CALL TO ORDER
The special meeting of the Board of Trustees of School District No. 26, Lockwood Schools, Yellowstone County, was duly held in the Board Room, 1932 U.S. Highway 87, Billings, Montana on Tuesday, August 1, 2006. Chairperson Teresa Stroebe led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance and called the meeting to order at approximately 7:00 p.m.
Trustees and officers present were Trustees: Teresa Stroebe, Thomas Jones, Tim Trafford, Sue Vinton, Becky Malenowsky, and Greg Bochy, Superintendent Eileen Johnson, and District Clerk Diane Brook.
Trustee Barbara Forrester Frank was absent.
Staff members present were: Mike Bowman, Art Anderson, Johanna Freivalds, Bonnie Chatriand, Mike Sullivan, and Keith Tresch.
Registered guests present were: Architects: John Eisen and Terry Sukut, Angie Buckley, Evelyn Pyburn, Bob Chatriand, Holly Sather, and Tim Sather.
Mrs. Stroebe welcomed visitors and advised the following:
If you wish to speak to the Board of Trustees at this meeting about agenda items, please complete a form and give it to the Board Chair or the clerk.
Any person present, who wishes to do so at this point in the agenda, may address the board or raise any question about public school district matters or governing policies. No discussion of personnel or individual students is permitted at this time. A limit of three minutes is placed on each speaker. Persons who want more time may make arrangements to be placed on a future agenda.
PUBLIC WRITTEN REQUEST TO BE PLACED ON THIS AGENDA
BUILDING NEW CLASSROOM SPACE AND HVAC RENOVATION & REVIEW EXAMPLES OF BONDING RESOLUTION AND BALLOT LANGUAGE
A. Examples of bonding resolutions and ballot language from other school districts were provided for the trustees review to assist in deciding the wording that best fits the proposed bonding project for Lockwood School District. The draft bonding project language will be provided to the bond counsel.
B. Final Determination of the Cost and Scope of the Project
Superintendent Eileen Johnson advised the trustees that it might work well to review and complete the entire resolution form to cover everything the lawyer needs for the bonding language.
To update everyone present, Trustee Trafford re-capped what happened at the July 25, 2006 special meeting. He pointed out that the maximum bond allowable would be 13.4 million. It was also noted that approximately $500,000 would be earned in interest on the bond dollars.
Tim said we need the language to be specific enough to be legal and indefinite enough to allow for flexibility.
Chair Stroebe commented that it is important the public is aware that the finished product is still in the hands of the community, and they will be involved in that process.
Tim asked about including fire safety in the ballot language. Trustee Vinton thought including fire safety in the ballot language would be a good idea. Tim asked the architects if the fire safety issues were a code upgrade.
Architect Terry Sukut responded that it would be difficult to get a permit without addressing some of the code issues when you spent $4-$5 million dollars on HVAC renovation. They will have to go through the permitting process with various agencies to complete the renovation.
Eileen advised that the information provided to the public prior to the balloting will be much more detailed than what the ballot language would need to be. She thought that was the place to address the fire safety issues, rather than on the ballot.
Sue advised she had carefully reviewed the scenarios last week as to what we can get for our money.
Tim noted that the additional $200,000 that would be available to bond, due to the first one-half of the building reserve levy having been paid, could be very helpful for additional square footage or options.
Sue Vinton pointed out that the ending of Building Reserve levy in May 2006, will soften the impact of the bond for the taxpayer. The impact will be reduced by 35 mills due to retirement of the Building Reserve levy.
Tim Trafford advised that the State of Montana will pay about $214,000 of the first bond payment of approximately $1.1 million, and the state has indicated they are committed to continuation of bond payment assistance.
Chairman Stroebe said the Board of Trustees needs to make a decision tonight in order to have the bond ballot ready for the November 7, 2006 election.
Mrs. Johnson said she would like to provide information about the bond issue in the newsletter that is sent out to every box holder in the community each new school year.
Sue Vinton requested that the ballot language indicate that that some or all of the HVAC upgrades will be done.
Mr. Bowman suggested that the term office space be used instead of administrative space. The trustees agreed that it should be called office areas.
Tim Trafford moved to adopt the resolution draft language and forward it to the bonding attorney. Sue Vinton seconded the motion.
After discussion of the issue, Tim rescinded the above-mentioned motion.
Tim Trafford moved that the Board of Trustees adopt the resolution wording as written below for the November 7, 2006, ballot. Sue Vinton seconded the motion.
