USD 410 School Board discusses property

Introducing the topic that prompted the longest public session discussion of the evening, Superintendent Max Heinrichs told the USD 410 board of education at its March 14 regular meeting that Lance Carter had approached him about purchasing the district-owned rental house property located at 508 E. A Street.

Right across the alley from our tech center to the east – we own that – and I have somebody who’s interested in purchasing that from us,” Heinrichs said, later noting Carter offered to purchase the property for $45,000, as-is.

Purchased in 2006, the district’s intent was to acquire all the additional properties that shared the block with the middle/high school for potential expansion. At the time, the district was unsuccessful at acquiring one of the properties and later moved forward with expansion at a different location.

Last listed for sale in 2020 for $65,000 and later reduced to $55,000, the property did not sell and is currently occupied as a rental property owned and maintained by the district. Heinrichs indicated he would like to remove the property from the district’s care.

I agree that it seems like you all have more to do than doing rentals and that type of thing,” board member Jim Paulus said. “If it’s demo-ing it and getting rid of it or selling it, I’d say whatever we have to do so it’s not on the administration’s plate to deal with because there’s plenty else going on.”

Board member Scott Winter questioned whether the district would eventually regret selling the property.

Our reality for expansion of our campuses and facilities is probably not something we should spend a lot of time talking about,” board vice-president Rod Koons said. “We need to take care of what we have, but we probably don’t need to spend a lot of time on expanding our footprint.”

Returning to the question at hand, Heinrichs asked the board how it wanted him to proceed with Carter, whom the board assumed would continue using the property as a rental.

I would love to see a family move into it,” board member Jessey Hiebert said. After Heinrichs noted the house was small, Hiebert continued: “There’s not a lot of places for people that are looking for a $55,000 home that don’t want to rent, that would rather invest in their own property.”

Hiebert said there are people who can’t afford high monthly housing costs, but would still like to own property and there might be individuals beyond Carter looking for a starter home, especially since the housing market has changed since the last time the home was on the market.

That’s something the city’s dealing with right now – and I’m in on those meetings – is the fact that we need housing,” Hiebert said. “That’s why I was wondering if it’s put up for sale, I think it should be put up for sale, not that if somebody finds out that someone wants to get rid of it and they give a phone call and no one else even knows about it. I just want to be transparent.”

Heinrichs said the board can handle the sale how it sees fit, and he would get advertising information if the board wanted.

We can sell it, we can tear it down, we can move it,” board president Jared Jost said. “We need to do something that gets our administration free and clear of it because we don’t rent houses. It’s not the district’s role.”

Hiebert said he “100 percent agreed” the property doesn’t need to belong to the school, but wondered what “type of potential backlash” could come out of lack of public knowledge. He noted that school vehicles are sold at public auction, and it seemed a house would be similar.

If that’s not an issue, it’s fine with me,” he said. “I just wondered if it could be.”

Heinrichs said he would put an advertisement in the paper for one week, listed as best-offer, as-is, but no official board action was taken.

COVID updates

The board voted 6-0, with member Tim Kaufman absent from the meeting, to make two updates to the USD 410 school opening plan. The two recommended changes were motioned by Koons and seconded by Hiebert to change the “stay home until fever-free without medication” policy from 72 hours back to 24 hours and to eliminate from the title “COVID 30-Temporary Guidance” put in place Jan. 21, leaving “USD 410 Quarantine Explanations.”

Personnel updates

After returning to public session following a total of 30 minutes in executive session to discuss non-elected personnel, the board:

  • voted 6-0 to hire Brittany Baum at a rate of $11.35 per hour, 13 hours per week, as a preschool aide at Hillsboro Elementary School;
  • voted 6-0 to hire Raine Harman at a rate of $11.35 per hour, 9.5 hours per week, as a HES preschool aide;
  • voted 6-0 to pay Heinrichs for unused vacation as of June 30, at his regular hourly rate of pay;
  • voted 6-0 to approve the supplemental contract for Demetrius Cox as summer weight room supervisor;
  • voted 6-0 to approve hiring Dustin Dalke as Hillsboro High School assistant golf coach;
  • voted 6-0 to accept the resignation of Patty Traxson as Marion County Parents as Teachers educator, effective June 19;
  • voted 6-0 to accept the resignation of Sharon Funk as HES administrative assistant, effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year;
  • heard the district is pursuing a second assistant softball coach because of the number of students participating in the sport.

Other business

In other business, the board:

  • voted 6-0 to approve the purchase of 155 Lenovo ThinkPads from TwoTrees Technologies, LLC., at a cost of $735 including warranties, for a total of $113,925;
  • voted 6-0 to approve DCS Services as project manager for the HMHS kitchen dishwasher replacement at the cost of $32,206 for a CMA dishwasher;
  • went into executive session to discuss employer-employee negotiations; no action was taken upon return to public session.

The next regular meeting will be held Monday, April 11 at the district office.

Written By
More from Malinda Just
Mother focuses on encouraging ?em
There are many times when I know the Mother of the Year...
Read More