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Red Wing School Board

Tower View lease grows

Roughly 55 to 60 students attend classes at Tower View Alternative Learning Center at the Anderson Center each year and the School Board voted Monday night to extend the district’s lease for an additional 10 years past the 2018 expiration date.

The original lease was for $25,000 a year plus utilities from 1997 to 2018. The new lease extends that partnership to 2028 at $43,000 per year.

“We really value our partnership with the Anderson Center,” Finance Director Brad Johnson said.

By the time the new lease ends the partnership between the Anderson Center and RWPS will exceed 50 years.

Goodhue County Education District agreement signed

Finance Director Brad Johnson presented the board with the Joint Powers Agreement for the Goodhue County Education District building.

“This is a big deal,” Supt. Karsten Anderson said of the agreement, adding the district is pleased with the results.

Johnson said he feels comfortable with the final document. “I think it will be a benefit to all the member schools in the organization,” he said.

All member school districts need to approve the agreement. Kenyon-Wanamingo, Zumbrota-Mazeppa along with Red Wing voted unanimously in favor. Cannon Falls and Goodhue vote on June 9 and June 16, respectively.

Initial 2014-15 budget approved

Before the beginning of the new fiscal year – July 1 – an initial budget must passed, and the board approved it at Monday’s meeting.

Finance Director Brad Johnson said this budget shows the district is entering the deficit spending portion of the referendum. The 2008 referendum has expired and the 2012 referendum remained flat.

Johnson said declining enrollment has impacted the district’s revenue since the district loses $6,700 in state funding per student. Enrollment was down 49 students in 2012-13 and close to 65 students in 2014-15.

Budget projections show revenues just shy of $30 million, an increase in of 1.5 percent, and expenditures at close to $30.6 million, an increase in expenditures of around 2.6 percent.

Bond sale

The district sold its bonds to cover the costs for the repairs to the track and Prairie Island Arena and the new tennis courts Monday.

Finance Director Brad Johnson said the final amount was adjusted to $1.59 million from $1.66 million.

“We’re happy with the rates we got,” Johnson said of the interest rate on the bonds, which was around 2 percent.

The board approved the sale of the bonds by a unanimous roll-call vote.

Tennis court bid OK’d

Kevin Johnson, director of grounds, facilities and technology, said bids were opened last week for construction of the new tennis courts and all bids were above the budgeted amount of $700,000.

The low bid came from Peterson Companies at $717,000. The highest bid came in at $994,000.

Johnson said the district looked at reusing the fencing around the current tennis courts, but reusing the fencing increased costs in each of the three bids by at least $7,000.

Red Wing Public Works is giving the district 11,000 cubic yards of sand dredged out of the river, which will be used underneath the tennis courts for drainage, Johnson said. Getting this at no cost will save the district upwards of $80,000.

Teacher duty times finalized

Starting in the fall all RWPS teachers, with the exception of Colvill, will have a duty day from 7:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Covlill teachers will have a 7:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. day on Mondays and meeting days and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. all other days.

Supt. Karsten Anderson said having a consistent day for all teachers across the district will allow for more districtwide meetings without the need to find substitutes for certain teachers.

The board voted 7-0 to approve the teacher duty times.

TBMS advisory start and advisory times revised

Twin Bluff Middle School will now start at 8:10 a.m. and students will have an advisory period until 8:25 a.m., which was the previous starting time.

After looking at the change in transportation – which would drop many TBMS students off around 8 a.m. – TBMS Principal Chris Palmatier saw some potential problems with having students at the building for almost 30 minutes before the start of classes.

This change will eliminate the need for an advisory period once a week on Wednesday and will free up that period for other class options.

Board member Mark Ryan said as a middle school teacher he found the advisory period to be one of the most useful times of the day.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Chair Heidi Jones said.

Personnel changes OK’d

New hire: Ramona Sebion, night custodian at RWHS, effective May 20 (due to a resignation); Michael Braithwaite, Agriculture Science teacher at RWHS, effective Aug. 22 (due to resignation); Brenton Lexvold, food service director.

Retirement: Brian Auge, DCD-MM teacher at RWHS, Aug. 28 amended to June 6.

Resignation: Mitchell Paulson, school counselor at RWHS, Aug. 28 amended to June 6; Brian Quigley, Industrial Tech teacher at RWHS, effective June 6.

Meeting watch

Monday’s meeting lasted approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes. There is a special meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday June 9 for board training and first reading of policies.

The next regular board meeting will be 5:30 p.m. Monday June 16 at the TBMS Media Center.

In other news

The board voted to change the previously scheduled early release day on Sept. 26 – which is now homecoming – to a late start on Monday Oct. 6.

The board also unanimously voted for the nonrenewal of the contract of probationary teacher Kristin Thum, a family and consumer science teacher at RWHS.

— compiled by John R. Russett, staff writer

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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