By Pat Maurer
Clare Board of Education members gave Superintendent Doniel Pummell the go-ahead Monday to look for community support for a bond issue.
Pummell said a facility audit outlined district needs including $9 million in upgrades for the Clare Middle School, a performing arts center, some improvements at the Clare Primary and High School buildings and the district’s need for busses. “I am suggesting a meeting with community members to see if there is support for a bond,” she told board members. “I am willing to do all of the work; I just need your approval to start.”
Board members agreed that a meeting with community members would be important. Sue Murawski said, “We need to know the climate of the community.” Carol Santini added, “It doesn’t hurt to check and see.”
Board President Tom Weaver said, “I don’t have a problem with this.” Pummell said she would set up a meeting with community members and report back to the board at the August meeting.
The discussion followed a unanimous vote by board members to purchase a used bus, a projected cost of “less than $65, 000,” Pummell said. She said Jim Parsons is concerned that four of the district’s busses may be ‘red tagged’ during the inspection of the fleet this year.
Parsons reported that the four include bus 16, the handicap bus, and route busses number 1, 5, and 6. He said numbers 5 and 6 are in the worst shape. Pummell reported “If we were to lose any of the route busses, we will have a major issue.”
She said there was enough in the Capitol Improvement Fund to purchase one bus this year. The board purchased two busses last year.
The board also approved hiring new staff and teachers including Amanda Anderson as high school art teacher; Jennifer Brutyn as administrative assistant; Danielle Haring as a half-time Matha and half time science teacher at Pioneer High School; Sarah Koch for first grade; Amanda Hutching for second grade and Stacy Pechacek as central office clerk.
After some discussion, two board members were appointed to serve on the City’s new Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA) for the new Clare Industrial Park North Park. The LDFA will capture a portion of tax revenues at the new park and oversee their expenditure for park improvements.
An increase in the cost of school lunches was also approved by the board. Primary school lunches will increase from $1.75 to $2 this year. Middle and high school lunches will increase from $2 to $2.25 and the cost of milk will increase from 40 cents to 50 cents.
Other business at the unusually brief meeting Monday night included:
*Correspondence from the State Fire Marshall commending Pummell for the resent fire inspection report and a letter thanking Pummell and the board for their support of the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District’s S.P.A.R.K.S. program.
* Master Boardmember Award presented to board member Carol Santini for completing those requirements.
*A report from Clare Primary Principal Many Bolen on the successful summer program for students. She reported that between 50 and 60 youngsters participated in the first five-week program and that 53 had begun the second program of five weeks. Students participate in the “camp like” program attend for four days each week and participate in a weekly field trip, she said. “They are enjoying it.”
*During her report, Pummell said administrators will participate in an administration retreat August 21-22 in Traverse City. The two days will focus on leadership and teamwork.
*the board discussed a proposal to place an AirFiber radio on the city’s water tower, which has already been approved at the City. The antenna will provide better network and internet services for both Brookwood’s stadium and Pioneer High School.
*The board approved a resolution and ballot language for renewal of the 18-mill non-homestead tax to be placed on the November ballot.
*Approval of the Michigan Association of School Boards’ Self-Evaluation format.
*Approval of June expenses totaling $128,823.93 and July bills totaling $113,144.84.