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Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Minster superintendent plans to apply for school security grant

By Margie Wuebker
MINSTER - Superintendent Brenda Boeke told board of education members Monday night that she plans to apply for school security grant money.
Boeke said Minster could receive up to $5,000 for each of the elementary and high school buildings for the purchase and installation of a security entrance system consisting of a security camera, intercom and remote access equipment. The grant also provides up to $2,000 for the purchase of a multi-agency radio communication system (MARCS) per building.
She anticipates approval when the state controlling board releases funding at its next meeting Nov. 18.
School officials are awaiting word of a State A Fund grant submitted by six local school districts - Minster, New Bremen, New Knoxville, Marion Local, St. Henry and Fort Recovery. Grants will be awarded Dec. 17 to selected applicants who meet the learning needs of students, reduce operational costs and drive more dollars to classrooms.
Boeke said local districts are collectively seeking $4 million to upgrade technology and online learning.
Treasurer Laura Klosterman presented an update on the five-year forecast, noting things are looking better than at this time last year.
Anticipated revenue for fiscal year 2014 is $8.72 million as compared to $8.17 million last year. She projects expenditures totaling $7.77 million, slightly higher than the $7.68 million in fiscal year 2013.
Barring unforeseen changes, she estimates a cash balance of $1.85 million on June 30, compared to $847,575 at the conclusion of the previous fiscal year. The positive balance continues through fiscal year 2018.
Klosterman explained the district is seeing the effects of collecting a full 1 percent income tax voters approved several years ago. The previous amount was a half percent. Additionally, the district is receiving more revenue through formula funding.
Boeke plans to hold a work session in January to discuss needed capital improvements, including roofing concerns at the junior high/high school building, safety and security and energy conservation issues.
In other business, board members,
• learned all furniture and other supplies have been removed from the former Hanover Street building making it ready for occupancy by a new owner. Boeke said there are no prospects.
• continued discussion on limiting weight room access. The Athletic Boosters plan to purchase key fobs for coaches and other authorized personnel. The public no longer will have access to the building located adjacent to the football field.
• issued one-year contracts to Austin Kaylor as substitute bus driver and Michelle Huelsman as administrative secretary/monitoring aide. The board also accepted her resignation as high school secretary. Other personnel matters include a one-year contract for Jason Lammers as junior high assistant boys track coach and approval for volunteer Debra Mitchell as a bus aide.
• recognized senior A.J. Huelsman as the school's Honda-Ohio State University Partnership math medal recipient and senior Ethan Wolfe, who will graduate after completing the first semester.
• approved a one-year contract with MAC Athletics Inc. for snow removal at an hourly rate of $52.
• heard an update from teachers Mike Wiss and Austin Kaylor regarding the recently completed eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C.
• adopted new or revised policies as recommended by NEOLA, the organization that keeps school boards updated on legislative changes. One of the changes involves a switch in the school calendar from days to instructional hours. Minster exceeds required hours and officials are waiting to learn whether they can bank the extra time for use in place of calamity days.
• set 8 p.m. Nov. 18 as the next meeting times at the elementary school.
Additional online story on this date
CELINA - The city is poised to start next year with a general fund carryover of at least $2 million, council members learned Monday night.
"We're just looking really good," city auditor Betty Strawn said during the personnel and finance committee session held prior to the regular council meeting. [More]
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