Niagara School Board eyes study before referendum

NIAGARA, Wis. — The Niagara School Board on Monday discussed having a building and grounds study done to prepare for a proposed referendum in April 2020.

Superintendent Nate Burklund believes the district should have the study so they better know which areas most need to be addressed before they go for a referendum.

Another nearby district spent $10,000 on a study, but Burklund suggested Niagara’s cost could be lower, as he doesn’t believe the work will be as extensive.

“Ten thousand dollars can be scary. It doesn’t sit well in my belly, but we want it (a referendum) done right,” Burklund said.

After the building study, they can focus on organizing the referendum, he said.

No decision was made Monday, pending more discussion.

The district hasn’t sought a referendum since 1995, when voters approved a recurring $25,000 measure for bus purchases, Burklund said.

The board also discussed whether to spend $4,000 annually on Baird financial software to help with budgeting. Shawna Lindow, the district’s business manager, told the board it would help reduce time spent on the budget. It may also reduce the number of times they need to contact Baird for consultation. It will be discussed at a future committee meeting.

In other business, the board:

— Had its reorganizational meeting and re-elected Tracy Coppens as president, Lisa Swanson as vice president, Ann Brasure as treasurer and Susan Moll as clerk.

— Heard the district will have Dr. Amy Kind of Madison, Wis. as graduation speaker. She is a 1992 graduate of Niagara High School. Graduation will be at 6 p.m. Friday, May 24.

— Approved changing the next board meeting to at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 21.

— Approved a 5 percent increase in health insurance from M3 Insurance. Niagara is part of a consortium with the other districts in CESA 8, which contracts with M3 Insurance.