Is the Bureau Valley wind turbine an asset or liability?
The Bureau Valley District 340 Board of Education heard a report on the turbine’s performance at a recent meeting.
Resident Greg Gonigam addressed the board concerning the school’s turbine that was erected in 2004. He explained his calculations, utilizing school district figures, to determine profit/loss for the project and felt his calculations show a 5-year average loss of $24,000.
Supt. Dennis Thompson cited several variables that have made it difficult to determine actual costs and revenue when comparing different time spans; i.e., school accounting year vs. calendar billing year, the ability to keep the turbine running when wind is available, the amount of energy we can use directly from the turbine, along with the sale of energy to Ameren.
He said school administration is continuing to monitor usage and attempting to secure a clear picture of revenue and costs.
Board members stated they want to continue receiving information that can be compiled and feel the turbine is an asset.
During the meeting Emily Matko presented her senior class environmental science class renewable energy unit, explaining the students studied and viewed the school turbine, along with nuclear and solar energy.
In other news from the meeting:
– Resident Ken Bolin addressed the board with his concern on school building safety and asked the board to consider options that can enhance the safety of students and staff.
– Senior Michael Lotspeich presented a slideshow of his involvement as a member of the ISBE student advisory council. His group is to work with school districts on finances.
– The BVHS ag department has completed renovation and landscaping of the high school sign and were thanked for their efforts. An EPA grant for the transportation department was recently completed. Playgrounds and backstops are currently undergoing upgrades. Many local businesses and volunteers are completing the work at all sites and the board expressed their gratitude to all who have helped.
– Building principals reported on a high incidence of illnesses. Successful Christmas programs and community events were held throughout the district and holiday cards were sent to military troops.Staff and administrators are working on School Improvement Plans in the buildings. Interim Superintendent James Whitmore praised all the staff and students for their educational efforts and community volunteerism.
In board action, the following was approved:
– Renewed the Ag Boosters lease agreement at $100 per acre.
– Adopted the 2012 tax levy as presented.
– Approved School Improvement Plans as presented by BV South and high school principals.
– Employed Maranda Coomer as BV North classroom aide.
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