WAPELLO — Although a Wapello School Board meeting Wednesday involved mostly routine issues, it generated more than its share of split votes, with three measures failing to gain unanimous approval.
An initial vote to approval a list of hires, which included several current coaches and other extra-curricular activity personnel, was unanimously approved, after the board pulled Carin Cline’s boys’ soccer contract from the list.
The board then separately on her contract, but tied on a 2-2 vote, with board members Eric Smith and Doug Meeker in support and board chair Duane Boysen and board member Matt Stewart opposed.
Board member Doug Housman was absent from the meeting.
Following action on those hires, Superintendent Mike Peterson then presented a list of non-certified staff for approval. That list was approved on a 3-1 vote, with Stewart casting the lone dissent.
Later in the meeting the board split again when reviewing bids for asbestos removal work in the elementary school building. According to previous discussions, cabinet replacement work in the building uncovered some floor tile in several classrooms that apparently had been fastened to the floor with glue containing asbestos.
Officials agreed those tiles needed to be removed before the cabinets were replaced.
Smith, who is member of the board’s building and grounds committee, said the committee had requested bids from three contractors, but only two submitted anything.
He said Advanced Environmental, Davenport, had bid $28,330 and committed to completing the work by July 19. A $15.900 bid from Environmental Services of Iowa, Dubuque, was also submitted. Its completion date was July 17.
Smith said the recommendation was to use the Dubuque firm because of lower cost and earlier completion. He also explained the revenue to cover the expense would come from an earlier bond issue that was used to complete several major projects, including the new practice gym. Revenue to pay off the bonds is coming from the district’s one-cent local sales tax allocation.
The board voted 3-1 in favor of the recommendation, with Boysen objecting.
He later explained to Peterson that he opposed the proposal because he felt the tiles should have been discovered earlier and included in the initial cabinet replacement project.
Local resident Brian Shafer met with the board and asked to consider allowing the public to begin using the school district’s fitness center. According to officials, Shafer pointed out one of the reasons the board cited when initially prohibiting the general public from the facility a few years ago was the potential competition with a gym in downtown Wapello.
However, that facility has now closed and is no longer available to the public.
The board did not discuss the proposal and members indicated they wanted to meet with the school administration before making any decision.
The board did give its approval for teacher Brandon Brown to organize a trip to Europe during the summer of 2021. Brown provided details on the trip, including potential cost, minimum numbers and other issues. He said the trip likely would be made in late July or early August and would focus on World War II sites in Europe.
In final action, the board:
• Agreed to increase the district’s talented and gifted position contract from .78 time to .8 times;
• Agreed to boost the single price of additional servings of milk from 35¢ to 45¢;
• Accepted the low milk bid from Anderson-Erickson;
• Accepted the low bread bid from Bimbo Bakery;
• Approved the elementary and secondary student handbooks;
• Approved the second reading of a certified staff handbook;
• Approved the first reading of a non-certified staff handbook;
• Accepted the district’s audit report; and
• Agreed to reschedule the July meeting to July 17 at 6 p.m.