The possible construction of a new track at Neligh-Oakdale monopolized most of Monday's Board of Education meeting from the opening of bids and the transfer of funds to patrons questioning the need for upgrading the track.
Boys track coach Rick Eickholt thanked the board for moving forward with the track project and announced both he and girls coach Terry Trautman are pledging $500 each for the project.
According to bids opened Monday, the project would cost between $434,000 and $821,500, depending on drainage options and whether it was concrete or asphalt. Three companies submitted bids, and the board did not move forward with accepting any of the bids at this time.
View the Track Bid Letting Request
Interim Superintendent Bill Kuester told board members he recently transferred "$14,000 and some change" from an activities account to the Neligh Area Community Foundation for Neligh-Oakdale Track committee to assist with the expenses accrued with fundraising, such as postage, envelopes and letters.
Several district stakeholders addressed concerns with the board on the track project and said other challenges should have a higher priority.
Brian Frey asked the board for their five-year plan for the facility. Kuester said the district has spent funds on addressing code violations found by the Nebraska State Fire Marshal's Office. He also said that if the boilers stopped working, it would be a "sizeable" expense and the district "doesn't have the funds to that if we do sprinklers."
Galen Furstenau said considering that statement, he has concerns on whether the district should commit to the track project at this time. Furstenau said his taxes to the school increased from 6 percent last year to 14 percent this year on one property.
"On the HVAC with the boiler, the statement was made that there is not enough money to fix that. I think that comes before our track does," Furstenau said.
He said Neligh-Oakdale increased its building budget by $1 million last year and another $500,000 this year. Furstenau said the bond election showed people wanted spending to decrease.
"We'd have been better off if we would have passed the bond," Furstenau said. "That would have been $6 million. If we continue to spend a million and a half or more next year and each year, that's a lot of money."