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BEA School Board opts for levy

By Staff | Jul 21, 2019

BEA School Board chairperson, Susan Benz, swears in newly appointed School Board member, Jeff Eckles.

There will be an operating levy question on the ballot this November following a unanimously approved resolution by the Blue Earth Area School Board at their meeting on Monday, July 15.

The amount of the proposed levy is $900 per pupil. The last operating levy expired in 2014 and was $650 per pupil.

“The tax impact of the levy will fall on residential market value (RMV) property (a house, garage, and one acre),” Superintendent Mandy Fletcher explained. “It will not be on agricultural land or buildings.”

The board will now begin the process of providing information to the public. Informational meetings will be scheduled in the five communities which comprise the school district. Those meetings will be scheduled at a later time.

It was the first meeting of the new school year, which began on July 1. It also marked the first meeting for Fletcher as the new superintendent and for new school board member Jeff Eckles.

Eckles was appointed by the board to fill out the term of Jeremy Coxworth, who resigned from the board on April 22.

Since this was the first meeting of the new school year, the board had a lot of “housekeeping” items to take care of.

First on the list was passing a resolution approving the 10-year plan for the long term facility maintenance and long term facility maintenance bonding.

Next, the board approved the activity/meal rates for 2019-20. The board also awarded bids to Culligan for softener salt, and to Waste Management for waste removal. The snow removal bid for the Winnebago bus garage went to Ron’s Trenching. G&S Drainage was awarded the snow removal bid for Blue Earth. More’s Ag Center was awarded the bid for fuel oil. Kwik Trip got the bid for diesel fuel and Shell Oil was awarded the bid for gasoline.

The board also approved the reimbursement rates for board members for the upcoming year which remained the same as last year. The chairperson and the clerk each receive $600 annually. Board members receive $50 per meeting up to a half-day meeting and $150 for a full day meeting.

Moving on to personnel matters, the board approved a staff sharing agreement with Southern Plains Education Cooperative.

The board also accepted the resignation of Ryan McGuire from the maintenance department effective Aug. 1.

Finally the board approved a contract for Katie Kaluza to be a high school Social Studies teacher and for Conan Shaffer to be the K-7 assistant principal.