Weather Forecast


Board appoints members to Community Commons joint committee

At its Sept. 30 work session, the New Richmond School Board appointed two board members to join a joint committee with the City of New Richmond, Friday Memorial Library and the GEN Network group to discuss the future of the Community Commons.

The idea behind the committee, which was proposed by Superintendent Jeff Moberg, is to bring together all the interested parties to brainstorm potential ideas for the future of the old middle school building.

“Despite all the [GEN Network, the Commons Partners, the city and the library] doing a lot of good work and having some good things happening there, there is not really a solid plan as to what is next,” Moberg said. “The idea is to get two representatives from each of those groups who have a stake in it, including us of course, and put together a kind of task force committee to [come up with a] recommendation that all those groups are comfortable with and that would come back to the board.”

After a long discussion, board members Larry Moore and Marty Wold volunteered to be part of the joint committee. The district still owns the building, so ultimately the final decision would have to be made by the board. However, members of the board agreed that the meetings would be a good way to generate possible ideas for what would be the best solution for the Community Commons.

“I think everybody is asking the same questions of each other, which is ‘What is everyone looking to do,’” Moberg said. “But there would be some value in the board at least setting some types of parameters as to what they are willing to do. However, I do think there it is at least worth sitting down and having those discussions.”

During their work session meeting, the board also discussed its mission, vision and goals for the school district. Moberg led the board in a review of its goals, the progress they have made in each area and what things they could be doing a better job with. Once the board made it through its list of goals, Moberg tabled the discussion to be picked up at a later work session meeting so the board would have time to think over its current goals and come up with things that could be changed or improved upon.

Another item discussed during the meeting was the financial report from Brian Johnston, director of Fiscal and Building Operations. In his report, Johnston told the board that there was a total of $1.6 million left in the school’s general fund from last year. The extra funds came from many areas of the school district’s budget where funds were not spent over the course of last year, including wages that went down or were not used and the lack of snow needing to be removed from the school building properties.

The only fund to lose a significant amount of money was the food services fund, which lost $8,000 last year.

“That loss is pretty good considering we had to up the amount of fruit and vegetables we had to buy during the year; they are expensive to start providing more,” Johnston said. “The number of kids taking a la carte was down, and that is kind of a money-maker in that business, because the regular lunches make less money in general.”

Other business:

--The board approved a motion to fill a staffing request for both Starr Elementary and special services staffing.

--The board approved the 4K Charter School Agreement.

The board’s next regular board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 28.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
(651) 301-7847