November 27, 2014

ISD 2142 approves maximum LOR of $424 per student


The ISD 2142 School District could receive an extra $424 per student ADM when the final levy is approved, thanks to the Local Optional Revenue for facilities. The board, at their regular meeting Monday at the Northeast Range School starting at 5 p.m., passed the maximum amount. This year the district will receive $1,441,000 in taxes, but in 2015-2016, the estimate is for only $1,051,000. Board member Chet Larson of Cotton moved to file for the maximum with the motion passing 5-2. Orr's Nancy Glowaski voted against it, as did Tower's Troy Swanson, so it passed. This amount can be lowered in December when the final levy is passed.
Supt. Steve Sallee reported they are working on class schedules for 2015-2016. He is also preparing a State of the District report with aid from the principals. He noted this report would be a "work in progress."
Business Manager Kim Johnson reported that the audit is almost complete and that Food Service was in the black. She also gave the monthly financial report showing the district had $4,602,961.40 cash on hand at the end of October not counting the building fund.
The Consent Agenda was approved, including $2,132.50 in donations for the North Woods School and $137.16 for South Ridge.
Northeast Range students gave a presentation on robotics. They now have a team who will be competing with other schools. Members of the NER band were in attendance and told how the band is growing.
Northeast Range Principal Kelly Engman reported that CGI is being implemented and she has noticed great student collaboration and gains in critical thinking and problem solving. In the past two weeks, seven new students have enrolled in NER - six in elementary and one in high school. The enrollment is now at 300. The Honor Roll had 24 on the "A" Honor Roll and 40 on the "B" Honor Roll.
A golf Cooperative Sponsorship with Ely was approved. Ely would be responsible for transportation for boys meets and ISD 2142 for girls.
Supt. Sallee was authorized to submit School Improvement Plans for the 2014-2015 school year for Cherry and South Ridge elementary. They are Title I schools and were designated Continuous Improvement Schools for the 2014-2015 school year by the Minnesota Department of Education. They were ranked 62 out of 121 elementary schools with the the lowest performance on the state's MMR (Multiple Measurement Rating). The plan will be used for all county schools. It was noted that NER is the only school in the district that doesn't have Title I.
Northeast Range social studies teacher Aaron Donais asked the board to approve out-of-state travel for students to Washington, D.C., with the Ely School District. There would be no cost to the district, but students will have to pay $1,000. The board approved his request.
Samantha Reichensperger was hired as a paraprofessional for the Tower-Soudan School.
The resignation of Technology Support Technician Barry Benton was approved.
Indian Education Program Assistant Amanda Shermer's request for an unpaid leave of absence was approved.
The board next approved the hiring of coaching staff for the winter quarter. Those hired are:
Cherry School: Bob Asuma, Head Boys Basketball Coach; Justin Bakkethun, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach; Mike O'Bryan, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach; Tim Sauter, Head Girls Basketball Coach; Heather Parenteau, Assistant Girls Basketball Coach; Taylor Sauter, Assistant Girls Basketball Coach.
North Woods School: Will Kleppe, Head Boys Basketball Coach; Rick Viita, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach; Dan Squires, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach; Ashlee Zupancich, Head Girls Basketball Coach; Matt Rutchasky, Assistant Girls Basketball Coach; Ed Chavers, Assistant Girls Basketball Coach.
Northeast Range School: Mark Fabish, Head Boys Basketball Coach; Ron Marinaro, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach; Chas Lilya, Head Girls Basketball Coach; Paxton Goodsky, Assistant Girls Basketball Coach.
South Ridge School: Carl Grussen-dorf, Head Boys Basketball Coach; Greg Goman, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach; Nathan Shulstad, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach; Lisa Johnson, Head Girls Basketball Coach; Samantha Battaglia, Assistant Girls Basketball Coach; Amy Hudspith, Assistant Girls Basketball Coach.
There being no other business, the meeting adjourned at 6:25 p.m.

River Street bridge replacement discussed

by AJ Shuster

Before the regular Cook City Council meeting of Nov. 20, there was an open public hearing regarding replacing the River Street bridge. Engineer John Jamnick reported a $104,000 cost for the project; $32,000 will be for the architectural design of the new bridge. Other costs would cover land acquisition, house demolition, easement issues, road improvements, permits and other legal work.
Due to its county classification as a blight infrastructure - in the top eight of worst bridges in the county, but not dangerous for use - the Minnesota Department of Transportation will cover 100 percent of bridge basics. An application for $90,000 from the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) program would cover the bulk of the costs. The city is responsible for the road improvements needed on each end of the bridge. The abandoned residential demolition project would fall under the blight removal funds already available.
At the council meeting, Jamnick shared a need to increase the wastewater treatment contract by over $10,000 to cover nearly double the piping expected - revealed after draining ponds, cleaning debris out of the second pond, and purchase of the needed larger generator.
The personnel committee's work is not finished with the reviews and interviews of four very capable applicants for the Ambulance Department director position. As the position needs filling before the next council meeting, permission was granted to allow the committee to select and hire one for the position.
Also hired is a new stock clerk for the city liquor store, William Sobyra IV. The Fire Department received a letter from Canadian National Railroad with updated information on its safety procedures. Transfer of funds from the Beautification Committee to Parks and Recreation is contingent on a project with a time line and budget amount. A report on this year's bow hunt totals will be reported at the December council meeting.
Cook's Country Christmas on Dec. 5 will see changes at City Hall. Santa is moving to the Comet Theater. The Farmers' Market will fill City Hall, along with the usual cookies and cider on hand. The last Benson art piece will be installed at the library that day.
In closing comments, compliments went to the new redecoration of McDonald's.

CLWSD board approves MPCA Grant Contract for $1.5 million

The Crane Lake Water and Sanitary District board held their regular monthly meeting on Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Crane Lake Chapel.
After approving the financial report submitted by clerk/treasurer Jo Ann Pohlman, the board discussed the 2015 Rate Schedule/Budget. The board will review the previously emailed Revenue and Expense spreadsheets prior to a decision in December. Delinquent accounts were certified and sent to the county auditor with taxes against each benefited property. A signed copy of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) cooperative agreement for the public water access agreement between the State of Minnesota and CLWSD was received.
Jim Anderson of the MPCA (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency) and Gary Cerkvenik discussed with the board the $1.5 million Legacy Funds that the MPCA administers. Anderson stated that the MPCA would like to execute the grant ASAP. The District would need to be set up to receive the contract and payments. Anderson said it was necessary to get budget information from SEH for the Handberg Road Extension to get the process moving. The Community Assessment Report (CAR) would be added as information became available. It was moved by B. Congdon, seconded by Rob Scott to adopt a resolution for CLWSD to enter into and execute a Grant Contract with the MPCA to complete a sewer project to protect and restore the waters of Voyageurs National Park and authorizing Chairman Rob Scott to sign the grant contract on behalf of the CLWSD. The motion passed unanimously. Board member Beste moved to approve Rob Scott applying for funds for the CAR and the motion passed unanimously.
The next board meeting will be Dec. 3.



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