The Dundee School Board has directed Jenn Hutches, who manages the school district’s wellness center, to prepare a formal proposal for initiating a fee for community members to use the center to cover the costs of equipment maintenance and replacement.

The district will need to eventually spend about $43,000 to replace some of the equipment that was purchased in 2005, according to information Hutches gathered from the business that sold the district the equipment originally. That cost could be spred over three years through either a purchase or lease program that woud cost roughly $15,000 annually. The district would get four treadmills, two adaptive motion trainers, two upright bicycles and two recumbent bicycles.

Based on the number of members who use the wellness center regularly, if a $5 per month fee was charged for community users, the cost of the equipment replacement would easily be covered. Hutches says there are 972 registered users, and about 434 of those members use the center in a month’s time.

Since the wellness center opened in 2005, there has been no charge for community members to use the cario and strength equipment. The district originally spent $88,000 to purchase all the equipment in the center. Not all the equipment needs to be replaced at this point.
Hutches will bring a proposal back to the board.

Other business at the board’s regular meeting on Jan. 13 included:
• DISCIPLINE: The board agreed to appeal a decision regarding disciplining a tenured teacher. See related story on page A1.

• BUDGET?: Business Administrator Melissa Lawson presented preliminary  information for portions of the 2011-2012 budget.

She outlined anticipated increases in district wide administration, operations and maintenance and transportation. She said the district can expect to see an increase of about $292,000, or over 9.5 percent, for employee benefits. She said  the cost of the Employee Retirement System can be offset by a reserve fund that was set up for that purpose. “But the reserve will start to be depleted,” she warned the board.

Another reserve fund for unemployment costs is also being used to cover those expenses.
Lawson is expecting a slight decrease in operating and maintenance costs even if the board approves the purchase of a new field liner and a new tractor to replace a tractor and forklift currently owned by the district.

Lawson estimates a decrease near 4 percent in transportation costs because of a reduction in out of district routes. The plan will call for the purchase of a new 66 passenger school bus.

• MEETINGS: The board will hold a workshop at 6 p.m. Jan. 27. The next regular meeting of the board will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 10. Both will be in the public meeting room.