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Cobre School Board takes action on resolution of support, discusses audit report

Cobre school board’s January 28 meeting convened at 7:17 after an hour in closed session. President Frank Cordova said they had discussed limited personnel issues, student identifiable information, transfers, hiring and pending litigation, but no decisions had been made. All board members were present.

The transfer of school funds to AmBank was on the agenda, but was tabled when the workshop addressing the action was not advertised in a timely way. Interim superintendent George Peru said the workshop could be arranged for next Monday and the work would be finalized at the next board session.

The board took action on a resolution of support to provide services to district youth in cooperation with the New Mexico Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. According to Peru, the resolution of support is for grant writing purposes. Another resolution was passed between Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments and Cobre Schools. This one required payment of $300 annual membership dues, which will make Cobre a voting member of SWNMCOG and should also offer assistance with writing grants, said Peru.

The board reminded community voters that February 5 was the official day for voting for board members and also a 2 mil levy, which will not increase taxes, but would be used for maintaining buildings, grounds, vehicles and buses, as well as other capital improvement projects in the district.

The polling locations were identified as the Cobre Anministration Building on Central Avenue in Bayard, Areas 1 and 5; Central Elementary School in Santa Clara, Area 2; and San Lorenzo Elememtary School, Area 3. As Hurley Community Center was left off the advertised list of polling locations, Peru said he would call the Grant County Clerk’s office to correct that mistake and get it advertised, too. The addition of Hurley Community would complete the necessary approvals. Peru said he would see that the corrections were given to the newspaper, as well.

School Board member Fran Kelly asked if having polling places in schools created a security problem. Peru explained an example at Central’s Media Center where the public would use a back entrance and exit the same way, with supervision to prevent possible problems.

Another omission that affected the Bills Review was the failure to code that topic as an action item. Since this prevented a board vote, that topic will appear on the next agenda of February 11.

In the Superintendent’s report, Peru spoke of the state audit results from over a month ago. He thanked staff members who assisted in the audit work and who helped present facts to the Public Education Department in Santa Fe. It was planned that Mike Stone would give a presentation on the audit, but he was out of state and the presentation would be delayed to a later date. One item of expense, $14,536.26, had been challenged as Special Education funds had been spent on two students who were found to be regular students, and the district was to reimburse the $125.60 for that reason.

The district is now using ‘gray water’ on the fields at Snell, Bayard and Rominger Field.
While the water is rated 95.8 percent pure, a last filtration was not yet in place, said Peru, and it must be used in gray water projects. In time the watering will expand to all the high school fields, he said.  As background, Peru said the project was started seven years ago and, as the aquifer at Bayard was sometimes low, reuse should help when watering the fields. There should also be some price break for using gray water.

Further discussion on the water project revealed that one item the district was paying for was sixteen thousand dollars to the City of Bayard, mostly for water. That figure should come down in the future, said Peru. Also, city crews and school district crews were working together as ‘both are short-staffed’, and they also share equipment and maintenance.

Hampton Burnette, student representative to the board, reported that the cheerleaders had taken 4th place and some upcoming events included wrestling on Wednesday and girls’ basketball at Snell. He also reported that 48 percent of the students, about 160, had made the honor roll.

Frank Cordova thanked those who helped at the candidate-training meeting Friday night at Bayard Elementary. He noted that three candidates from Silver had also attended and he felt this cooperation was important for the future. The candidates at the training session included Freddie Rodriguez, Frances Kelly, Frank Gomez, and Robert Montoya of Cobre district and Chris Arvidson, Arnold Torres and Margaret Hopper of Silver.

Cordova especially thanked Sepulveda for leading the training and spoke of opportunities for cooperation and communication between the districts in the future.

Items being carried to the next meeting include finalizing the AmBank transfer of funds, review of bills and the audit report. All these are action items. The meeting adjourned at 7:38 p.m.

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