Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

School board, Springhill looking to swap property

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Two parcels of land in Springhill could be changing hands if a proposed swap between the city and the Webster Parish School Board passes legal muster.

School board members voted unanimously Monday to make the property swap if attorneys for both sides agree terms of the exchange are agreeable. A decision could be made at the board's next meeting later this month.

Springhill Mayor Carroll Breaux told board members his city is interested in obtaining the 16.823 acres occupied by the former Howell Elementary School. In exchange, the city of Springhill will hand over 12.305 acres which Breaux identified as the McMahon ball park property.

"We had originally approached the board about the possibility of donating the Howell school property for the purpose of building a new baseball facility," Breaux said. "Later we thought a land swap would serve each of us better."

Breaux said Springhill has an on-ground water storage tank on the parcel of land proposed for the trade, "...which we would have to reserve on this tract."

In response to a question from school board member Jerry Lott, Superintendent Dr. Dan Rawls said attorneys have not yet reviewed the request. But, he added, lawyers would review the request at the board's request.

Action delayed

A question from a Minden resident attending the board meeting put the brakes on the replacement of a $175,000 chiller at Minden High School.

"I'm asking the board if there should be a competitive bid on an item that is going to cost $175,000," private engineer Homer Purtle said. Purtle also asked if other considerations, including a scope of work, should be reviewed.

Following a brief discussion, board members voted unanimously to delay making the purchase, also setting aside for the time being consideration of the annual maintenance cost of just over $27,000.

Responding to a query from the board, Rawls said the staff would be able to prepare specifications on the item in time to announce and advertise for the required time frame. He also told the board that delaying the purchase by going out for bids would not create difficulties.

In other action Monday, the school board:

Approved spending $3,820.25 with Altec Environmental Project Management & Air Monitoring for asbestos abatement at the old Minden Council on Aging building near the Minden High School track field; agreed to allow Altec Environmental to solicit bids for Gill Industries, Ltd. for demolition of the council on aging building at a cost of $14,220. Funds for abatement and demolition will come from the district's six and one-half cent sales tax.

Approved Altec Environmental to perform project management and air monitoring at North Webster Jr. High-kindergarten building for $4,654.72.

Approved the parish school district's technology plan for 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 in order to meet the state department of education's June 10 deadline.






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