The Mineral Point School Board held a special meeting the evening of Thursday, August 31. (Scroll past the video for more article text.)

Kevin Eipperle and Christina Monk of FEH Design shared a proposal with the Board to secure an entrance at the elementary, serve as a qualified provider for the dust collector installation, and provide assistance to the high school roof remediation.

Eipperle stated that the dust collector would qualify for Act 32, which is a revenue limit exemption for energy efficiency, or operational savings.

Superintendent Luke Francois stated that originally, the district had planned to use operational dollars to pay for the dust collector, but if the Board decided to pursue Act 32, those dollars could then be put towards instructional use while the dust collector gets levied outside the revenue cap.

“This would also be a good time for an engineer to come in to make sure the dust collector was installed as it was specified,” added Francois. “Roger Palzkill (maintenance director) nor I have that level of expertise.”

Francois also added that a resolution would need to be on the September 11 Board meeting agenda, before the possibility of an Act 32 moratorium comes from the state.

Eipperle also discussed options to create a secure entrance at the elementary, which would allow visitors to enter the office before they are allowed to enter the building.

Francois said that right now, the elementary is over capacity. “We still need to think long term about capacity needs, and this is a short term fix that gives us flexibility long term.”

The middle/high school roof was also discussed, and it is hoped that yet this fall, the district will be able to have a stretch of good weather that will allow qualified personnel the chance to investigate the issues further.

Francois stated that the elementary secure entrance, middle/high school roof, and the dust collector for the tech ed room are some of the district’s “most pressing issues.”

FEH Design’s management fees to oversee each project would be: $1750 for the secure entrance, $250 plus $200 for each report for the dust collector, and $1200 for the roof.

The Board gave Francois direction to have the items put on the September 11 Board meeting agenda. Board members Lisa Hay and Andy Busch instructed Francois to contact the district’s previous vendor, Nexus, to make sure the district would not be in a breach of contract. (This discussion begins the video)

Other business:

–Francois gave a very high-level view of the current state budget situation, but cautioned things are “still very preliminary.” He is optimistic the September Board meeting will provide a clearer update in a few weeks.

“We will have a balanced budget to the best of our ability, but there are still many variables moving and shifting,” he added. (Go to the 38 minute, 15 second mark)

–The Board discussed whether or not to fill the currently vacant elementary administrative assistant position externally.

Francois stated that, upon learning of the resignation of Lyndsey Reed, he and elementary principal Matt Renwick met and discussed all options and determined this is a position that cannot be consolidated or shared and requires refilling of the vacancy.

Elaine Schwartz, Pupil Services Administrative Assistant, also works out of the elementary office, but Pupil Services Director Dixie Dempsey reminded the Board that Schwartz is really a district-level employee whose office just happens to be in the elementary. In addition, Schwartz is a 0.8 FTE who does not work on Wednesdays and therefore is unable to cover the office.

In addition to clerical duties, the elementary administrative assistant is also responsible for buzzing in visitors to the building, as well as some nurse-like duties, since the district’s nurse is part time at the elementary and part time at the middle/high school.

Board President Larry Steffes said, before he could support filling the vacancy, he would like to look at the duties of all clerical employees district wide to see if there could be a possible reassignment of duties.

The Board approved by a 6-1 vote filling the position. Steffes voted no. (Go to the 57 minute mark)

–The Board discussed, and ultimately moved into executive session, for purposes of evaluation and related compensation of instructional assistant candidates.

The Board then approved 6-1 the hiring of Bridget Tippett at $18 per hour with the stipulation if the student she serves leaves the district, her salary would be revisited at a lesser amount. Larry Dolphin voted no. (Go to the one hour, 11 minute, 15 second mark)