At their regular meeting Monday, July 12, Elk Point-Jefferson board members said goodbye to president Cherie Noteboom, who was leaving the board.

“I’d like to take just a moment to express my gratitude for being able to serve the Elk Point-Jefferson School Board for the past 18 years,” Noteboom said. “I look forward to continue being a stakeholder of the school district in the future.”

Barrios issued the oath of office to returning board member Tim Brewer and new member Jessica LaFleur. Barrios led the meeting as the board reorganized for the 2021-22 fiscal year. Board member Travis Geary was elected president and board member Sabrina LaFleur vice president.

The board was presented with two requests for new coaches: a fourth varsity assistant football coach and a new junior high golf coach.

Activities Director Justin Clercx said head football coach Jake Terry wanted an additional coach because the numbers on the team keep going up. This year, he expects to have 50 boys out.

The second position is a junior high golf coach. Clercx said there are few opportunities to compete outside of varsity and junior varsity. If the coach was added, there would be a boys junior high season in the spring alongside the girls. They could both compete in a number of tournaments in the Class B schedule, whose schools have both teams playing in the spring.

Clercx and Geary said they took the salaries for both positions into account as part of the negotiations committee, so there is no additional cost to the district.

The board approved the positions, but asked that the need be reevaluated each year.

Geary led a discussion of year-end budget numbers. He said year-to-year comparison are difficult due to added expenses dealing with the pandemic, as well as new federal dollars available to the district. General Fund revenues were slightly above budget – $5.206 million actual to $4.956 budget. Expenditures were slightly lower than expected – $4.9 million actual to $4.956 budget.

Capital Outlay expenditures were also below budget – $1.25 million actual and $1.293 million budgeted. Geary said those numbers are remarkable considering all the work the district accomplished this year, including repairing the roof and HVAC.

The Special Education fund is the only one showing a shortfall, with lower revenues and higher expenses, mostly due to COVID-19 needs.

Budget discussions for 2021-22 will begin in earnest next month, as the final budget needs to be submitted to the county auditor by the end of September. Preliminary numbers call for General Fund revenues and expenses dropping to $4.884 million, Capital Outlay up to $1.452 million and Special Education up to $1.215 million.

The district had advertised for bids to repave the asphalt parking lots. The only bid received was from Barkley Asphalt, the same company working on Douglas and Washington Streets in Elk Point. Their bid of $179,415 is considerably lower than engineers’ estimates and will resurface both lots and the gravel lot across Jefferson Street, as well as repairing cracks in the playground. The board accepted the bid.

Last December, the district advertised for bids to purchase 14-passenger and 51- passenger buses, but rejected them as too high. Barrios wants to try again on the 14-passenger, as it would allow travel other than by the full-size school buses and does not require the driver to have a CDL license. He sees it used for activities like golf, cross country and one-act play. It would have room to stow gear and also could be fitted with a hitch to pull the trailer.

The Return to Learn discussion was shorter than usual, as little has changed from last month. Barrios still expects no mask requirement for students and staff when they return in August.

In district highlights, Barrios recognized the 16U softball team that won the state championship in Sioux Falls last weekend, the 14U team that came in third and four members of the trap team who competed at nationals last week.

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.