FHS will have new parking lot this year
The Fairfield school board approved on a split vote Monday to create a new parking lot between the current west parking lot and old tennis courts at the high school.
Matt Walker from French-Reneker Associates Inc. brought estimates of six options to pave with concrete, pave with asphalt or use gravel in different combinations to build a new lot and repair the south lot.
The board settled on the original proposal to create a new 47-stall lot paved with six-inch Portland cement concrete and added a project to pave the entrance to the south parking lot across Broadway Avenue.
Board members Bob Waugh and Jerry Nelson voted no; board members Jennifer Anderson, Jeri Kunkle, Rich Metcalf, Amy Miller and Jeremy Miller voted yes.
The project was first proposed at June’s board meeting and Waugh brought up the south parking lot across Broadway Avenue needing repairs.
Auxiliary Services Director Fred McElwee said the new high school addition would subtract 35 parking spaces from the current west lot and it would be ideal to have a new parking lot in place before construction and renovation begins on the building.
After Waugh asked about the south lot last month, other board members also indicated interest. Administrators said cost estimates could be worked up.
“Fred [McElwee] and I discussed because of how the bond sale went, we’d have a couple thousand to use on parking,” said Superintendent Art Sathoff Monday. “I never considered the south parking lot repairs until the board brought it up last month.
“I’d prefer paving the new lot instead of using gravel, and I’d like to address the entryway for the south parking lot.”
The entryway to the south lot is rutted from storm run-off.
“I’d love to have the new parking lot done before we lose parking spots to construction,” said Sathoff.
Waugh said the south lot is more central and gets heavily used during volleyball and basketball games by spectators going to the gym, on the east side of the school. Nelson agreed.
Waugh advocated constructing the new 47-stall west parking lot and graveling it so as to have money to spend on overhauling the south lot, too.
“Do we have the money to pave both lots at the same time?” said Kunkle.
Sathoff said he’d be “more than happy to get with Fred and Kim [Sheets, district business manager], to see about that.
“I didn’t think that big,” said Sathoff.
McElwee calculated a quick estimate and said it would cost approximately $283,000 to pave the new lot and the south lot in Portland cement concrete.
“We could do it, we’d just have to re-prioritize some other [infrastructure] projects,” he said.
The parking lot and entryway paving projects will be sent out for bids.
Walker said the projects could be completed this year before frost sets in.
The board approved purchasing a new John Deere 4720 Compact Utility tractor without a cab at $34,770 from Precision Equipment LLC in Fairfield.
Last month, McElwee brought a proposal to purchase a new John Deere tractor with a cab, for operator climate control when mowing and snow plowing.
Waugh and Nelson last month, said a cab wasn’t justified.
McElwee brought both quotes from Precision Equipment Monday. A John Deere 4720 Compact Utility Tractor with a cab would be $49,208.
The district will receive $10,933 trade-in value on its 2003 John Deere 4710 tractor, said McElwee, bringing the purchase price to $23,837 on his recommendation Monday to buy the tractor without a cab.
Waugh and Nelson voted no to the purchase. Waugh said for the amount of time the tractor is used, he could not justify spending the money for a new tractor. The district’s tractor is used to pull a mower, work on landscaping and snow removal and has been used to move pallets, said McElwee.
It should have another 8,000 hours of use left, said Waugh. He also objected to the inclusion of a new loader, $4,211, in the purchase.
“What’s wrong with the current loader?” Waugh said.
Board President Anderson said John Deere has changed loader structural attachments in the past 10 years, and the 2003 loader might not fit a 2013 tractor.
Waugh and Nelson both said the $10,933 trade-in allowance was too low.
“I’ve taken a look at our tractor recently and it doesn’t seem it’s been well-taken care of,” said Waugh. “The hood is all cracked.”
Sathoff pointed out the tractor hood is plastic.
“I wouldn’t say that’s misuse or neglect,” said Sathoff.
“This purchase was a planned purchase on the infrastructure plan for the year,” he said. “That would have been a good time for this
discussion, instead of the night it’s brought to you for approval.”
The purchase will be paid from the S.A.V.E. fund (state 1-cent sales tax) and has been budgeted in the district’s infrastructure plan.
Amy Miller asked McElwee the reason for purchasing a new tractor.
He said pulling a mower overheats the 2003 tractor and the new one is more powerful.
In other business, the board approved:
• The purchase of a 2013 F250 Ford regular cab 4x4 truck at $23,912 from Fesler Auto Mall. This was approved on a unanimous vote.
McElwee brought Fesler’s quote and a quote from the state vendor for $23,504, for a comparable vehicle from Ed Stivers Ford in Waukee.
McElwee said for a $408 difference, he’d prefer to purchase locally.
This truck also will be paid for with S.A.V.E. funds.
• Kohl Wholesale as the district’s primary food vendor for the school nutrition program in 2013-14.
Kohl has been the district’s vendor for the past two years. It was the only food vendor to bid for the district this year.
“It provides quality service,” said McElwee.
• Anderson Erickson as milk vendor for the year, the same milk vendor as last year. It’s prices were the low bid compared to Prairie Farms/Swiss Valley.
• Earth Grains as bread vendor for the year, the same vendor as last year.