School Board – Board continues planning for bond election

School and community applauded for spirit during state tournament.

Unified School District 410 Board of Education members came to Monday night’s regular meeting decked in their gold Hillsboro Trojan T-shirts.

Board president Rod Koons said he e-mailed board members to wear the shirts to honor coach Dale Honek, the Hillsboro High girls’ basketball team and “the  community as a whole” for their display of spirit and support at the state tournament in Hutchinson last week.

“I was proud to be board president,” Koons said about the energetic sportsmanship demonstrated at competition.

“Whether we won or loss, we represented ourselves well…. We’re very thankful for our community.”

Activities Director Max Heinrichs reported that the chess team placed second out of 22 teams at the state meet.

“It was a good weekend for Hillsboro,” Heinrichs said.

Much of Monday’s meeting focused on issues related to the upcoming bond election and fiscal concerns for the district.

Last month the board adopted a $6.625 million cap for the bonds.

Dustin Avey of Piper Jaffray, who attended the March meeting, returned with mill-levy impact analyses for four repayment plans that ranged from 15 to 25 years.

Following Avey’s presentation, the board agreed by consensus to support a 20-year repayment plan in which the mill levy would increase gradually from 3.165 to 8.169 by 2013.

Superintendent Gordon Mohn and the board also discussed tentative bond election activities through which they could communicate information to the constituency.

“(The election) ought to sell itself,” Mohn said.

Mohn said several items still need to be finalized about the facility design for the bond election, including locations of the transportation/maintenance facility and the central office and the classroom and office arrange­ment at Hillsboro Elementary School.

Mohn plans to consult with the architect about the resolving issues at HES. He also requested the board’s permission for he and Keith Goossen, director of maintenance and transportation, to pursue a workable solution that would be cost effective.

Goossen presented a transport report to the board regarding busing, mileage and a vehicle-replacement plan.

The 2006-07 budget includes $140,000 to purchase two buses. The board also authorized purchase of a used mini-van from Irv Schroeder County Motors at a cost of less than $20,000.

Mohn also reviewed financial projects and staff needs for 2007-08. He said the district is anticipating a continuing decline in enrollment, which will have a financial impact.

In other business, the board:

  • authorized $342 from miscellaneous funds to pay for the eighth-grade class to see “Bridge to Terabithia” at Chisholm Trail Theater in Newton Friday morning. The outing is to celebrate the class achieving the 2006 Standard of Excellence.
  • approved purchase of seven pre-owned Richo digital copiers and two new Lanier colored copiers from KK Office Solutions for $42,500.
  • approved a lease-purchase agreement with Hillsboro State Bank for financing $28,000 of the cost to purchase the copiers.
  • asked HES principal Evan Yoder to develop a ranking system for admission guidelines for peer applicants for the district preschool.

The board will adopt a policy at next month’s meeting.

The current capacity is 34 children. Present criteria fill slots according to the following priority: Head Start eligible, special education eligible, 4-year-old at-risk eligible and peers.

  • approved issuing a food service contract to Marty Hoffner as a kitchen assistant.
  • discussed the school calendar, which the board will officially adopt at the April board meeting.
  • met in executive sessions to discuss personnel issues and property aquisition.
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