Fayette school board 2011.07.20

Written by David Green.


The Fayette Board of Education will seek the renewal of a seven-mill operating levy for an additional five years. Voters will decide the fate of the request at the November 2011 election.

Board members earlier voted to seek a renewal, but the final “intent to proceed” was to be voted on Monday at the regular July meeting. With only three board members present, the vote was postponed and a special meeting scheduled at 7 p.m. July 25.

The measure is only a renewal, explained superintendent Russell Griggs, and represents no new tax revenue. However, the levy is very important to the district’s operation since it brings in nearly $300,000 in the first year of collection, based on the current assessed valuation of the district.

The seven-mill levy provides operational funds in addition to the base 20-mill levy. 

If renewed, the levy would take effect in 2013.

REBATE—The board voted to accept a rebate proposal from First Energy that will give the district about $14,000 (80 cents per kilowatt hour). In addition, the district should have an annual savings of about $4,000 in electrical costs.

In order to receive the rebate, the district will replace several light fixtures in the school and exchange existing light bulbs for high efficiency bulbs.

Griggs said it might seem odd to replace fixtures in a school that opened only three years ago, but many of the fixtures are eight or nine years old and upgrades in efficiency have occurred over that time.

Griggs also expects some people to question the $40,000 replacement costs that will lead to annual savings of $4,000 a year, but he said there’s more to it than that.

The new gymnasium fixtures, for example, will result in a reduced rate of bulb replacement, he said, along with a savings in time for the custodial staff.

“Long term, it’s just good business,” he said, “and the rebate is not taxpayers’ money. I think you should take advantage of incentives to improve your bottom line.”

CONTRACT—The district’s support staff (OAPSE) agreed to continue their existing contract for another year, with no increase in salary or benefits.

WAIVER DAY—The state education department granted a waiver day for the district Sept. 12 when teachers will attend a county-wide in-service session in Wauseon. Well-known education speaker William Daggett will present the program.

Classes will be canceled for the day, but through the waiver, the day will not have to be made up later.

PERSONNEL—Board members accepted the resignation of food service worker Jennifer Schaffner.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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