The Iola-Scandinavia School Board voted to pursue negotiations for lease of school property at its Jan. 10 meeting.
The vote followed a public hearing to discuss leasing about 100 feet by 100 feet near the football field for a communications tower and access road.
“Our approval gives the go-ahead to pursue this further,” said district Administrator Joe Price.
Yet to be determined are placement of the tower, access road details and rental agreement.
“We are hoping to negotiate the placement of the road to benefit future development,” Price said.
The cell phone company also needs to receive permission from other entities, including the village of Scandinavia.
In other business, the board approved forgiving the school district’s share of property taxes charged to 504 Water St., Iola.
“At some point or another (the school district) would be liable for this share,” explained business manager Jon Novak.
Finance Committee Chairman Bill Peterson reported that the food service budget is in “the black” and “considerably ahead of last year.” He noted there is 78 percent student participation.
The board discussed the 2011-12 budget, which will be affected by $116,000 less revenue due to declining enrollment.
“We need to offset $116,000 and any revenue increases,” Price said.
The board agreed to discuss budget solutions at its next meeting.
There will be two contested positions in the spring election. Jeffrey Oppor is challenging incumbent Randy Frye to represent the village of Iola. Bruce Beyersdorf is challenging Dan Loken to represent the towns of Iola and New Hope. Kelton Wilhite, who represents the village of Scandinavia, is running unopposed.
Price presented an update on the proposed cheerleading squad, which recently gained board approval.
“Given lack of interest, we will let this go for now,” he stated. “There is no sense hiring an advisor for a squad that doesn’t exist.”
According to Price, there was absolutely no response to a sign-up sheet posted in the high school office.