The Mineral Point School Board met Monday for its regularly monthly meeting. Among the items on the agenda was the approval of the preliminary budget for the 2020-21 school year.

Superintendent Mitch Wainwright stated the budget is currently projecting a $35,000 surplus. Usually, a balanced budget is presented, however, with the uncertainties in state and federal aid forthcoming due to the effects of the pandemic, it has been recommended schools budget to absorb a potential decrease in aid. Wainwright stated he wants the public to know he “didn’t cut the fat” of the proposed budget and that there are “a lot of things on hold” for the moment, until the district knows more about how much aid it will receive next year.

The Board unanimously approved (with Larry Steffes absent) the preliminary budget. (Go to the 44 minute, 45 second mark of the video)

Video link:

Other business:

— The Board held a lengthy discussion regarding athletic competition and school facility use during the summer months. Currently, the state has said school facilities must remain closed to the public through June 30.

The WIAA is allowing spring sports the option of competing during the month of July.  

Athletic Director Vickie Dahl said the SWAL Conference has decided it will not hold conference games this summer, but teams can schedule non-conference games. She also added the softball team has decided not to have activities during July, but the baseball team is interested.

Safety concerns were raised with the COVID-19 pandemic and what safety measures would be put in place.

There were also safety concerns with the current baseball field attached to the construction site at the elementary building project.

Dahl stated Iowa is currently playing their summer high school baseball and softball schedules and have put precautions in place. She will reach out to learn more about these measures.

The Board unanimously voted to table this discussion to a special meeting Wednesday, June 17 at 6:30 pm. Agenda info:

(Go to the one hour, 27 minute mark)

— The Board approved the 2020-21 open enrollment in and out requests as presented by administration. It was recommended the Board deny one 8th grade student due to space availability and deny one 4th grade student using Board Policy 423, also because of lack of space.  There are four applications for 4th grade; two students will be granted preference under section (a.) 1 & 2.  A random draw will be applied to the remaining two 4th grade students. Police 423 is available here:

(Go to the 16 minute, 30 second mark).

— The Board gave unanimous preliminary approval for Wainwright to proceed down the road of adding aisles and railings to the existing middle/high school gymnasium bleachers at a cost not to exceed $25,000. This project could be completed this summer with the money coming from the Fund 46 Capital Maintenance Fund. (Go to the 12 minute mark)

— The Board unanimously approved the fee schedule for the 2020-21 school year as follows:

(Go to the 36 minute, 30 second mark)

— The Board continued to discuss at length the request to pay part of the regular home to school bus route during the school closure.

Wainwright stated he received correspondence that says the district is set to receive $70,611 in federal CARES money due to the pandemic, which can be used, among other things, to keep contractors whole.

Many Board members discussed their concern with paying for services that were not rendered. Some members were also concerned the district might not actually receive the federal CARES money, or may receive a lesser amount than anticipated.

The Board unanimously approved not paying the transportation contract at this time, but instructed Wainwright to apply for the CARES grant when able in July. (Go to the 50 minute, 15 second mark)

— The Board approved by a 5-0-1 vote (with Aaron Dunn abstaining) Mound City Bank as the vendor for a $1,500,000 line of credit. Each year the district approves a lender that will provide a line of credit for the school district.  This line of credit is used to offset the timing of state aid payments. (Go to the two hour, five minute, 30 second mark)

— The Board unanimously approved the retirement request of Steve Gorder, elementary custodian, after 17 years of service. (Go to the two hour, 11 minute, 30 second mark)

— The Board unanimously approved that all administrators will receive a Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase in their salaries for the 2020-21 school year, except for the Superintendent.  The Superintendent’s contract will be amended to include the same retirement language as all building level administrators, as well as pay the prior two years’ retirement money to the Superintendent. (Go to the two hour, 17 minute, 30 second mark)

— The Board unanimously approved the credit card statement and bills payable. (Go to the two hour, 23 minute, 45 second mark).

— The Board unanimously approved the budget amendments as presented. (Go to the two hour, nine minute, 15 second mark)

— July’s monthly meeting is set for Monday, July 13 at 6:30 pm.