EM schools removing underground fuel tank

By LeAnn R. Ralph

ELK MOUND —  By sometime this summer, the last of three underground fuel storage tanks is expected to be removed from the Elk Mound school district property.

The Elk Mound Board of Education approved removing the 10,000 gallon tank at the March 18 meeting.

The school board also approved a lease with the Mound View Store to rent a storage tank for bus fuel.

When it was first installed, the 10,000 gallon tank held diesel fuel and also was backup for the district’s heating system and was capable of running a generator, said Dr. Ron Walsh, district administrator.

The district now uses liquid propane as a backup for the heating system and to run the generator, he said.

The tank is more than 20 years old, and fuel storage tanks are typically removed when they are 20 to 25 years old, Dr. Walsh said.

Two other smaller tanks were removed in the late 1990s, he noted.

Dr. Walsh recommended that the Board of Education remove the tank and not replace it.

Leasing a fuel storage tank will save the school district up to $4,000 to $5,000 per year because of liability insurance on the underground tank, fees for testing, a regulatory fee, and routine repairs, Dr. Walsh said.

A new fuel storage tank would cost around $30,000, he said.

The lease agreement with the Mound View Store is for $1,250 per year. The school district will purchase fuel to store in the Mound View tank and will still receive a discount on the federal excise tax, Dr. Walsh said.

“We’ll still get the savings (on bus fuel) as if it were our own tank,” he said.

The cost of removing the old tank is expected to be between $6,000 and $10,000 and will include blacktop over the site once the existing tank is removed.

“I’m going to get the ball rolling so we can have it out this summer,” Dr. Walsh said.

“I give a lot of credit to the mini-mart for being a good neighbor,” he said.

Other business

In other business, the Elk Mound Board of Education:

• Recognized Caron Hanson Shepard with a Notable Educational Contribution award. Shepard has served the school district for 19 years and is the middle school reading teacher for grades seven and eight.

• Approved building budgets for 2013-2014 for purchasing a variety of items for classrooms, including textbooks, equipment, supplies and materials for the library. The building budgets stayed the same as last year at a total of $153,000.

• Approved a tentative list of summer school classes. The classes that end up actually being offered will depend upon the number of students who enroll.

• Approved trading in two of the school districts vans for two new vans from Bothun Chevrolet.

• Scheduled the next school board meeting for April 22.