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District to purchase Olson Street property

The Pequot Lakes School Board decided Monday night, Dec. 16, to buy the property at the corner of Olson Street and Woodman Street in Pequot Lakes for $40,000 plus closing costs and legal fees.

The board decided to pursue the property purchase after a closed session Sept. 16. The money for the property purchase could come from the school’s building bond fund, which funded recent school additions and renovations. That project is very nearly complete and the board noted a surplus of around $107,000.

While the board didn’t name any long-term use for the property, superintendent Chris Lindholm said the home and trees would be removed and the property would be used for extra parking.

The board noted that the property borders other property the district already owns. The vote to purchase the property was unanimous.

In other business Dec. 16, the board:

• Learned the project oversight committee, which has met monthly or bimonthly for more than two years to oversee the school’s $33 million construction project, is disbanding given the completion of the project.

• Approved seniority lists with the local 284, early childhood and family education and certified staff. Lindholm said he plans to ask the board to approve the lists yearly. Staff also reviews the lists, and Lindholm said that if the school were to encounter layoffs, this way there would be no question over seniority.

• Approved staff contracts, including one for new business manager Jennifer Max. Former business manager Lea St. Onge recently resigned. Max formerly worked for the city of Crosslake as clerk/treasurer. She starts Jan. 6.

• Met in closed session for roughly an hour to discuss contract negotiations with the teachers’ union.