NEH board OKs pay increase

Nonbargaining employees to get 15 cent raise

BLAIRSBURG — The Northeast Hamilton school board approved a pay hike for nonbargaining employees at its regular meeting on Thursday night.

Upon the recommendation of Superintendent Mike Sherwood and Principal Mike Kruger, the board approved a pay increase of $0.15/hr. for nonbargaining employees, bringing the base pay to $8.55 per hour includes insurance and reflects the same percentage increase given contract employees.

The administration recognized the board for School Board Member Appreciation Month.

“We know this is sometimes a thankless job, but we appreciate all that you do,” Kruger told board members Eric Patterson, Sara Zorn, Bruce Mark and Thea Wibholm. Marlin Pruismann was absent.

Sherwood echoed Kruger’s sentiments and expressed the district’s gratitude for their public service.

Sherwood announced that the board will host a district finance meeting on Tuesday, May 23 at 6 p.m. in the NEH Media Resource Room. Guest speaker will be Larry Sigel of the Iowa School Finance Information Service.

The meeting is open to the public.

At the beginning of Thursday’s meeting, a contract quote by Sherwood on equipment insurance was added to the agenda.  The board approved the equipment breakdown insurance policy from EMC in cooperation with Jesters Insurance for $19,970. The policy would be paid from the managing fund with any refunds being deposited in the General or PPEL Fund, said Sherwood.

The policy will be in effect from July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 and covers all district  computers, tablets, copy machines, fire alarms, electronics, audio visual equipment, school intercom, servers, laptops, camera systems, electric interior and exterior doors, automatic sensors, power tools, washer/dryer, food prep equipment, housekeeping equipment, drinking fountains, fax machines, copy machines and laminating machines.

The newly installed handicapped elevator will also be covered, said Kruger.

Kruger noted that approximately $12,000 of the premium cost is expected to be returned to the district.

Milk and fuel bids were received. Kruger recommended Hiland Dairy continue to supply dairy products for the district. The board split the fuel bid with New Coop selected for gas and diesel and Innovative Ag Services chosen for propane.

The board heard the first reading of the 700 Policy series which outlines debt management policy.

“Northeast Hamilton has done a great job with debt management, but it is good to have a policy outline,” said Sherwood.

Some of the items include setting a limit on discretionary spending by the superintendent up to $55,000. Any spending for goods and services between $55,000 and $135,000 must have board approval. Purchases over $135,000 must go through the bidding process.

In Food Service spending, the superintendent has the authority to spend up to $3,500 with prior board approval.  Any larger expenses must be submitted to competitive bidding.

Sherwood noted that these spending allowances can be altered and the duration can also be determined annually.

Another policy item allows the school board secretary to pay outstanding necessary bills without calling a special meeting for approval.

Employee Leave of Absence is also addressed in the policy series, said Sherwood. Employee pay will be deducted if an employee takes a leave of absence after having exhausted all leave or vacation days.

In other business, the district will meet with Peterson Construction onMay 24 to outline summer projects, reported Sherwood.

The Spirit Club Carnival was a success and the school thanks donors and volunteers for all their work, said Kruger. All the grades have been taking their annual field trips which include trips to Blank Park Zoo, Iowa State Capitol, Terrace Hill, Adventureland and the Science Center, he noted.

NEH will be holding a Talent Show on Tuesday, May 30 and more information will be announced as acts are scheduled, said Kruger.

The last day of school will be on May 31 with students participating in Field Day, weather permitting, said Kruger.

Sherwood reported on new state laws which will affect the district. School board elections will be held in November to coincide with city elections, so current terms set to expire in September 2019 will

continue until November 2019.

Beginning in 2019, special school board elections will be held in either March, May or August, reported Sherwood.

Flexibility Funding which grants discretion to local districts will take effect in September 2018.

Sherwood also reported that over $120,000 in scholarships were awarded at the Webster City High School Awards Assembly last week.

Kruger noted that Webster City High School Guidance Counselor Sally Greenfield brought nine seniors to NEH last week to read to students. After reading to the students, the seniors helped move equipment from the Weight Room.

“They were a great help and we appreciate their support,” said Kruger.

While the next regular board meeting is scheduled for June 29, the board set May 30 at 6 p.m. as a tentative meeting date if additional business needs to be addressed.

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