Herald JournalHerald Journal, June 14, 2004

School board to look for site between Howard Lake and Winsted

By Jody Anderson

A need for more information and variations on next year’s budget were the predominant themes at the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Board work session Tuesday.

There was general agreement that the proposed site for construction needs to be located between Winsted and Howard Lake, although many board members expressed their doubts as to making everyone happy.

Opinions ranged from some board members wanting to set specific goals for public meetings to others pointing out the need for long range goals.

Board member Tom Hammer asked for more data “I still want to hear the public input,” he said, “ I need more information.”

Board Member Charlie Borrell concurred; “We need to get out and talk things up.”

Even though the exact location has not been decided, it is the consensus of the board that a decision needs to be made in order to present a plan to the area residents.

“I’m hearing the public wants to know where we are going,” commented Board Member Al Doering.

Borrell agreed. “The only way the public can vote is to present them with a purchase agreement,” he stated.

He also asked that the present architects take a look at prospective sites so as to have all necessary information in order to choose the best location.

Hammer commented on the controversy surrounding the location, while Board member Lori Custer said “Whatever location we choose, there will be controversy.”

The board agreed to continue gathering its impressions of public opinion and encourage attendance of the public meetings, where this subject needed to be discussed.

Superintendent George Ladd was optimistic. “We hope these meetings will be well attended,” he said.

A lengthy discussion about proposed budget cuts ensued.

Doering presented a rough draft of specific items that could be cut; some were deemed viable and some were not.

Some were tabled pending further investigation.

The most significant proposed savings were keeping the $48,825 staff development dollars in house, and reducing the paraprofessional staff by two positions which would save the district $23,423, and still be within state guidelines.

Another important savings of $19,154 could be implemented by raising lunch prices.

Other suggested savings involve increasing activities fees and ticket costs, and reducing one day of teacher contact.

As the budget’s rough draft stands, the board would need to ask for an operating levy of approximately $86 per $100,000 property value in order to make ends meet for the school year.

Many different options were suggested and viewed.

Some members want to treat the operating levy as a separate issue, others feel that it could be combined with the new construction option.

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