North Putnam runs with Co-Alliance
North Putnam Schools and nearby Co-Alliance LLP will remain partners for 2016, despite consideration of a Fort Wayne-based company that would offer the gasoline at a slightly lower price.
Current gas prices, the ability to "lock-in" a rate of $1.25 per gallon, the corporation's proximity and a history of friendly relations fueled the board's decision Wednesday at its first meeting of the new year.
NPCSC and Co-Alliance have worked well together in years past. In fact, Co-Alliance is a considerable supporter of and donor to the district's FFA organization and is more readily available in times of emergency than any other agency as it has a branch located less than a mile from town.
The exact numbers surrounding the decision are as such: 40,000 gallons of fuel (both unleaded and diesel) throughout 2016 at the locked-in rate of $1.2578 per gallon, totaling $50,312.
Several members of the board cited advantages of locking in the relatively low rate of $1.25 per gallon, perhaps none moreso than Board President John Hays.
"I'm much more in favor of locking in $1.25 because it's more likely to reach $4 a gallon than 50 cents a gallon," Hays said. "I see nothing wrong with locking in fuel at these kind of prices for anybody who wants to manage their costs."
Board member Travis Lambermont described some of the advantages of running (or driving, rather) with Co-Alliance, saying its fuel has ultra-low levels of sulfur.
"Your sulfur content isn't the same on both of them, though they are both are low in sulfur," Lambermont said. "The sulfur acts as a kind of lubricant, and though it doesn't make much difference to the joints, it makes a difference in the older (buses)."
Tanks already installed on multiple North Putnam properties are owned by the school. Though the potential problem of replacing tanks in the event of vendor change was discussed, it was determined to be a non-issue.
The motion passed 5-0-1 after thorough discussion. Board member Daryl Wyatt was the only member to abstain, citing family members who work for the company out of Fort Wayne.
Co-Alliance is located at 6922 N. CR 100 East, just west of Bainbridge.
The next regularly-scheduled meeting for North Putnam will be Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. inside the corporation's administrative office.
In other business:
* Johnson-Melloh Vice President of Sales and Operations Jamie Krynski, as well as Project Development and Account Manager Andy Cooper updated the board on a few projects taking place at the high school.
"We finished two projects over (Christmas) break -- we finished Project B (which included) HVAC and some lighting that went along with it," Krynski said. "That's in the middle school from the office area to the commons area and restrooms, we're probably 50-60 percent complete with the projects list ... we're trying to get it done this week.
"The only item left is an exhaust fan on the roof, which comes in in about two weeks."
Cooper updated the board on the progress of the solar farm, as well.
"We've finished up most of the lighting, everyone's pretty pleased with that," Cooper said, referrencing the connection between the solar panels and interior renovations. "We're entering the last phase of the solar project -- the field looks pretty complete and we're doing a lot of wiring at the moment. We're probably less than 30 days from being done."
* Bonnie Osborn, a student at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, was approved to immediately begin an internship at both the middle and high schools.
Despite being told otherwise from multiple board members and Superintendent Dan Noel, board member Jill Summerlot voted against the internship due to policy-issue concerns. Summerlot blocked the internship in January, citing issues with the fact Osborn attended North Putnam in the past.
Noel and other members investigated the matter, speaking directly to SMWC advisers to receive approval for Osborn's internship. However, despite repeated approval and reassurance, Summerlot still voted against it in a 5-1 vote.
* Tanya Pearson was approved to again be corporation treasurer. Patty Jones, Katrina Watson, Jennifer Nelson and Karen Noel were approved as extra curricular treasurers.
* A Title II grant for $48,059 was received and approved to be used for professional development and evaluation for administrators.
* The school calendar for 2016-2017 was approved Wednesday. One notable change to the calendar showed that Dec. 20, 2016 will be the last school day in 2016.
* New contracts for "all administrators" for the remainder of the school year were approved.
* Professional leave for Cathy Tesmer was sought and received, effective Feb. 23-24. Tesmer will be attending a Focus on Inclusion conference. Similar leave was granted to Kate Skirvin to attend the CASE Food Science and Safety Class from June 20 through July 1.
* Several hirings, transfers and resignations were discussed and approved: Stacey Bean, resignation as assistant treasurer, effective Jan. 15; Charles Beaumont, resignation as bus driver, effective Dec. 18 of last year; Taylor Stevenson, hired as Title I teacher, effective Jan. 14; Katrina Asher, hired as transportation secretary, effective Jan. 13; Scott McLaughlin, hired as bus driver, effective Jan. 13; Lori Baker, approved as volunteer assistant swimming coach at the middle school, effective Jan. 13; Katie Copsee, hired as eighth-grade assistant girls' basketball coach, effective Jan. 13; Brandy Dickson, hired as head swim coach at the middle school, effective Jan. 13; Laurie Hensley, approved as volunteer assistant swimming coach, effective Jan. 13; Hilary Vukovits, hired as seventh-grade assistant girls' basketball coach, effective Jan. 13; and Julie Harbison, transfer from middle school secretary to Bainbridge secretary and health-aide.