Miami East BOE reviews funding

Several capital improvement projects pending

By Melanie Yingst -

CASSTOWN — The Miami East Board of Education reviewed its end-of-the-year funds carryover at its regular meeting on Monday.

Vice-President Mark Iiames was not present.

The district’s treasurer Lisa Fahncke reported the district carried over $1.6 million into the new fiscal year. “We ended the year about $1.6 million in the positive in revenues over expenditures,” she said.

President Brandon Fellers said the financial report from the year was “very good” and the board approved the district’s financial report.

Superintendent Dr. Todd Rappold said the district still has two school buses to purchase for $150,000 total, its water tower project is projected to cost $40,000, and the district’s track was recently resurfaced and striped, which cost approximately $60,000, among other pending expenditures.

The BOE also reviewed its Title I program and its bus fleet conditions during the meeting.

The board approved Deb Cash and Bethany Koester as summer reading intervention tutors at the elementary at an hourly rate using Title I grant funds.

Board member Mike Rindler asked Rappold how the Title I program works. Rappold said students grades 2-5 are identified at the end of the school year to receive more reading assistance. “The entire Title 1 program at the elementary is just a godsend,” Rappold said.

The board also approved to seek bus bids through the 2019 Southwestern Educational Purchasing Council. The district is not obligated to purchase a bus or accept the bid when it is submitted. The district is partnering with the cooperative for one bus bid.

Rappold said the district’s fleet was recently inspected and is “in good shape.” Inspections were completed in June and included the district’s vans. Rappold said the district would also be researching adding another passenger van to the district’s vehicles next summer since they are utilized for various activities.

Rindler asked Rappold if the state had a mandate on the use of seat belts on school buses and its requirements. The topic of seat belts on school buses comes up from time to time and legislation is introduced at times, but has not been passed, Rappold said. Rappold said the only bus with seat belts is the district’s special-needs bus.

“They’ve been unbelievably safe,” Rappold said, as he knocked on the desk. “Unfortunately, we have had some incidents that our buses have been involved … they’be been pretty sturdy.”

Rappold said if the state mandated it, the buses would have to be retrofitted with seat belts, but legislation has yet to move forward at the state level.

In other news, the district reviewed the Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter’s trip to Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, for its chapter exchange program in June. Seven members attended the trip and visited a 3-million-head hog farm, a hobby farm, a manufacturing metal plant and other educational opportunities.

The next board of education meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, at the high school.

Several capital improvement projects pending

By Melanie Yingst