BC school board met December 21 in Van Horne

TO: BENTON COMMUNITY BOARD OF EDUCATION 

FROM: DR. PAMELA EWELL, SUPERINTENDENT 

RE: REGULAR BOARD MEETING 

TIME: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2022 

6:00 p.m. – Regular Meeting 

PLACE: Central Office – Board room 

304 1st Street 

Van Horne, Iowa 52346 

2023-2024 SCHOOL CALENDAR HEARING – 6:00 p.m. 

REGULAR MEETING 

1. Call to Order 

DIRECTORS: Becker, Ludeking, Nolte, Phillips, Thompson, Upah, and Werning 

A quorum was declared present. 

Also Present: Dr. Bieschke, Dr. Ewell, Tony Daugherty, Becky Andresen, Andrea Townsley, John Galbraith, Terri Pratt-Walter, Phil Eastman, Rob Arnold, Anna Upah and Tim Lyons. 

2. Delegations, Communications, Consideration of Additional Items for the Agenda 

None 

3. Action Item #119 – Approval of Agenda 

Motion by Nolte, second by Thompson to approve the agenda as presented. 

MOTION CARRIED 

ALL MEMBERS PRESENT VOTING AYE 

4. Petition – Presented to the School Board, School Board Receives Petition 

a. Members of the community, Andrea Townsley, Jon Galbraith, Tony Daugherty and Rebecca Andresen presented a Petition to the school board to call an election for the proposed Facility Improvements. The school board received the Petition, reviewed the Petition and affirmed verification of the signatures on the Petition from the school board secretary, Dr. James Bieschke. 

5. Action Item #120 – RESOLUTION 

The resolution was read by the Board President and Vice-President ordering an election on the issuance of $48,500,000 General Obligation School Bonds. 

RESOLUTION 

a. RESOLUTION ORDERING AN ELECTION ON THE ISSUANCE OF $48,500,000 GENERAL OBLIGATION SCHOOL BONDS 

b. CALL OF THE SCHOOL ELECTION FOR MARCH 7, 2023, GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND 

NOTICE MUST BE GIVEN PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 21, CODE OF IOWA, AND THE LOCAL RULES OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. 

Dec. 21, 2022 

c. The Board of Directors of the Benton Community School District, in the Counties of Benton, Tama and Iowa, State of Iowa, met in open session, in the Central Office Board Room, 304 1st Street, Van Horne, Iowa, at 6:00 P.M., on the above date. There were present President Roy John Becker, in the chair, and the following named Board Members: (roll call) President Becker, Vice-President Thompson, Director Nolte, Director Werning, Director Ludeking, Director Upah, Director Phillips 

d. The President of the Board called the meeting together and stated that a Petition had been filed purporting to be signed by eligible electors of the School District numbering at least 25% of those voting at the last election of school officials. The Petition requests that an election be called on the issuance of bonds in an amount not to exceed $48,500,000, to provide funds to build, furnish, and equip a new elementary building in Van Horne and to acquire and improve the site; to build, furnish and equip an addition to Atkins Elementary building and related remodeling; to implement HVAC systems and safety improvements at the Middle/High School building; to remodel, improve, furnish and equip existing spaces in the Middle/High School building, including a secure entryway. 

e. The President submitted the Petition to the Board which examined the Petition. 292 qualified electors voted at the last election of school officials; the number of eligible electors who have signed the petition is 431. 

f. Director Werning introduced the following Resolution and moved its adoption. 

Director Nolte seconded the motion to adopt. The roll was called, and the vote was: 

Ayes: 7 

Nays: 0 

g. The President declared the Resolution adopted as follows: 

h. RESOLUTION ORDERING A SPECIAL ELECTION ON THE ISSUANCE OF $48,500,000 GENERAL OBLIGATION SCHOOL BONDS 

i. WHEREAS, there has been filed with the President of this Board a Petition of eligible electors of this School District asking that an election be called to submit the question of contracting indebtedness and issuing bonds of the School District in an amount not to exceed $48,500,000 to provide funds to build, furnish, and equip a new elementary building in Van Horne and to acquire and improve the site; to build, furnish and equip an addition to Atkins Elementary building and related remodeling; to implement HVAC systems and safety improvements at the Middle/High School building; to remodel, improve, furnish and equip existing spaces in the Middle/High School building, including a secure entryway; and 

