By Pat Maurer
Clare Schools Superintendent Doniel Pummell announced Monday evening that after a meeting with Clare police and City officials, the schools will have a full-time liaison officer in the three buildings this year.
The Clare district had budgeted $17,500 towards the position for this year, an amount that would only cover about an hour and a half each day with different officers handling the duty each day.
“Before this meeting, I wasn’t sure we would have a liaison officer this year,” Pummell told the Board of Education members.
After the meeting with the city, Pummell said, an arrangement was made where the school district will add another $7,500 to the cost, upping the school contribution to $25,000 annually, and the City Police budget will cover the remaining costs for a full-time liaison officer – about $43,000, according to Clare Police Chief Brian Gregory. Officer Brian David has been named as the Clare Schools liaison officer.
Gregory said, “We will be paying nearly 65 percent of the [liaison officer] costs. We want everyone in the city to know that this will not affect the coverage that they have come to expect.” He continued, “My officers are making scheduling sacrifices to make this happen. Unfortunately with today’s society and school safety [issues] we feel that you really can’t put a monetary value on our kids’ safety. Officer David will still be utilized by the police department when it is necessary.”
Gregory said both Harrison and Farwell contract with the Clare County Sheriff’s Department for a liaison officer – Harrison pays $37,000 for the nine month period and Farwell pays $32,088 for coverage during the school year. He added that, because of the budgeting process, the costs for the Clare officer are based on the whole year, and that David will work at the CPD during the summer vacation.
The school board will still have to approve the additional district expenditure and approve the contract with the Clare Police Department, Pummell said. “It [the additional $7,500] will be in a budget amendment later in the year. That is a small amount for us to pay. We can make that work. If it were $20,000 [more], no way.”
She continued, “The city has made a big change to help.”
The board was also very appreciative of the city’s help. “While I am on the defensive side of spending money,” Board member Dave Maxwell said, “there was a lot of work on their [the city’s] part in splitting the cost. I am really impressed and pleased.”
In another matter Monday evening, Derek Miller representing Roslund, Prestage and Company, presented the annual audit for the school year ending in June, 2013. He said the district’s audit reports all presented “fairly,” which is the highest level the firm can give.
The total budget for the last year was $13,492,762, up a little over $400,000 from the previous year. Of the total, 82 percent of the district budget goes to salaries, wages and fringe benefits. Pummell said the state’s average amount is 85 percent.
Purchased services total eight percent, supplies take up seven percent Capital outlay adds two percent and miscellaneous costs are one percent of the district expenditures. The Districts total general fund balance at the end of the school year excluding prepaid expenses was $1,249,581.
Other business at the regular meeting included:
*a report from Superintendent Pummell that funds are available to make repairs to the tennis courts at Brookwood Field in the spring. She said the Pioneer Development Fund has $1,500 earmarked for the project and the city has said they will provide another $800, which will pay for most of the $2,400 cost. Pummell also suggested that the board set aside $700 to $1,000 each year, $500 from the district and a matching $500 from the city, to pay for resurfacing the courts in ten years. The board discussed the option of charging the tennis club for the use of the courts.
* a report from Student Body Representative Abigail Denton about the success of Homecoming this year and upcoming events including the annual Leadership Conference November 20, the food drive which begins October 31, plans to adopt families for the holidays, and possible gift wrapping services offered at local retailers during the annual Christmas Open House.
*Melissa DeRoche, president of the Band Boosters reported that five students are auditioning for All-State and the Cheesecake fundraiser is underway.
*approval of the annual audit.
*appointment of Carol Santini to represent the district at the Michigan Association of School Board’s Fall Conference.
*a letter of agreement clarifying language in the contract with the Clare Transportation Contract which runs from 2012 to 2015.
The action changes conditions of work for the members of the CTE.
*approval of the bills payable for September totaling $238,009.27.