Board of education Jan. 16 meeting: solar panels and debt abatement

By Sarah Reilly

At the Jan. 16 board of education meeting, a small group of children from the early childhood center stood and led the pledge. The children were able to sit and stay or to leave after. Soon after, the board members started reviewing the agenda.

The Board of Education typically has two meetings a month. The first is where new policies and actions are presented to the board. They discuss these new policies and at the second meeting they vote to approve or not. There is only one meeting in January because of holidays and breaks, so everything was presented and approved at this meeting. 

The meeting started off by talking about monthly updates on financial reports and legislative changes. They covered budgets, human resources, and the progress on the fine arts construction project here at Huntley High School. They are projected to start working on the roof of the black box theater today. 

After the monthly updates the board went over new policy changes. Lorie Woods, who has been in charge of updating the board on policy changes for 8 years, went through any new policy changes we should make. The subject of the legalization of cannabis in Illinois was brought up, but no policies for our district where changed at this meeting. 

The board was also updated by Doug Renkosik on the new solar panels. In total, there will be 14,117 solar panels throughout the district. These solar panels stretch over a total of 14 acres of property. They are expected to be operating by March of 2020. 

They also approved a debt abatement of $471,675 in part of the Series 2009 Bonds. Part of the Series 2009 Bonds states that the amount will be abated annually; this also works with the Series 2016 Bonds. Part of the Series 2016 debt will be abated annually as well. 

The board approved the change in policies 7:180 and 4:190. Policy 7:180 deals with the prevention of bullying and harassment as well as the response to it. The creation of the Targeted School Violence Prevention Pram, or policy 4:190, was approved last night. 

One board member has the ability to sign on approval of natural gas and electricity procurement contracts. It takes a long time to get these motions to the board; having one agent to sign for these makes it easier. This year, Paul Troy has been authorized as this agent until January 2021.

In other news, Marlowe Middle School has had a problem with their lunch tables. The springs have been getting old and the tables are brought up and down constantly throughout the day. To help with this, the board members approved the purchase of 28 new folding lunch tables. They will be purchasing these table from Lowery McDonnell Company. The tables will be purchased at the cost of $49,428.96. 

A lot was accomplished at the meeting last night, with 11 action items being approved. The meeting started at 7 p.m. and ended around 8:10 p.m. The board found it easy to agree and not many questions where needed to be asked.

The next meeting will be on Feb. 6 at the district office.