j. WHEREAS, this Board has examined the Petition and finds that it is signed by eligible electors of the School District numbering at least 25% of those voting at the last election of school officials and that the purposes set forth in the petition cannot be accomplished within the limit of one and one-quarter percent of the assessed value of the taxable property in the School District; and 

k. WHEREAS, the proposal for the issuance of Bonds or any other proposal incorporating any portion of it has not or will not have been submitted to the qualified electors of the School District for a period of at least six months prior to the date of election being called in these Proceedings; 

l. WHEREAS, this Board has also determined it is necessary to submit at the special school election the proposition of authorizing the Board of Directors to levy annually a tax exceeding Two Dollars and Seventy Cents ($2.70) per Thousand Dollars ($1,000), but not exceeding Four Dollars and Five Cents ($4.05) per Thousand Dollars ($1,000) of the assessed value of the taxable property to pay the principal of and interest on bonded indebtedness; the Board acknowledges that approval of this proposition does not limit the source of payment of the Bonds and interest but only restricts the amount of Bonds which may be issued: 

m. NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED BY THE BENTON COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, IN THE COUNTIES OF BENTON, TAMA AND IOWA, STATE OF IOWA: 

a. Section 1. That an election is called of the qualified electors of the Benton Community School District in the Counties of Benton, Tama and Iowa, State of Iowa, on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. The following Proposition is approved, and the Secretary is authorized and directed to submit and file the Proposition for the Ballot with the Benton County Commissioner of Elections at least 46 days prior to the election. 

Section 2. Because it is necessary to approve a tax levy for the payment of principal and interest on the above Proposition, the following question also will be submitted to the qualified electors at the special election held on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. 

PROPOSITION ___(numbering to be assigned by county office for the ballot) 

a. Shall the Board of Directors of the Benton Community School District in the Counties of Benton, Tama and Iowa, State of Iowa, be authorized to contract indebtedness and issue General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $48,500,000 to provide funds to build, furnish, and equip a new elementary building in Van Horne and to acquire and improve the site; to build, furnish and equip an addition to Atkins Elementary building and related remodeling; to implement HVAC systems and safety improvements at the Middle/High School building; to remodel, improve, furnish and equip existing spaces in the Middle/High School building, including a secure entryway? 

PROPOSITION ___ 

a. Shall the Board of Directors of the Benton Community School District in the Counties of Benton, Tama and Iowa, State of Iowa, be authorized to levy annually a tax exceeding Two Dollars and Seventy Cents ($2.70) per Thousand Dollars ($1,000), but not exceeding Four Dollars and Five Cents ($4.05) per Thousand Dollars ($1,000) of the assessed value of the taxable property within said school corporation to pay the principal of and interest on bonded indebtedness of said school corporation, it being understood that the approval of this proposition shall not limit the source of payment of the bonds and interest, but shall only operate to restrict the amount of bonds which may be issued? 

Section 1. That the notice of the election and ballot form used at the election shall be prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Iowa Code and Iowa Administrative Rules. 

Section 2. That the Election Board for the Voting Precinct or precincts be appointed by the County Commissioner of Elections for each County conducting an election, not less than 15 days before the election. 

Section 3. The Commissioner of Elections for each County conducting an election is requested and directed to make publication of the Notice of Election at least once, not less than four days nor more than twenty days prior to the election, in a newspaper that meets the requirements of Section 49.53(2), Code of Iowa. 

Section 4. Benton County, Iowa is the Controlling County for this election. 

Section 5. That the County Commissioner of Elections for each County conducting an election shall prepare all ballots and election registers and other supplies necessary for the proper and legal conduct of this election and the Secretary of the Board is directed to cooperate with these Commissioners of Elections in the preparation of the necessary proceedings. 

Section 6. That the Secretary is directed to file a certified copy of this Resolution in the Office of the County Commissioner of Elections of the Controlling County to constitute the “written notice” to the County Commissioner of Elections of the election date, required to be given by the governing body under the provisions of Chapter 47, Code of Iowa. 

Motion by Werning, second by Nolte to call a vote on the Resolution and Certificate Form. 

