Hayden School Board OKs town's land offer

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After months of negotiations, the Hayden School Board voted June 18 to accept the Hayden Town Board's offer of $54,600 for a piece of land at the intersection of Breeze Basin Boulevard, Poplar Avenue and Third Street.

The town has been trying to acquire the 1.14-acre parcel of land to realign the intersection of the three streets to make the intersection safer and accommodate increased traffic that will coincide with future developments south of town.

For months, the School Board and Town Board could not agree on the value of the land. Earlier this month, the town turned down a proposal under which the School Board would have given it the land in exchange for construction of a track and football field at Dry Creek Park and priority use of those facilities.

Several School Board members have said the land is highly valuable because all three schools in the district lack land for expansion.

"The School Board wanted to take the initiative to stop going back and forth on this," Hayden Schools Superintendent Scott Mader said. "We felt like we needed to get some closure. Everything that was proposed was coming back negatively, and the School Board didn't want it that way.

"We really wanted some land, but it just wasn't working."

School Board President Kurt Frentress said there was "no doubt" coming into the Wednesday night meeting that the School Board would accept the terms.

"I think there could have been a better outcome, but it didn't look like we were going to get it," Frentress said.

The School Board is ready to move on with other projects and continue its quest for a track and field facility, Frentress said.

Besides the $54,600, the Town Board will complete several upgrades to the property, including building a circular drive, cleaning up topographical issues and building a chain-link fence. The School Board agreed the tasks should be completed at the same time the intersection improvements are finished, which will be stipulated in the agreement, Mader said.

"We have to make sure everything in the agreement is adjusted properly," Frentress said.

In other business, the School Board adopted the 2003-2004 fiscal year budget.

The revenue projection is roughly the same as last year. The beginning fund balance for the fiscal year is set at $580,622, down $11,223. The ending fund reserve is far down from last year at $431,763, down $128,313.

Reasons for less money in the budget include a 3 percent raise across the board for all teachers for the 2003-2004 fiscal year, as well as a 15 percent increase in liability insurance costs.

The School Board also:

n Hired Vicki Trousdale to be a middle school teacher

n Hired Wendy Emerson to be a middle school special education teacher

n Hired John Wither to be a middle school math teacher

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