Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Potter-Dix focus on wellness

Health conscious members of the Potter Cross-Fit club sought continued use of the Potter High School from board members during the Sept. 12 Board of Education meeting.

Potter resident Amy Jones addressed the board requesting that the school be kept available for Cross-Fit training.

She explained that she had seen it on the agenda, listed as item #H.6. that the school’s facility usage guidelines would be discussed and she wanted to be present, along with other residents who are active in the Cross-Fit Training program.

“What is being revised?” questioned Jones, “Where does our ability to work out re-apply?”

According to school policy, the exercise program could not continue within the school facility without financial compensation to the school if it were run as a for-profit program.

A suggestion was made to ask the trainer to offer the program at no cost, as the board recognized the importance of the program to the community.

“One of the things that is in (the school policy) is that if (the event or use of the facility) is being used for commercial use – it needs to have board approval,” Superintendent Mike Williams said, “If somebody is going to make money on it, then it needs to have board approval, and liability insurance.”

“Another one of your policies is “community wellness,” Jones rebutted, “We are all taxpayers of this school. Part of my personal benefit is I got cancer. My oncologist told me that if I wanted to help my 50/50 shot at this cancer coming back that I will lose weight and I will exercise, and (the Cross-Fit program) is that drive that I need to get myself healthy.”

Williams also explained to the group that in the past there had been a ‘verbal agreement’ between the parties in which there was a monetary donation that would go into the school’s foundation, from the fitness group.

“To my knowledge, we’ve never received anything into the foundation,” he said.

Williams did acknowledge that there had been a fair amount of equipment donated in the past instead, but also acknowledged that going forward there might need to be a change in how the situation is to be handled if it were still a money-making event.

Also on the agenda for the meeting was the budget and tax request hearing, opened with a request to excuse board member Chris Bogert and board treasurer Lori Biesecker.

“Bottom line on the total tax asking, we are asking for fifty-eight thousand dollars less in taxes than we did last year, which is a 1.9 percent decrease,” Williams reported. “Our levy is going to drop, basically two and two-thirds cents.

“I am really pleased with this budget. I think it will do what we need it to do,” Williams continued, “It’s responsible to our patrons by dropping that tax-asking. I feel good about it.”

“It looks really good,” commented board member Mike Rotert, “That doesn’t happen very often.” Rotert commented about Kimball County’s recent struggles with assessments of property values.

“I know Kimball Public Schools lost in upwards of $20 million on their valuation,” Williams said, “They are already at a dollar, four-nine. So, they have to be looking at cuts, if those numbers are true. I have not asked Marshall Lewis because I didn’t want to rub salt in his wounds, but if those numbers are true, they have to be looking at cuts.”

With that, the board closed the budget hearing and waited for the Tax Request Hearing to begin.

During the intermission, the board visited about the bus that transports students from Kimball to Potter-Dix schools daily.

This route is new to the district and was implemented due to the number of students transferring their education from Kimball to Potter-Dix. The bus boards students at set times from the parking lot at Main Street Market.

Rotert, who is the Vice President of the Potter-Dix Public School Board, said he had a conversation with someone regarding an unnamed Kimball Public School board member in regards to the transfer of students.

“I did hear that there was a Kimball School board member that was not happy that we are sending a bus to Kimball,” Rotert said. “Thought I would let you all know.”

Williams said that if he were in the same situation he would be asking himself why the students want to leave the school.

The board stated that although there are currently several students being transferred via bus from Kimball to Potter for school, the actual attendance numbers are higher, as some students drive themselves and others are transported by family members.

High school students Michael Steele and Nathan Robinson ended the meeting on a high note. The students presented a slide-show of the landscaping project they completed to improve the ‘curb appeal’ of the Potter school grounds.

Steele and Robinson removed bushes, a tree and fencing. After the clean-up, they planted new vegetation, paying close attention to drainage and easy maintenance of the new plants.

The board thanked the high schools students and praised them for a job well done.