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Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 17, 2017

Ainsworth building decision delayed

By Xiomara Levsen | Jul 05, 2017
A public hearing for the sale of the Ainsworth Elementary buidling was scheduled to be held Monday, July 10. However, interim superintendent Dr. Mike Jorgensen said the board wasn’t following board policy and the public hearing won’t be held until September now.

 

The public hearing for the sale of Ainsworth Elementary is delayed due to board policy.

According to the Highland School Board’s policy 803.2 found on the school district’s website, which cites Iowa Code 297.15-25 in the case of a sale or lease of school district property not being used for an educational program unless exempted advertisements for bids shall be taken. If the bids received by the board are deemed inadeqaute, the board may decline the sale or lease of the property and readvertise.

Prior to the board’s decision regarding the real property with a value of $25,000 or more a public hearing shall be held. A resolution announcing the proposed sale shall contain the notice of the time and place of the public hearing and the description of the property or locally known address. Notice of the time and place of the public hearing shall be published at least once, but not less than 10 days and not more that 20 days prior to the hearing date. Once the hearing is held, the board may dispose of the property.

Highland interim superintendent Dr. Mike Jorgensen said the public hearing won’t be held until September now.

“We just haven’t followed board policy,” Jorgensen said. “What I will have Monday night for the board is a bid proposal to advertise the sale of the property for the board to hopefully to approve.”

If the board approves Jorgensen’s proposal, they will publish the request for bids for the Ainsworth school building for 10 to 20 days.

“In August the board will go through the bid proposals for the [Ainsworth building],” Jorgensen added. “The bids will review the building use. If the board decides the building use is appropriate they can receive it for review in September and then a public hearing will be held.”

At the Highland School Board meeting June 12, Riverside resident Bob Schneider Jr. commented on how the board wasn’t following its own policy regarding the sale of the Ainsworth building.

“The thing I have a concern about is you have the disposal of the Ainsworth building on the agenda tonight but no discussion or no item there as far as a public hearing,” Schneider said.

He read board policy 803.2 to the board, reminding them the board needed to publish the request for bids for the building and hold a public hearing before a decision was made.

“I don’t know if there is any bids on this property or not,” Schneider added.

He asked the board to review their policy to make sure they’re following it when selling school district property.

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