Board approves purchase of security system

The New Prague Area School approved a bid from Trans Alarm for $47,000 to make improvements to the district’s security system.                                

   The improvements, approved at the Monday, Aug. 26, meeting, are part of a plan that a district consultant, IEA, developed following several meetings and tours of district buildings since last spring. The report was presented to the district in July.

            The district had budgeted $25,000 for the improvements, and Superintendent Tim Dittberner said the district will need to “reprioritize and move some funds around in order to pay for it.”

            The system will include electronic locks on exterior doors and an intercom system, which will require visitors to the building to request entry during school hours.

            Business Services Director Sandy Linn said the district had been waiting for some time to get the bid, and to date they haven’t asked for any others. Since the total is under $100,000, they are not required to seek competitive bids.

            One advantage to the system is that it will work as an ad-on to the security system already in place.

            The board approved the bid from Trans Alarm on a 7-0 vote. They also approved the Emergency Operations Plan that was developed by IEA and staff.

Board Docs

            Also at Monday’s meeting the board sat through an online demonstration of the Board Docs program. The program organizes school board agendas and documents online so that board members and the general public can easily retrieve and view them. There were several programs the board looked at, and staff was recommending Board Docs because of its cost and features.

            The program shows agenda items in three viewing areas, one for the public, one for administration and staff and one for board members.

            Information is searchable, so people can look for information without having a date of an event, and they can also search other school districts’ information to see how they are dealing with certain issues.

            “I like the fact that it can be used with various types of technology, whether a tablet, or a laptop,” board member Dennis Havlicek said. He represents New Prague on the Southwest Metro Cooperative, and they use a similar program.

            Sherry Brooks added that she likes how it engages the public. “It will be a good tool for people to see what information we are working with.”

            The program license is for $3,000 a year, with a $1,000 set up fee for the first year. the board approved the purchase on a 7-0 vote.


Bonds refinanced

            Linn and Don Lifto of Springsted presented results of a bond sale to the board.

            The district is refinancing part of its 2005 bonds, and the bids were very competitive, Lifto said. The original bonds were sold at an interest rate of 4.07 percent, and the new bonds were sold at 1.46 percent. That will result in significant savings to the district.

            Linn noted that including this sale, the board has refinanced four separate bond issues, that will realize a savings of $4.23 million over the next 13 years. that includes a savings of $206,000 with the newest bond issue. The board approved the sale on a 7-0 vote.