No comment was heard on the $24.1 million South Tama schools budget for 2017-18 at a public hearing Monday night. The budget was adopted on a 5-0 vote with school board members Penny Tyynismaa, Mark McFate, Alan Kline, Michelle Yuska and Jackie Dvorak voting in favor.
While there was increased spending in all categories but one, the property tax askings remained at the same level as the current year - $16.13 per $1,000 of valuation.
The new budget amount compares to the current $26.6 million. Mary Boege, South Tama business manager, said the drop is due to construction costs of the high school addition.
South Tama School Board- seated- Michelle Yuska, president and Mark McFate, vice president.. (Standing, l-r) Jackie Dvorak, Alan Kline and Penny Tyynismaa.
-South Tama Schools photo
In the 2016-17 budget, a total of $6.1 million was included for facilities acquisition and construction.This amount totals $2.1 million in the new budget.
Instruction costs total $13,274994 in the new budget compared to the current budget of $12,542,706. Boege told The Chronicle the master contract with the Education Association has not yet been finalized, however.
With completion of the addition to the high school nearing, board members approved seeking bids to furnish the new classroom space and some remodeling of the present building. The bid notice lists $150,000 as the estimated cost total.
A public hearing on the asking is set for April 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Professional Learning Center in Tama.
Andrea Young reported on the furniture for the new addition. There was much discussion on this with several changes made. One change was making a clear area through a room for fire protection. This was solved by moving some tables and chairs to the side leaving an opening in the center.
Bids were sent out to four firms for the financial auditor for the fiscal years 2017, 2018, and 2019. Only one bid was returned. Nolte, Cornman & Johnson P.C., Newton, was the bidder with a bid of $9,500 for 2017, $9,900 for 2018 and $10,300 for 2019.
All board members voted to approve.
High School Addition Progress
An update was presented on the construction of the new addition by Steve McAdoo, district maintenance supervisor.
He reported: the metal wall panels are 95 percent done, sky lights, fire caulk, and sleeves for railing completed, elevator is installed, doors and hardware are to be started April 10, ACT pads April 10, ACT grid to be completed by April 14, tile started April 3, painting expected to be completed by April 21, terrazzo to be completed by April 6, Case work on the lower level to be done April 7, sound panels are ordered, shipping date for Struct U Rail is April 24, Bath and specialties are to be done by April 14, Blinds roller shades to be installed April 17, carpeting to be started April 10 and completion date still set for Aug 2.
Contracts were approved for Hailee Weiss as assistant high school softball (9th) coach; Sara McAndrew. middle school ELL teacher; pending licensure; instructional coach facilitator Delores Ryan; secondary instructional coaches Kathy Wilkerson and Seth Koch; elementary special educational Coach Joy Schirmer; and Keely Upah, Elementary instructional coach.
Volunteer coaches include George Corum for track and Moises Fonseca for Soccer.
Resignations include Matthew Beatty as 9th grade boys basketball coach, Kathy Teff as K-5 Elementary art teacher, Derek Dixon as 7th Grade Basketball coach and Annie Lucas as Media Specialist (Print Shop)
School Bus Transportation Report
Chad Woosley, transportation director, reported the transportation system is the most costly for the school district.
To date South Tama has 13 full time routes being covered by 14 drivers and six sub-drivers. McAdoo says they also have eight other drivers between maintenance, custodians and bus barn personnel. There is only one bus aide that rides with the students. This is on the Orange Rooster Elementary route to help make sure kids get where they need to go.
There are five preschool routes busing 70 students on two buses in town and three subs for out of town.
Woosley says some districts charge for mid-day transport to help offset the cost of transportation. According to state law, a district does not have to transport elementary and middle school kids within a two-mile radius and high school students within a three-mile radius.
South Tama does transport this group of students due to safety concerns with Highway 63 running through town. Nevertheless, transportation costs keep going up and more and more districts are imposing a charge for this service.
Woosley said the STC buses are aging but all buses are in the best shape possible. All units are up-to-date and have passed the state inspection, with very little rust on the oldest units. The long term goal is to have all buses less than fifteen years old.
Recently one of South Tama's buses caught fire and was completely destroyed. Much thanks was given to the bus driver as all students were removed from the bus safely with no casualties. The bus was covered by insurance. The cause of the fire was an electrical short in the main fuse box under the bus driver side.