Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

School taxes in Barnum remain low

Board considers improvements to be made in athletics department


December 27, 2018

The school taxes in Barnum have gone down, it was reported at the working meeting of the Barnum School Board on Tuesday, Dec. 4, during the Truth in Taxation report.

“The taxes have gone down by $12,000 last year,” said Superintendent Dave Bottom. “We are still one of the lowest taxed school districts in the county.”

Board Chair Paul Coughlin added that the board had approved a $300 per pupil tax for special projects, such as the replacement of the elementary playground equipment.

Bottom said the board will be renewing that tax every year. It is a tax that the state has allowed the school board to approve. Voter approval is not needed. The tax for health and safety add-ons is included.

The board reviewed a list of costs from Northern Fitness Solutions for new commercial equipment for the fitness center. The total cost was listed at $48,353 for three treadmills, three total body arc trainers, one recumbent bike, one upright bike, one spin bike and one rowing machine. There are also costs for deliver, set-up, training and freight, with $19,030 as a package discount.

The equipment comes with a three-year warranty.

High School Principal Brian Kazmierczak stated he had sent a copy of the list of equipment and the costs to a friend of his who works in that field to review and for an opinion.

Board Member Pat Poirier pointed out that the three areas of education are academics, arts and athletics. There have been improvements to academics and arts facilities but not athletics, he said.

“I’m not sure that we have done anything for athletics but we are doing it now,” he said. “I think that we should go ahead. We are still moving forward with athletics.”

Coughlin said the school has invested in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classes. Bottom pointed out that the music room and band room and auditorium had been redone.

“We are still trying to keep pushing forward,” said Bottem.

The information will be brought back for the board meeting on Dec. 18 for a decision.

Improvements are under way in the weight room, it was said.

A family school support worker has been interviewed. Diane Barkos was the only applicant, said Bottom. She had been the family school support worker in the past. She will manage the cases of students.

Judi Vitito spoke about the new playground equipment that is being considered.

“The teachers and students weighed in,” she said. “The students want zip lines, swings and monkey bars. In the design presented last week, it included all of those. The committee decided that, with the slides, there wasn’t enough play opportunities. We are still analyzing the elements of the playground and the cost.”

Vitito also said the recess times need to be staggered by a wider margin to prevent too many kids from being on the playground at one time.


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