MARCUS - The Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn School Board held a special hearing to get their evening started. No one showed to question the need for the Instructional Support Levy. The board unanimously approved the levy.
The board listened to former board members Al Hoefling and Nancy Hohbach express their opinions about the need to make some cuts and stick with their decisions. Hoefling expressed a desire to keep sixth grade as it is. He noted that a couple of teachers could easily be cut from staff.
Hohbach expounded on the need to stay within the perimeters set for early retirement and be consistent within the regulations. She went on to offer three suggestions for making budget cuts, the first being to have Superintendent Jan Brandhorst take on the shared responsibilities of high school principal as well as superintendent. The second was to have a "go-between" teacher who communicates well with teenagers and let him assist with discipline situations. The third was to bring the seventh and eighth grades over to the high school building which would reduce the number of instructors and better utilize their time.
A budget hearing will be set for April 7 beginning at 5 p.m. Hopefully the board will know where to make some necessary cuts which numbers at a $196,000 shortfall, according to their last meeting.
The board ;listened to a presentation from the Education Department on film about commonly asked questions dealing with financing a district; when and how to asked for public to approve levies and sources of income. Business manager Jodi Mongan explained her role in setting up the budget.
The board went through budget projections and learned the board will ask for a total levy of 10.87315 for the time being but it could be reduced to 10.63687. The district still has a good solvency rate,
The board dropped approving early retirement for Eileen Chapman as her numbers did not follow the policy guidelines. A motion was made by Eric Wester . The motion failed due to a lack of a second.
The board approved MMC to be a part of the AEA pool which provides special education for several students. This may be the last year as participation is declining, as is the cost effectiveness.
The board found out that it will take around $25,000 to replace the north and south entrance to the high school. The doors are very difficult to latch. Northwest Glass Company of Spencer may be able to do the work when they come to place windows in the new building addition. The south entrance requires more than the north. The board learned that there just aren't that many companies dealing with the installation of the kind of doors the school requires.
Another project of placing new lights on the baseball field will require somewhere around $61,000 to $69,000 The light poles are in good shape but the lights are unsafe as the cross arms are rotten. The new lights will reduce energy costs, reduce spill light and glare, lamp lights will run from 3,000 to 5,000 hours. The lights are guaranteed to maintain constant light levels over the life of the lamp.
The board is pleased to learn that the gym floor will be replaced covered by the insurance company. The estimated cost of replacement will run between $60-$65,000 while the stage floor will run around $15,000 to $18,000. Now the question is when will they start. The board felt the gym was needed for prom and graduation.
The board also discussed the possibility of tearing the floor out and selling it off as souvenirs to raise money. They came to no concrete decision.