Roll call vote: DIRECTOR: BECKER – Yes, LUDEKING- Yes, NOLTE- Yes, PHILLIPS – Yes, THOMPSON – Yes, UPAH – Yes, WERNING – Yes. 

President Becker: PASSED AND APPROVED this 21st day of December, 2022. 

MOTION CARRIED 

ALL MEMBERS PRESENT VOTING AYE 

6. Open Forum 

Terry Pratt Walters spoke at the open forum. 

7. Action Item #121 – Bus Bids 

Mr. Lyons was here to share the bids on purchasing two new school buses for FY’23-24. 

Mr. Lyons, and in agreement with Dr. Ewell, recommended purchase of 2 buses from Hoglund Bus Company as per specifications and requirements. 

 Delivery in August vs November 

 8.8 L vs 7.3 L propane engine 

 Hoglund met all of the specifications requested/required. 

Bus Bids 

Motion by Thompson, second by Upah to approve the bus bids for two (2) Hoglund school buses that met the specifications requested and required. 

MOTION CARRIED 

ALL MEMBERS PRESENT VOTING AYE 

8. Facility Capital Improvements and Master Plan 

No action taken 

9. Action Item #122 – 2023-2024 School Year Calendar 

a. No one spoke at the hearing for the 23-24 school calendar. 

b. As shared last month, the calendar committee and Dr. Bieschke have worked extensively on the school calendar for FY23-24. The Board reviewed and considered the proposed 2023-2024 school year calendar. 

Motion by Upah, second by Werning to approve the school calendar for the 2023-2024 school year as presented. 

MOTION CARRIED 

ALL MEMBERS PRESENT VOTING AYE 

10. Administrative Report 

11. Action Item #123 – Appointment of Board Member to Conference Board 

Conference Board Duties 

Motion by Nolte, second by Upah to approve Theresa Thompson as a member of the County Assessor Conference Board as per their request. 

MOTION CARRIED 

ALL MEMBERS PRESENT VOTING AYE 

12. Superintendent Retirement and Replacement 

Discussion and update only: 

i. Nov. 17 – Dec. 30 Application period 

ii. Jan. 5 Board reviews candidate pool 

iii. January 19 Board screens candidates 

iv. January 31 Formal interviews with finalists 

13. Action Item #124 – Business Services: 

General fund is stable with a positive fund balance. Increased costs of goods and services have seen a rise consistently in general fund expenses. 

Motion by Thompson, second by Upah to approve the warrants and reports as presented. 

1. WARRANTS 

2. ADDITIONAL WARRANTS 

3. SUMMARY OF WARRANTS 

4. FINANCIAL REPORTS 

GENERAL FUND 

ALL FUNDS REPORT 

MOTION CARRIED 

ALL MEMBERS PRESENT VOTING AYE 

14. Policy Review – None tonight 

No action taken. 

15. Action Item #125 – Consent Agenda 

i. HIRES – all hires contingent on background check and proper licensing 

● Krista Wiley, Food Service, Atkins 

● Dustin Kaestner, Substitute Bus Driver 

● Cindy Stamp, Preschool Special Ed. Assoc. 

ii. Resignations 

● Miranda Bistline – Special Ed. Associate – Keystone 

● Kelly Ridenour – Preschool Spec. Ed. Associate – Keystone 

iii. MEETING MINUTES 

November 9 Work Session 

● November 14 Work Session/Mayors Meeting 

● November 16 Board Meeting 

● November 30 Work Session 

● Work Session / Virtual Session Dec. 12th 

● December 14 Work Session 

iv. CONTRACTS 

● Immaculate Conception Agreement 

Motion by Nolte, second by Werning to approve the consent agenda as presented. 

MOTION CARRIED 

ALL MEMBERS PRESENT VOTING AYE 

16. Superintendent Report 

a. Bond referendum schedule 

b. Upcoming Board Meetings & Facility Improvements Plan & upcoming Bond Referendum Poster Sessions 

i. Jan. 7 – at the Jerry Eckenrod Wrestling Tournament – Shive-Hattery and Dr. Bieschke 

ii. Jan. 8 – Youth wrestling tournament – posters and handouts will be available 

iii. Jan. 11 – 6:30 p.m. – School Board and administration – in person public information session at the middle school/high school. Held in the high school library. 

