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IM school reviews bond defeat

August 14, 2012
By LINDA LOBECK - Staff Writer , The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - The school bond proposal, which looked to borrow $11 million, was put before Iron Mountain voters Aug. 7 and failed by a close margin - only 46 votes.

The Iron Mountain School District Board of Eduction, at Monday's meeting, is not making any definite decisions yet on how to move forward. It's more like taking a step back and re-evaluating what has happened.

"The bond proposal failed, but we need to thank the voters regardless of the outcome - we appreciate all of them getting out and voting. We're going to reassess and go with another plan in the future," Supt. Tom Jayne said.

But regardless of what has happened, the situation that the Iron Mountain Schools is in hasn't changed. Roofs need replacing, boilers are in bad shape, the food service area needs newer equipment, and vehicles used for snowplowing are becoming "like Fred Flintstone" where they can see through the floorboards of the pickup trucks, officials said.

At Monday's meeting, board member Steve Brooks

reported on the buildings and grounds committee meeting noting that there are some pressing needs that must be taken care of sooner rather than later.

He noted that the committee had talked about the bond proposal not passing and felt they needed to give the team that worked on the bond issue a chance to meet and review what has happened. They hope to have recommendations to the board at the next meeting.

"We need to fix the roof over this building and go out for bids. We have to do what we can to get through this. The school trucks used to snowplow are in bad shape and our recommendation is to bid out more of the snowplowing for the parking lots than try and replace the trucks. And since we are looking to get more healthy food choices for students, we are going to need to buy some equipment. We will have recommendations about this at the next meeting," Brooks said.

Supt. Tom Jayne said that the roof over the administration building/band room area has been replaced 2-3 times, which makes it hard to find where the leaks are coming from to just repair it.

"When it was leaking so bad we went out for a preliminary bid, and found it will cost at least $25,000. We have to do it and get rid of the buckets all over. We can't wait for something else to happen," Jayne said.

He added that the district has $125,000 in the capital projects budget.

"To increase the food choices for the kids, we need to have bigger and better ovens and warmers. We need three more warmers and ovens and that will cost at least $25,000. First we have to have a finance committee meeting to discuss things. As we keep needing things to be done, it's (Capital Fund) going to be gone in a stroke," Jayne added.

He said that the part of the roof that needs replacement covers the central office, hallway and bathroom area and not the band room.

"And we can't replace the trucks we have - you can see holes in the floorboards right now. We have aging equipment and facilities and if one of the boilers goes, we're done. We have to bring these things before the finance committee first and hopefully can award a bid in September," Jayne said.

"But we will be ready for the school year regardless of what happens," he said.

In other action, the board:

- Approved the recommendation of the finance committee to award the State Aid financing of up to $1 million to First National Bank & Trust Co. of Iron Mountain at the low bid of 0.97 percent

- Set the tuition for new students for the 2012-13 school year for non-Michigan residents at $6,966. All other non-Michigan students will continue at the rate at which they began enrollment with the district.

- Accepted five letters of resignation from Lori McVannel as an education assistant; Shari Norris as the middle school secretary; Guadalupe Sobel, custodian; Nancy Buchcuski, educational assistant; and Bruce Tapio, eighth grade boys basketball coach.

- Approved the following hirings as recommended by the administration: Mary Beth Casanova as a part-time educational assistant; Tracy Irwin as a crossing guard; Pam Smith as the high school honor society adviser and student council adviser; Danielle Dumais as the Central School homework hour supervisor; and Michele Haferkorn as the junior class adviser.

Linda Lobeck's e-mail address is



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