ACSD Board of Directors approves bid for purchase of Waterville Elementary, addresses personnel and variety of other matters during special session

by Brianne Eilers

The Allamakee Community School District (ACSD) Board of Directors met Tuesday morning, April 10 for public hearings on the proposed budget for the 2018-2019 school year, amending the 2017-2018 budget, consideration of the 2018-2019 school calendar and a public hearing on the sale of the Waterville Elementary School property.

There were no written or oral comments on the proposed budget for the 2018-2019 budget, nor on amending the 2017-2018 budget. No written or oral comments were received on the 2018-2019 school calendar either.

There were no written comments received regarding the sale of the Waterville Elementary School property, but Waterville Mayor Dave Monserud was present to address the board regarding the sale of the property. He asked that the board members consider the difference between a buyer who has community interests in mind as opposed to a buyer who may only see the property as personal gain.

“As long as the building stands, it will always be the Waterville school,” Monserud said, adding that the Waterville City Council and ACSD will always be tied to the property. He further noted that should the building fall into disrepair or deteriorate, there would always be some people who blame the school board and city council. Waterville City Council members Jeff Mitchell and Diane Leiran were in attendance, as was Waterville City Clerk Kim Yohe.

After the public hearings, the board members moved on to new business. Under personnel items, the board accepted the resignation of Deb Kubitz from her position as 21st Century Site Coordinator, due to retirement, effective at the end of the school year. The board also accepted the resignation of Jim Needham from his custodian position, due to retirement, effective June 30, 2018. The board accepted the resignation of Trevor Mincks from his para-professional position. The board also approved a $1.50 per hour pay increase for the cooks during the upcoming summer feeding program. ACSD Superintendent Dave Herold noted that they have done this for the last few years. Angela Adney was hired as a kindergarten teacher and head varsity volleyball coach.

In other matters, the board approved the proposed budget for the 2018-2019 school year as well as the amended budget for the 2017-2018 school year. The 2018-2019 school calendar was approved, as designated in hours. Sunday open gyms were approved for the wrestling program and football program. The Board also approved a revised Facilities and Room Request Form, effective July 1, 2018.

The Board then moved to open the bids for the Waterville Elementary School property. Three bids were received: Jeffrey L. Sweeney, $50,000 ($5,000 bond); Cary Hermanson and Dan Kelly, $22,000 (no bond); and the City of Waterville, $15,000 ($1,500 bond).

The Board moved to enter into closed session per Chapter 21.5 (1) (j) to discuss the sale of particular real estate where premature disclosure could be reasonably expected to reduce the price the governmental body would receive for the property. The minutes and audio recording of a session closed under this paragraph shall be available to the public after the transaction discussed is completed.

When the Board went back into an open meeting, the Board moved to accept the bid from the City of Waterville for $15,000. Board Secretary Jaime Curtin clarified that the bid from Hermanson and Kelly did not have a bond as required, so it was not accepted. She further clarified that Sweeney’s bid letter included some equipment on the property that was not going to be sold in the transaction. She also stated that Sweeney closed his letter by saying he would withdraw his bid should the City of Waterville want to purchase the property.

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