At its June 14 meeting, school superintendent Darwin Lehmann updated the Forest City School Board of Education on the status of plans to update and rebuild the district’s aging wind generation turbine.
The turbine needs a new gearbox and generator. School maintenance staff Dan Millard had informed the board in March that some play has developed in the gear box recently, which causes a need for periodic readjustments for sensors to work properly.
The existing gear box is a replacement from two years after the turbine was installed and the original generation unit can be rebuilt. The condition of the blades was found to be OK after a recent inspection.
At Monday night’s meeting, Lehmann said that that the necessary wind turbine parts could be shipped from Denmark by August and the district could have what it needs to start work on the turbine before the end of the year. He estimated the total cost should be between $125,000 and $150,000. Previously, $150,000 was set aside in the budget for the project.
In other business:
• The board unanimously approved a social worker sharing agreement that is new with Osage. After the meeting, board secretary Sara Meinders said that the district had a similar agreement with Clear Lake last year, which is no longer an option to share these services.
So, Osage, West Fork, and Forest City have agreed to share the position with the employment contract being held by Osage. Forest City will have a social worker present at the elementary school for one day each week.
• Board members also unanimously approved continuing an agreement ongoing since 2018 for sharing the district’s media specialist 12 days per year with Northwood-Kensett, a continued human resources and business manager sharing agreement with North Iowa, and the district’s superintendent sharing agreement with Central Springs.
• The board reauthorized an Iowa Local Government Risk Pool (natural gas) price agreement it had approved previously. Meinders said the actual renewal amount was just delivered and since the cost had increased significantly (34 percent), school officials felt it was best to have the board approve the amount of $61,557 for the 2021-22 school year. She noted that the cost of natural gas has gone up significantly to justify this increase.
• The board signed off on an ongoing partnership agreement with the North Iowa Therapeutic Instructional Consortium (Four Oaks), which Lehmann said continues to meet the needs of students in Forest City.
• The board unanimously approved committee nominations of Greg Richardson and Tom Pauley for Forest City’s 2021 Education Hall of Fame
• School board members approved continuing the board’s longtime membership in the Iowa Association of School Boards as well as the Iowa School Finance Information Services.
• The board approved a purchasing agreement with Central Rivers AEA for bread, food, small wares, and ware wash in the 2021-22 school year. It is a commitment to purchase an aggregate monthly total of 60 percent of its food and supplies (excluding USDA) from Central Rivers AEA.
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