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School board discusses next steps for wind turbine

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The wind turbine that helps to power the electricity for the Clay Central-Everly school district needs repair. Right now, the turbine is running at a reduced capacity, though the board is considering the benefits of making the repairs versus terminating the use of the turbine altogether.

The cost of the repairs is approximately $26,000, and the board is concerned that the output, once fixed, won't save the district enough electricity to offset the overall cost. The original apparatus was purchased used in the mid-1990s.

Dennis McClain, CC-E superintendent, did not offer a precise recommendation, though he encouraged the board to look at the rising efficiency levels of replacing the broken elements. Until now, the repairs have all been completed using refurbished parts, and he believes the output will be greater than expected using the new parts.

Another option is to simply let the turbine be, and to consider selling it in the future for scrap metal.

"If we don't repair it, we could leave it for a few years, but eventually it will have to be torn down," McClain said.

The costs for the repairs will come from the PPEL fund, but the savings that the repaired turbine generates will benefit the General Fund.

This item was tabled until further information could be gathered.

In other agenda items, McClain, along with the school board, drafted a list of five goals for the school board. These goals include: fiscal responsibility, student achievement, communication, leadership, and boardmanship. The purpose of having these goals is to revisit them from time to time, as an added measure of accountability and progress.

Also, the district has decided to re-open bids for the cement work that needs to be done on both schools. There were no bids to present before the board this month. The new bidding advertisements will widen the target search area and the completion date. While it would be ideal to have the work completed by the beginning of the school year, the absolute deadline is before October's site visit.

To add to board discussion, McClain encouraged the board to look into paperless board packets, emailed to the board members ahead of time and accessed on laptops rather than printed out for each member and visitor. This, McClain claims, will undoubtedly help in saving the district money, as well as further progress the district forward in their technology.

"If we want to push the use of technology in our schools and with our students, it looks good if we adopt a similar system," McClain said.

In additional agenda items, Abbee Gappa has resigned from her position as the associate study hall monitor, effective at the end of the first semester. The district is also interviewing candidates for the cheerleading and dance coach position, and they are continuing their search for an assistant football coach.

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