Superintendent Kevin Wellen recommended paying off the Menahga School District’s final lease at a special meeting held July 13.

The average interest rate charge is over 3 percent for the lease balance, he said, and “we are earning, at best, about .5 percent on our investments. We would save just under $18,000 for the remaining 42 months.”

“Our cash flow is over $2.5 million liquid,” Wellen said, noting the district is keeping funds liquid in case the state government delays state aid to schools.

The board approved the lease pay-off with PNC in the amount of $228,893.

In other business, the board did as follows:

  • Approved the purchase of an interactive display board from BG Innovations in an amount not to exceed $86,199 and wiring from WCTA in an amount not to exceed $17,000. The district is using federal CARES Act funding for this purchase.

  • Approved painting all glazed blocks and doorframes in the early childhood hallway. Merit Painting Inc.’s quote was $15,368.

  • Approved elementary window replacement change order, in the amount of $95,859, for Pro-Contractors, using long-term facilities maintenance bond proceeds.

  • Approved the $55,960 quote from A and E Plumbing and Heating for adding air conditioning to the elementary building.

  • Approved the purchase of a marquee sign, on a 5-1 vote with Katie Howard opposed, from Indigo Signworks. The cost is $39,995.

  • Spoke via teleconference with State Rep. Steven Green about the need for definitive rules about how school districts should respond to COVID-19 for the next school year. Several board members said more than 20 percent of Menahga families would opt to home school if distance learning returns in the fall. Wellen said a 30 percent loss in students would reduce the district’s revenue by $3 million.

  • Learned that the administrative team decided to provide everything on the previous supply lists K-12, except things that are not consumable, for all students for the coming school year. Backpacks, headphones, supply boxes, clothing/gym shoes as well as high school class specific items are the responsibility of the family. All other supplies, including pencils, erasers, markers, scissors, binders, glue, notebooks, wipes, Kleenex etc., will be provided for every Menahga student to start the year. Wellen reported, “This decision has been made so we can be consistent for all students and give families a break in these challenging times.”

  • Approved the $19,195 purchase of a school car from Thielen Motors.

  • Approved a letter of audit engagement from Eide Bailly for fiscal year 2020, at a cost of $14,800.

  • Approved contracts with Todd Frie, a physical education teacher; Alana Ludwig, a 2nd grade teacher, and Cory Kapphahn, a 4th grade teacher. All begin with the 2020-21 school year and are contingent upon licensure and a successful background check.

  • Approved the continued employment of board members Brad Goehrig, Julia Kicker and Bob White by the Menahga School District, as long as compensation does not exceed $8,000 each for fiscal year 2021.