School Board gives vote of confidence to activities ‘on notice’

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal
At Monday’s School Board meeting two activities that had been put “on notice” two years ago were taken off that list and given a vote of confidence by the entire board.

The two DLHS activities that had been on notice the last two years because of flagging participation received a vote of confidence from the Devils Lake School Board on Monday when they officially voted to remove them from that status.

“It makes sense for the school board to formally indicate their support for these activities (wrestling and girls hockey) by removing them from being “on notice” so their programs can move forward with clarity for the future,” he said.  

The vote was unanimous and Superintendent Scott Privratsky stated his continued support of all the activity programs they have in place.

The meeting began with a discussion regarding a conference attended by two board members on contract negotiations. Both Steve Halldorson and Jeff Frith had attended the conference and found it to be a rewarding experience. They shared their thoughts with the remaining board members and Halldorson said, “I wish I had attended something like this years ago.”

Privratsky pointed out that every district is unique and the problems that other districts have to deal with have not been problems at Devils Lake. He credits a positive working relationship with DLEA and their monthly meetings to stay on top of things before they become larger issues.

Privratsky thanked the two board members for attending this conference and representing the district.

Then discussion moved to the Prairie View boiler replacement project. The board was faced with two choices; to replace the single boiler in the elementary school or to have a dual system installed that would have two boilers.

Though the dual system was more expensive, the consensus among the board members was that having a second boiler might be the best option in case of a failure down the road. The second boiler could be utilized as a back-up.

They voted to go with the dual system and to move forward obtaining bids with the understanding that should the bids be significantly above what they expected, they would have other options.

Another request to call for bids also met with approval from the board. This time it was for all print management services. Privratsky and Technology Director Kermit Thompson are convinced putting all of the district’s copying machines and supplies under one contract will save money overall.

The final action item from the agenda was the facilities use agreement with the Devils Lake Park Board.

Privratsky explained that the district had paid the same fee of $28,000 per year for the past ten years to the Devils Lake Park Board for use of their facilities at Burdick Arena and the baseball and softball diamonds.

This 10-year agreement was granted because Devils Lake Public Schools deeded the property south of Burdick Arena to the Park Board for a future second indoor rink.

The proposed rates going forward are $32,000 for the school years 2016-17 and 2017-18, then $34,000 for 2018-19 and 2019-2020, then $35,000 for 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Privratsky said the Grand Forks Schools pay $46,000 each for similar ice facility use agreements.

For the baseball and softball fields the district currently pays $1,000 a year. The new rates go to $1,500 for 2016-17 and 2017-18, then to $2,000 for 2018-19 and 2019-20.

These rate increases and agreements were approved unanimously by the board.

Up coming meetings for March 14 at 5 p.m., April 4 and 25, and May 9 and 23 were discussed.