Odessa-Montour hears about long term needs
ODESSA--The Odessa Montour Central School Board of Education met Thursday, Dec. 8. The school board heard a presentation from a Hunt Engineers representative regarding the school's wastewater and sewer needs. Superintendent Chris Wood also addressed the school's strategic and capital plans.
Hunt Engineer's Tim Steed gave an informal presentation on the village and school sewer and reasons to consider a municipal system. Steed said there is an important need for a Main Street corridor with municipal sewage. He noted the lack of space for holding tanks and the continual need to have tanks pumps, thus restricting businesses. Steed went on to mention the numerous (six) aged septic systems of the school district as posing possible health and safety issues. Wood stated that some of the tanks are from the 1930s and that if they were to fail, athletic fields would have to be dug up. Wood said one septic tank is in the courtyard with pipes leading to the athletic fields. Steed said that a municipal project that did not include the school would be cost prohibitive but there are available funding packages at zero percent interest, a possible state grant and possible state education funding. He said calls to state education revealed that aid would not be allowable for repairs of a current system but would be available for a new system and state urges schools to get out of the sewage business. The board will decide at the next workshop meeting whether to pursue municipal sewer with the village. Kristi Pierce, village clerk, stated that they have several steps to complete in order to be eligible for state grants including forming a business district before the application deadline. In response to Wood's request for a worst case scenario, no-grant, no-aid cost, Steed estimated a $119,000 annual cost with the school share at $39,000.
Robert Halpin said it would be hard to justify the worst-case scenario costs but grants and aid could make the project a yes.
Wood spoke of the 2018-19 capital project saying that while phase one of the $10-$11 million dollar project would not "build the Taj Mahal," it would take care of plumbing, windows, roofing, cameras, masonry, pool repairs, etc. He noted the district wants to establish a capital reserve and spoke briefly regarding bids for the auditorium, saying more information will be provided next Thursday.
Wood said the five-year strategic plan calls for enrichment programming that is already being met. He referenced the after- school program, 70 available college credits, three new clubs and the already thriving art and music clubs. Wood said, "I don't think there is anything we are not doing."
Wood said the Pre-K Program is expected to be up and running in January. There is a 15 student cap on admissions and families need to provide transportation because the added cost to the district for car seats, a monitor, and bus run would be prohibitive. A press release has gone out and a teacher needs to be hired.
Wood said 125 kids have already participated in the new after school program. Parents have been complementary of the program that currently operates two days a week for K-8. He hopes to be successful obtaining a 21st Century Grant that would allow for five days a week next year.
Wood noted a parent's concern about students hanging out in the school after hours without supervision. Wood said this is an age-old problem where students wait to attend sports that are held later in the evening, wait for siblings or friends, or await parental pick up. He will brainstorm with the staff and the board to address the issue.
The board moved into executive session at 7:40 to discuss collective bargaining and the employment history of several employees.
The next meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 20, with a workshop at 6 p.m.