Still no lease-purchase agreement for A-W’s wind turbine

Posted June 20, 2013 at 5:00 am

By Julie Ann Madden

No deal.

After discussing proposed lease-purchase agreements in closed session, the Akron-Westfield School Board came back into open session and took no action for its defunct wind turbine.

The board has done this twice — once at their May meeting and now at their June 11 meeting.

It was noted on the June meeting agenda that if the board didn’t approve a proposed offer, then the proposal would be null and void and any payments made by the prospective buyer or lessee would be returned to them.

For more than a year now, the board has been seeking solutions to the school district’s inoperable wind turbine.

They have hired two different consultants to find a solution.

“We have had a couple (one fell through and the other is still pending),” said Business Manager Jodi Ryan. “We are currently just trying to seek out the best option for the school at lowest cost and until we hear something formal from this other vendor, we are kind of just in this waiting period.”

“We’re still dealing with two vendors,” said Shared Superintendent Randy Collins in a phone interview Monday morning. “One is to dismantle it and haul it away and the other is to fix it and use it as a training site.”

“We haven’t had any positive progress in the last couple of months,” he said. “It’s like we are stuck so no new news. I wish I’d have something more positive.”

“Right now, the district is leaning toward getting the wind turbine operational,” said Collins, adding the downside to selling and removing it is the district would be responsible for restoring the property and that is quite costly.

In other business, the board:

• Unanimously approved the 2013-2014 Student Handbook. The only change in the handbook was to add a Technology Acceptable Use Policy for the district’s new 1:1 Initiative.

• Unanimously approved renewing two contracts with Western Iowa Tech Community College for college-level course offerings. The first was an agreement between A-W and the college and the second was for a Great Start contract which was between the college and a consortium of Plymouth County high schools, of which A-W is a member.

In Grades 7-12 Principal Derek Briggs’ written report to the board, it stated “A total of approximately 36 courses will be taken this fall for a net cost to the district of just over $8,100.”

• Unanimously approved the resignations of Andrew Thonstad as assistant Middle School basketball coach and hiring John Ludwig, who is the current elementary Physical Education teacher, to fill this opening.

• Unanimously approved the resignation of half-time elementary art teacher Laura Lofton. Administration is currently advertising this vacancy.

In Briggs’ report, the district is also seeking a Middle School/High School math and science teacher and two part-time custodians.

• Unanimously approved increasing Title I instructor Richard Livermore’s time from half-time to 0.6 time.

• Unanimously approved an amended lunch fee schedule. Earlier the board had approved hot lunch costs as Grades DK-5, $2.05; Grades 6-8, $2.15; Grades 9-12, $2.25 and Adults, $3.20. The elementary Grades DK-5 was increased to $2.10.

Editor’s Note: This regular monthly meeting was postponed from June 10 to June 11 due to lack of a quorum. On June 11, only four board members were present: Jim Black, Deb Jordt, Roger Oetken and Nick Schoenfelder.

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