“A resolution of School District No. 26 (Lockwood), Yellowstone County, submitting to the qualified electors of the district the question of issuing general obligation school building bonds in the amount of thirteen million four hundred thousand and no/100 dollars ($13,400,000) for the purpose of paying the costs of designing, constructing, furnishing, and equipping a new middle school at the existing Lockwood school campus to serve approximately 450 students, containing approximately 32 classrooms, office areas, and an all-purpose room, and associated improvements and amenities; related renovation of the existing elementary school buildings to include improvements to classrooms in conjunction with the new middle school construction; replacing and/or upgrading some or all of the existing heating/ventilation/air-conditioning system with an integrated heating/ventilation/air-conditioning system, including boilers and associated improvements; related improvements; and paying costs associated with the sale and issuance of the bonds”
It was noted that this wording will be sent to the bonding attorney, Dan Semmens of Dorsey & Whitney, for finalization and final adoption will take place August 8, 2006.
Chair Stroebe called for the vote. Tim Trafford, Sue Vinton, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe, and Becky Malenowsky voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.
INCREASE EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY FEES TO $25 PER ACTIVITY
A. Keith Tresch and Mike Sullivan were present to provide information.
Keith Tresch, Athletic Director, read aloud his report requesting the increase in participation fees. (Report attached). He also noted that costs for bussing students to games are paid for with athletic fees as well.
Mike Sullivan advised that he had been considering this increase for a couple years. Athletics has been conducting fundraisers. In the past, they have asked each coach to do one. This sometimes resulted in stepping on each other toes, and too many fundraisers. They backed off from that and shifted the concession stand over to Athletics because Student Council became inactive. Student Council is now active again; they will be managing the concession stand, so athletics will need more money.
Principal Sullivan also commented that he would like to get a few more activities for sixth graders. He would also like to start replacement rotations for equipment, especially for softball.
Eileen said she supports what they’ve ask for. She said it is important that students know that not being able to pay the fee will not preclude them from playing, and they will not be nagged or asked about it if they are unable to pay.
Trustee Becky Malenowsky asked if there is a cap per family right now. The trustees responded no, there is not.
Eileen said that costs for all supplies, referees, timers, workers, etc, come out of the Extracurricular Fund. Only coaches’ stipends are paid from the General Fund.
Extracurricular is defined as any school sponsored activity. The fees are applicable only to the extracurricular sports activities.
The increase to $25 should increase the income to the Extracurricular Fund about $1,500.
Mike and Keith both hope to increase participation also.
After the above-mentioned discussion, Becky Malenowsky moved to raise the extracurricular sports activity fee to $25 per sport. Greg Bochy seconded the motion.
Tim Trafford asked about the cost of the physicals. The cost is $15 per student every two years.
Keith said students also buy a $10 tee-shirt to wear for all sports.
Tim suggested that in the future requests such as this need to be shown as a budget-type itemized report. It would be easier to make a determination about the requested increase, if income and expenditures were itemized.
Eileen advised that they will do big joint activities instead of so many small money-makers. This would actually be a relief to some of the parents who end up buying the items for sale through several fundraisers.There was discussion that transportation for activities is only provided one-way, to the activity. This is done because so many parents pick their child up at the activity, the bus goes home empty. This is an additional expense that isn’t needed. Eileen said if they go out of the city, they will try to provide two-way transportation.
Teresa said that it will be important for the Athletic Director to provide good communication regarding costs and fees.
Tim confirmed that those students who cannot pay the fees will be subsidized, and they do not have to do anything in return.
Keith Tresch and Mike Sullivan will make the decisions about students who cannot pay the fee, and the coach will not even know their identities.
Teresa requested that the board receive updates on the numbers of students in activities, and she wants it tracked as to whether or not this increase causes a drop in participation.
Chair Stroebe called for the question. Tim Trafford, Becky Malenowsky, Sue Vinton, Greg Bochy, and Thomas Jones voted yes; Teresa Stroebe voted no. The motion passed five to one.
The next Regular Board Meeting will be Tuesday, August 8, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. It will be the annual budget meeting. On that agenda is also possible adoption of a Bond Election Resolution provided by Bond Counsel.
Teresa reminded the trustees about the Delegate Assembly to be held on August 26, 2006 in Helena.
Eileen thanked the Board, the Steering Committee members and everyone for the wonderful, joint effort and commitment to Lockwood Schools.
Thomas Jones moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:02 p.m. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Becky Malenowsky, Sue Vinton, Greg Bochy, Teresa Stroebe, and Thomas Jones voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.
Teresa Stroebe, Chairperson Diane M. Brook, District Clerk