Weather Forecast


Menahga School Board worried about state aid

Three Menahga School Board members returned from a Minnesota School Boards Association conference concerned about budget woes.

Chairman Durwin Tomperi, treasurer Curtis Hasbargen and clerk Sheila Parvi said at the board meeting last week that cuts will likely be made.

"The overwhelming theme to me was that school districts are in for a tough road ahead," Hasbargen said.

The district will be looking at flat funding and cash shifts from the state government, Tomperi said.

Superintendent Mary Klamm, who also attended the conference, said the district might have to resort to borrowing money in order to operate.

"I don't think this whole cash flow situation is going to end this year," she said.

The board unanimously voted to direct the administration to make the necessary recommendations for reductions in programs and positions.

In other business, the board:

-Gave direction to construction manager Stephen Halonen to present new plans of the proposed building expansion project at a buildings and grounds committee meeting scheduled for Feb. 1.

Scaled down versions of the project that was voted down in November will be reviewed.

- Learned that an H1N1 immunization clinic was held Monday, Jan. 25 at Menahga School.

Klamm said the clinic provided flu shots to many high school students who didn't receive them at the last clinic.

- Directed Klamm to schedule quarterly public input/round table discussions with community members throughout the year.

The board came to the consensus after vice chair Jody Bjornson said he was approached by several community members who suggested they would like an opportunity for open discussions outside of the regularly scheduled board meetings, which allow for limited time of public input.

- Learned that Johnson Controls, Inc. misestimated the total cost of the recent ventilation project. It was estimated at approximately $150,000, but the actual cost was about $230,000.

The finance committee consulted with the district's legal counsel and came to the conclusion that two-thirds of the difference should be paid by Johnson Control and one-third by the district.

The board approved the finance committee's recommendation to pay the one-third amount, which comes to about $27,000.