Long night for Clayton Ridge school board at April 12 meeting

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A public hearing for the 2018-19 Clayton Ridge School District budget was called to order at 7 p.m. in Garnavillo on Thursday, April 12.  Members in attendance were John Heying, Christine Aulwes, Kathy Ihde, Ellen Johnson, Alicia Helle and Mike Finnegan.  Jason Reimer was absent. Also in attendance were Shane Wahls, Andy Peterson, David Schlueter, Mary Seifert, Deb Henkes, Travis Geuder, Kevin Hennessey, Bill Leonhart and Matt Moser.

Schlueter presented the proposed 2018-19 Certified District Budget with total expenditures of $15,839,231. Tax rates were as follows: 

General Fund - $3,191,168, Management Fund - $90,000, Voted Physical Plant and Equipment - $485,620 

Regular physical plant and equipment - $119,593  

The total taxable valuation is $353,113,747 and the tax levy rate is $10.93752 per $1,000 taxable valuation. After hearing comments from members, the public hearing ended at 7:05 p.m., and the budget was adopted as presented during the regular meeting. 

A second public hearing was held regarding the 2018-19 district calendar. Superintendent Wahls presented the proposed 2018-19 district calendar with an August 23, 2018, start date and an end date of May 24, 2019.  The hearing for the calendar ended at 7:20 p.m. and the regular meeting was called to order. During the regular meeting, the calendar was approved.

Board members approved a weight room quote from 2nd Wind Exercise in the amount of $88,014.56, as well as a quote from V.I.P.S for flooring in the middle school in the amount of $27,415.  A payment to Estes Construction was approved in the amount of $45,750.

The board accepted the resignation and early retirement application of Connie Christianson, and the resignation of Tadd Schutte as middle school boys track coach.   J.T. Cunningham was approved for transfer from assistant wrestling coach to head coach.  

The school board voted to approve a technology lease agreement with Apple for a total cost of $249,334.43, with annual lease payments made in the amount of $57,523.79 for four years. Eight-year-old Macbooks and desktops will be sold back for approximately $25,000.  

Contracts and handbooks with CRESPA (Clayton Ridge Educational Support Personnel Association, the union that represents cooks, custodians, teacher associates, and bus drivers) and CREA (Clayton Ridge Education Association, the union that represents teachers and nurses) reflecting a 3.6 percent increase for CRESPA and a 2.25 percent increase for CREA were unanimously approved, as were the following pay increases for administrative and non-union positions:  

Shane Wahls – 1.12 percent package increase for insurance only, no salary increase, and district will reimburse up to five unused personal days at $100/day

David Schlueter – 1 percent package increase for insurance only, no salary increase.

Andy Peterson, Wade Marlow, Terry Jasper, Jerry Christianson and Kip Jackson – 2.25 percent package increases

Lynette Pritchard – 2.25 percent  package increase plus two additional personal days which may be carried forward to following year

Shirley Balk, Angel Burgin, Michele VonHandorf - $.30/hour increase.

The board then approved the distribution of the 2018-19 contracts for certified, support, extra curricular and administration/non-organized personnel.  

Clayton Ridge board members approved the offering of a four-day, full day preschool program as well as a two-day, full day program to accommodate parent preferences. 

A resolution providing for the issuance of a promissory note, authorizing and approving a loan agreement and providing for the levy of a tax for the payment thereof, was unanimously approved. 

A motion to approve an agreement with Becky Dempster to rent her barn for six months for storage/auction of surplus items for $1,200 plus 10 percent of the proceeds from the auction carried with Helle opposed.

The board voted to amend the maximum depository amount in each of the banks from $3,000,000 to $6,000,000 due to the facility project. 

A change to the health plan contract with Medical Associates from a 2-tier plan to a 4-tier plan effective July 1, 2018, was approved, as was a retirement investor club agreement with the Iowa Department of Administrative Services in order that employees can contribute to tax sheltered annuities.  

Before adjourning at 10:15 p.m., the board unanimously voted to authorize Superintendent Wahls the ability to approve any change orders involving the construction project for up to $25,000.


On Tuesday, April 17, at 7 a.m., the school board met for a special session in the high school library.  Members in attendance were John Heying, Christine Aulwes, Jason Reimer, Michael Finnegan, Kathy Ihde, Alicia Helle and Ellen Johnson.  Also in attendance were Shane Wahls and Mary Seifert. Board members voted to approve the hiring of Jason LaPage for the position of high school math teacher. 

(Taken from board minutes by Mary Seifert, edited by Molly Moser.)

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