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Restructuring debt saves Boyceville School money, Board praisies outgoing president

BOYCEVILLE — At part of their meeting, the school board listened as District Superintendent Kevin Sipple informed them about how the restructuring of bonds will save the district money. Plus the board said goodbye to a long-time member and school board president Gail Stark, who chaired her last meeting Monday night, April 20th.

In his report, Sipple told the board that the restructuring of the 2008 and 2009 General Obligation Bonds has been completed. The school refinanced $4,160,000 at an interest rate of 2.56 percent. His report noted that the former rate was 4.5 percent with the district saving some $143,360.

The new interest rate will lower the cost of the debt service in the budget for the next four years. Sipple told the board that the debt service payment on the tax bill was over a million dollars, but with the lower rate, Sipple estimates that the debt service cost will be at $960,000.

Sipple and the board paid honor to Gail Stark for her 19 years of service to the school board with many of those years serving as the Board President. Stark spoke of her time on the board as a learning experience. Sipple spoke of her leadership and her help as he assumed the superintendent’s position.

Stark chose not to run for another term, and as part of the April 20th meeting, the two people that were elected on April 7th election took their oath of office from school board clerk, Steve Bird. Being reelected was Erik Evenson and Peter Score won a seat on the five-person board.

In other business, Sipple reported about the state budget stating that revenues “from the state look more promising than it did a month ago.” He pointed to a couple of items at the state level that had support for the local schools which includes leaving the $150 per pupil in Categorical Aid in the budget and an increase in the revenue limit per pupil is being discussed. But Sipple informed the board that it would not be until near the end of May before the impact is known on next year’s budget.

Sipple also noted that the school would honor those school staff members who are retiring with a banquet at Off Broadway in Menomonie on Wednesday afternoon. Those include Daryl Jones, Steward Skrove, Steve Duerst, Jody Wolski and Diane Buck.

Elementary Principal Nick Kaiser reported to the board about the Wisconsin Spot Light grant that the school received this year. “We can get it again,” he told the board. The first year the grant was for $50,000 and the second year the school could get $25,000. He also spoke about the Badger state tests and noted that the third and fourth grades are done and “things are going well so far.”

Middle/High School Principal Steve Glocke also reported on testing saying that the “ACT results for most of the juniors who took the ACT in March have been reported, but we are waiting for five scores to be processed.” He noted that the scoring is down a little at 20.5. “But, we are pretty happy that we are still in the twenties.”

Glocke also asked board member Steve Bird if he would assist with the presentation of diplomas during the graduation and Bird agreed. Glocke also gave the board a list of upcoming events at the school including Prom, which will be on April 25. The Festival of the Arts is set for May 5 and on May 14, Tim Scott will be the guest speaker to the sophomores and juniors with a program about the Holocaust, and Graduation will be on May 30th.

In her report, Bonnie Barker, the director of special education, she noted, “April is Autism Awareness Month. Last month I shared with you the puzzle pieces as part of our celebration of Autism and our difference.” She presented the board with a picture of the completed puzzle on the wall on Tiffany Creek School. She also informed the board about a grant they are working on and information regarding the new Office of Children’s Mental Health that was created in the state.

The board heard a report on the proposed stream bank improvements planned for Tiffany Creek as it flows through the school property. It was noted that over the years that the stream has gotten wider and the banks steeper. The school will be working with several agencies to get the project done including fundraising. Some of the work planned is to rip rap the banks to stop more erosion, clean up the growth along the banks and in the school owned park and, smooth out the landscape.