Wednesday, December 18, 2013

School board considers advisory panel

Committee would provide advice on financial decisions


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

     The Blaine County School District board of trustees is moving forward with establishment of a financial advisory committee that would assist the board in making decisions regarding expenditures.

     No formal action has yet been taken, but the board tentatively intends to approve a plan for the committee at its next regular meeting on Jan. 21, 2014. In the meantime, the board will continue to fine tune a draft plan prepared by Trustee Kathy Baker and to advertise for potential committee members in February.

     Members of the public have been requesting that the school board establish a financial advisory committee for nearly two years. Requests became more frequent when litigation, now settled out of court, started in May of 2012 between the district and its energy contractor McKinstry Essention.

     Once a committee is formed, the board intends that one of the first issues it would be asked to consider is expansion of the gymnasium and cafeteria at Wood River Middle School. Estimated to cost about $1.5 million, construction was earlier intended to start in 2014 but the board has now decided to delay the project for at least a year.

     The expansion would be the second recent major construction project at the middle school. Started in 2012, construction is now finished on a new wing on the east side of the school that provides four new classrooms. District Business Manager Mike Chatterton said Monday that the new wing will be open for use on Jan. 6, after the Christmas break.




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