NEH sharing talks begin

At its special meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the Northeast Hamilton School Board voted to enter into negotiations with Webster City CSD for administration sharing for the 2014-2015 school year.

NEH is researching options for administrative services as Supt. Larry Frakes resigned at the regular March meeting and the state certification for Administrative Assistant/High School Principal Dennis Bahr is due to expire at the end of this school year.

In a vote of 4-0, the Board moved to negotiate with Webster City on shared administration services with a 20 percent compensation rate. Board members present were Board President Roxanne Anderson, Bruce Mark, Marlin Pruismann and Eric Patterson. Board member Mike Rapp was absent.

Board President Roxanne Anderson asked the Board to consider the girls’ golf team and address the issue of sponsoring a sports team which cannot be competitive due to low participation numbers.

Supt. Frakes reported that if a NEH golfer would chose to participate with Webster City’s high school team, the addition would not affect WC’s class designation. He also noted that if all of NEH’s athletes were to participate in any of the Webster City High School athletic programs, Webster City’s division classification would not be affected.

On the question of whether Webster City would be willing to allow NEH students to join their teams, Administrative Assistant Dennis Bahr noted that WC Supt. Mike Sherwood has expressed a willingness to work with NEH.

Board member Bruce Mark suggested that the board set an exact number of participants needed for any NEH team to compete.

Since several coaching contracts have already been signed and the school is bound to honor them, Mark also suggested that future coaching contracts include a clause which allows the district to void a contract if there aren’t enough students participating in that sport.

All the present board members noted that while the athletics issue has been discussed at several meetings, no decision has been made. Collectively, the Board agreed that junior high sports programs will be determined at the April 10 meeting. The Board will also review potential softball participation numbers and make a final decision at its regular April meeting.

Supt. Frakes and Administrative Assistant Bahr agreed to speak with Webster City Supt. Mike Sherwood about any of NEH’s options and report back at the April 10 meeting.

In agenda business, the Board accepted the resignation of Deb Larson.

In other business, Roxanne Anderson reported on a district patron’s question. Last fall, a driver hit a light poll in the student parking lot and the light was dislodged. The driver was billed for the $2,000 repair cost, said Anderson.

Administrative Assistant Dennis Bahr suggested the driver file the claim with her own personal insurance carrier.

Bahr reported on the progress status of the school bus barn. Currently, the district is anticipating the installation of a chain drive, bus-grade electrical outlets and a bus-rated compressor. A gap in a doorway also needs to be fixed. In addition, dirt work will be done to create a berm that diverts water to drain away from the bus barn and the school ball fields.

Bahr said he would also check into the status of the lights along the driveway that lead into the student parking lot. The lights had been disconnected when work began on the bus barn, but had not been reconnected, said Bahr.