10.20 in 2020-21 compared to $9.51 in 2019-20.

_ School board members approved the following list of 2020-21 winter sports coaches: Co-head varsity wrestling coaches Dale Westfall and Jodi Gauerke, volunteer wrestling assistant coaches Adam and Chad Ellenbecker and head middle school wrestling coach Dustin Dahlke.

Also, head girl’s basketball coach Kyncaide Keefe, junior varsity coach Danielle Diedrich and junior varsity No. 2 coach Briana Handschke, eighth grade coach Jeff Haines and seventh grade coach Stefani Karl. The school district is also hiring co-head varsity boy’s basketball coaches Jeramie Penney and Aaron Ellenbecker, junior varsity No. 2 coach John Keefe, seventh and eighth grade coach Tony Schultz and sixth grade coach Tom Schaer.