Summary of the Homer School District 33C
Finance & Operations Committee Meeting
January 24, 2017
Barb Wilson, President Angela Adolf, Vice President Amy Blank, Secretary
Deb Martin, Member Ed Campins, Member Elizabeth Hitzeman, Member Russ Petrizzo, Member
At the January 24th Finance & Operations Committee meeting:
- Christi Tyler, Interim Assistant Superintendent for Business, updated the Committee on a bus leasing option that would enable the district to avoid a large capital outlay; refresh its entire fleet every 5 years; and reduce maintenance costs. Administrators met with three vendors recently and arranged for Homer 33C drivers to test drive a bus from each company/manufacturer. District mechanics were included in the process and invited to ask questions of each vendor. The vendors have until February 1, 2017 to return pricing and trade-in amounts for 71-passenger buses and lift buses, including custom special education buses that would enable the District to remove all seats to accommodate wheelchairs.
- Arlene Siefert, Director of Technology, reported the District received three bids from printer/copier companies to service every copier in the District. Administrators will recommend at the January 31, 2017 Board of Education meeting that the District award the maintenance agreement to Martin Whalen.
- Tyler and Siefert reported that only one school district in our area — Lemont — currently charges a separate technology fee. Instead of implementing a technology fee here, they recommend the District implement a nominal increase annually/biannually so that parents aren’t hit with a large spike in fees in a single year. At the January 31, 2017 Board of Education meeting, administrators will recommend that the District raise its registration fees $5 for grades K-4; $10 for grades 5-7; and $15 for grade 8. They also will recommend the District raise its Little Learners preschool program rate from $250 to $275. A survey of preschool program rates showed Homer 33C was charging significantly less than other service providers in our area.
- Tyler presented the Committee with a list of all district owned properties. They include:
- Its six school sites (Butler, Goodings Grove, Hadley, Homer Junior High, Schilling and Young)
- Its Transportation Center on Cedar Road
- Two vacant sites
- 12 acres on Parker Road
- 6 acres at Bruce and Cedar roads
- Instead of moving forward with a proposal to rent a former bank building on Bell Road for administrative offices, the District will conduct an audit at each school and facility (including the District Office and Transportation Center) to determine how each room is being used and what the repair/maintenance needs will be in the coming years. The goal is to make better use of existing space and to accommodate the steady increase of students. Moving forward, the District and its new Board (who will be seated after the April election) will need to focus on developing a long-range facility plan, reported Superintendent Kara Coglianese. Options that have loosely been tossed around so far are moving 5th graders back to the elementary schools, purchasing/leasing mobile classrooms or asking voters to fund a new school and/or classroom additions.
- Tyler reviewed the District’s portable radio bid with the Committee and suggested the Board move forward with a plan to purchase radios for the school buses.
- Tyler reported one of the District’s trucks, which is used for plowing and other tasks throughout the District, is in need of significant repairs. Instead of spending $6,000 to repair the 13-year-old truck with over 120,000 miles on it, administrators recommend the District purchase a new one for $36,000. The plow would be removed from the District’s old truck and installed on the new one. To pay for the truck, the District would reallocate funds that were budgeted for a repaving project.
The Next Regular School Board Meeting is January 31, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.