BELDING — For the first time since 2011, members of the Belding Area Schools Board of Education will be compensated for their services for the upcoming school year.
In a 6-0 vote Monday evening, with Board President Tom Humphreys absent, board members approved a motion to reinstate board compensation at $599 per year, the same rate that existed in 2011.
In 2012 and 2013, board members voted unanimously not to receive compensation, pointing to budgetary restraints in those years.
Board Vice President Timothy Flynn made a condition on the motion that a separate “club account” be established to use for matters of “benevolence or appreciation” of staff members.
“As a district, we’re prohibited from expending public monies for things such as benevolence, or to show appreciation for staff members,” Flynn said. “This year we had several unfortunate events that impacted our staff, and I would therefore like to see us reinstate board compensation with one particular (circumstance).”
Flynn said the account will be funded by board members, as they have the voluntary option to place their compensation into the club account, which will act as the sole funding for the account, if they so choose.
The monies within the account would then be controlled by the board president or superintendent “to use as they see fit for matters of benevolence or appreciation” for school staff.
“Any board member wishing to put their stipend in that account, that would be the funding available for those items,” he said. “The other comment I would want to make is this is completely voluntary.”
Board members then voted to submit a completed annual repayment activity schedule for the district’s bond debt.
“Each summer we are required to complete the resolution that you were forwarded … that resolution will basically let us be part of the school bond loan fund, to continue with that this year, so that we can borrow in order to make our debt repayments,” Finance Director Adrianna Barna said. “We’ve participated in the school bond loan fund for the past few years.”
Board members also voted 6-0 to have three gym floors throughout the district refinished at a cost of $16,400.12.
Superintendent Sara Shriver said the gym floors include the two gyms at the high school and the middle school gym floor.
“We have three gym floors that continually need to be refinished until they reach a point where they get to a level where they can get on a cycle,” she said. “We’d like to continue with this process to make sure our floors maintain their integrity and stay in good shape.”
Board members also voted 6-0 to allow an easement with the city of Belding on school property so the city can access storm sewers.
According to Flynn, as a part of the 2012 bond work at the high school, the storm sewers were replaced under the high school lower parking lot.
“In order for the city of Belding to maintain and have access to the storm sewers, an easement is needed,” he said. “If there’s any damage that would rise from repair, they would restore that,” he said. “There’s no risk to us, but this is something that we need to do.”
In other matters …
The Belding Area Schools Board of Education:
• Voted 6-0 to approve revisions to the high school and middle school student handbook.
• Voted 6-0 to approve a resolution that on the regular school election scheduled for Nov. 4, there will be elected two members to the board of the district for full terms of four years ending in 2018 and two members for full terms of six years ending 2020.
• Voted 6-0 to approve an overnight trip request for the art and book clubs to travel to Boston in April 2015