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Concerned parents fill seats at school board meeting

By Kelsie Hoitomt

GLENWOOD CITY – After opening up the scheduled agenda to the public two weeks ago in order to hear comments about the proposed sand mine, the Glenwood City Board of Education room quickly filled with concerned citizens once again.

Around ten people were in attendance to listen to the community comments portion of the meeting. The Board heard from four different parents who voiced their concerns about having a sand mine in such close proximity to the school district.

Nicole Miller shared that she has reached out to several different families with children in the school district and there are 15 parents who confirmed they would move their children out of the school if the mine went through.

The concerned parents again told the Board to do more research, to put a halt to the sand mine and look into more air monitoring and water studies for example. It was mentioned that the Board should call other school districts that are located by sand mines such as New Auburn.

Scott Teigen spoke also and he told the Board to make phone calls and do checks with other schools as well. He said that in New Auburn, the school over the last five years has added 20-25 kids a year in their open enrollment.

After the Board heard from Teigen, Board member Charlotte Obermueller-Stout asked Teigen why the mine couldn’t be started on the back half of the project so it was the furthest away from the school, which is near Rustic Road 4.

Teigen stated that due to the way the hill sits, it just wouldn’t work out to go about mining that way. He said that at most, people would only see the very top part of the mine anyway because it would sit down in the bowl so far.

Once there were no further comments, Board President Dr. Charles Rasmussen thanked everyone in attendance for their concerns and he expressed that the children and staff are the school board’s main concern.

In other news, the Board was happy to hear that the long awaited DuPont settlement check had arrived and been deposited into a school account.

The school district was given a check for just over $126,000, which was advised to be used towards paying the Capital Projects.

In addition to the money, DuPont also agreed to fix the damage done to the school grounds at their own expense. This includes the removal of two large pine trees near the elementary, if the Board so choses to go that route.

In terms of money, Superintendent Tim Emholtz let the Board know in his report that the 2013-14 budget is still looking very healthy.

There were more students that open enrolled in than what was budgeted for, so the overall budget has around $116,000 more available. That money can be spent before June 30 or it can be rolled over into a fund.

The Board was given a list of 19 projects that need to be done in and around the school during a committee meeting, which included fixing the roof, the elementary parking lot, repairs to the boiler and renovations to the front entrance at the high school.

High School/Middle School Principal Tim Johnson took note of what the Board wished to have done first via a survey and plans to bring forth the top chosen projects at another meeting.

As for the 2014-15 preliminary budget, Emholtz stated that the budget is currently not balanced and there is roughly a negative $22,000 amount, but paying off a lease from the summer projects would put that figure into the positive.

With that being said, Emholtz also stated that he felt the budget was looking to be in good shape.

Other business included the approval of a $546.20 donation from Coke on behalf of the Powerade 4-U Program.

The Board also approved the 2014-15 calendar, which has the last day of school on June 5, 2015 if there are no added days due to “inclement weather”.

In the Consent Agenda, the Board approved Sunday baseball practices on April 13 and May 18. Aubrey Tackmann was approved as long term substitute in the elementary and Jody Hetrick was approved as a volunteer, contracted driver.