Farwell BOE mulls building fiber line

August 16, 2018

By Pat Maurer

With a contract for internet fiber connection set to expire next July, the Farwell Board of Education discussed the costs to “build a fiber line.” A Win-Tel proposal was to split the cost to bring a line from Clare because it would benefit them as an internet provider. Farwell’s share of the cost would be from $80,000 to $125,000.

Den Kickbusch of the Clare Gladwin Regional Education Service District was at the August 6th meeting to discuss the matter with the board. He said a project to build the fiber cable, if started in September, “would be hard pressed to complete by next July.”

He said it was likely that Charter Spectrum would “shut us off” when the contract expires.

Since the Surrey Township Library and Farwell Village also use the fiber connection and there isn’t anything in the budget for a project to install and own fiber, the board discussed cost sharing with them if the School District owned the fiber and leased space to them.

Interim Superintendent Tom House said options were also being discussed for a bank loan or installment contract to cover the cost.

Farwell Village President Gina Hamilton was at the BOE meeting and said she would discuss it with the City Council.

The BOE voted to have Kickbusch issue a RFP (Request for Proposal) for bids on a fiber line.

In another matter the search for a new superintendent is underway.

Last month the board agreed to use the Michigan Leadership Institute again facilitated by Mike Wilmont this time.

The Superintendent Search last year was handled by Gary Rider, Regional President of the MLI.

The MLI is now under the Genesee Intermediate School District with Associate Superintendent Steven Tunnicliff serving as the new Executive Director of the MLI.

Wilmont was at the meeting August 6th and reported on the upcoming deadline for applications for the superintendent’s position. He said they had already received “a few applications.”

He said he will present the applicants to the board at the 6 p.m. August 21 Special meeting.

In other business at the meeting:

*The posting for a new business manager for the district ended August 13. Until a new candidate is hired the CGRESD will help to cover the business office.

*The board also discussed the potential building and renovation project, and the “wish list” developed.

Wolgast, Johnson Controls and PFM will be at the August 20th meeting to make presentations and the board will discuss bonding options.

*The board approve hiring Hal Huber as custodian; Gary White as High School Special Ed teacher; and several coaches including Hugh Lewis for JV Football and Boys Golf; Brandon Hauck as Assistant JV Football coach and Dani Hanna for 8th Grade Middle School Volleyball.

*Several resignations were approved including Emily Kearney as Business manager; Brookelle Antonides as High School Special Ed teacher; Sarah Loomis as Preschool teacher; Megan Davison as Kindergarten teacher; and Tom Suggitt as Assistant HS Principal/Athletic Director.

*August 20 was set as a special workshop meeting.

*The board approved borrowing $2.4 million in anticipation of State Aid.

*the board approved bussing for students south of State highway M-115 because of student safety concerns.

*Approval was given for the Election Resolution for non-homestead property tax renewal of 18 mills.

*The board approved a “cooperative agreement with Harrison High School for a ski team.

*The board approved an increase in adult meal prices.

*The board approved the payment of bills totaling $338,671.36.

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