iv. Jan. 23 – 1:00 p.m. – Board room, in person public information session, 304 1st Street, Van Horne 

v. Jan. 23 – 6:30 p.m. – Atkins Elementary, in person public information session 

vi. Others – to be scheduled 

vii. JAN. 11 – Board Work Session & Presentation at MS/HS- 6:30 P.M. 

viii. JAN. 23 – Board Work Session & Presentation at Atkins – 1:00 – 2:30 in Board Room, 6:30 P.M. at Atkins Elementary 

ix. JAN. 25 – Blairstown? We will have to set up a schedule to go to Blairstown, Elberon, Watkins and Newhall. 

x. FEB. 6 – 4:00 – 6:00 P.M. – Preschool and Kindergarten registration, Poster Sessions at both elementary buildings. 

xi. FEB. 8 – NOON TO 1:30 – Mayors and community leaders lunch at Norway – Matt Nolte, Dr. Ewell, and Dr. Bieschke. 

xii. FEB. 11 – Touch of Class Event, Poster Session, Matt Nolte 

xiii. FEB. 20 – 2:30 – 7:30 – Posters during Parent-Teacher Conferences. 

xiv. FEB. 22 – NOON – 1:30 – Mayor and community leaders’ luncheon – MS/HS – Dr. Ewell and Dr. Bieschke. 

c. Board Director Map – updated, in your folders 

i. Please check over the Board District may for 23-24. 

ii. Date for the Board Resolution – January 18, 2023 

d. Jan. 18 meeting 

i. Accept retirements 

ii. Approve new 23-24 district director map 

17. Discussion with Trent Grundmyer, Roger Wilcox Regarding Superintendent Search 

Discussion of Superintendent Replacement – Trent Grundmeyer 

 Survey Report from the Board 

 Five Applicants 

 Four more in progress 

 Three have Assoc./Superintendent Experience 

 Roger Wilcox shared the Board Survey 

Interview Teams 

 Different Communities 

 Different Buildings 

18. Action Item 126 – Closed Session 

As per Iowa Code 21.5(e) To discuss whether to conduct a hearing or to conduct hearings to suspend or expel a student, unless an open session is requested by the student or a parent or guardian of the student if the student is a minor. 

Roll call vote: DIRECTOR: BECKER – Yes, LUDEKING- Yes, NOLTE- Yes, PHILLIPS – Yes, THOMPSON – Yes, UPAH – Yes, WERNING – Yes. 

MOTION CARRIED 

ALL MEMBERS PRESENT VOTING AYE 

Action Item #127 

Motion by Thompson, second by Upah to come out of closed session. 

Roll call vote: DIRECTOR: BECKER – Yes, LUDEKING- Yes, NOLTE- Yes, PHILLIPS – Yes, THOMPSON – Yes, UPAH – Yes, WERNING – Yes. 

MOTION CARRIED 

Action Item #128 

Motion by Thompson, second by Phillips to approve the student consent agreement, who is the subject of the school violation. 

MOTION CARRIED 

ALL MEMBERS PRESENT VOTING AYE 

19. Action Item #129 – Closed Session 

21.5(1)(j) – To discuss the purchase or sale of a particular real estate only where premature disclosure could be reasonable expected to increase the price the governmental body would have to pay for that property or reduce the price the governmental body would receive for that property. 

 The Board will discuss updates and details regarding land acquisition. 

 Theresa Thompson recused herself and left the room. 

Motion by Upah, second by Werning to go into closed session. 

Roll call vote: DIRECTOR: BECKER – Yes, LUDEKING- Yes, NOLTE- Yes, PHILLIPS – Yes, UPAH – Yes, WERNING – Yes. 

MOTION CARRIED 

ALL MEMBERS PRESENT VOTING AYE 

Action Item #130 – Come Out of Closed Session 

Motion by Nolte, second by Upah to come out of closed session. 

Roll call vote: DIRECTOR: BECKER – Yes, LUDEKING- Yes, NOLTE- Yes, PHILLIPS – Yes, UPAH – Yes, WERNING – Yes. 

MOTION CARRIED 

ALL MEMBERS PRESENT VOTING AYE 

No action taken at this time. 

20. Action Item #131 – Adjournment 

Motion by Nolte, second by Upah to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 p.m. 

MOTION CARRIED 

ALL MEMBERS PRESENT VOTING AYE 

Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m. 

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