Mowing, drainage issues and sports equipment were the main topics of discussion at the Carrier Mills-Stonefort school board meeting Monday night.
Concerns about a number of topics relating to the baseball fields and sports teams were discussed at length with several citizens present to express their views. Chris Mosier, Carrier Mills Park District president and Scott Figg, parent and volunteer coach participated in the discussion about mowing and maintenance of the baseball fields and the supply of sports equipment available to the school and summer teams. A parent, Brad Thomason raised concerns about jurisdiction on preparing the fields to be ready for games and asked who exactly was responsible for the mowing and field preparation of the girl’s soft-ball field.
Chris Mosier explained that because the fields were used by sports teams, Corey League, several area churches and were open to the public, it was usually the coaches and parents who mowed and maintained the fields adding that this was an established practice and that the park districts use of the fields usually ended for the season by the beginning of July.
Board member Beth Thomason raised concerns about drainage of the ball fields at the high school and asked why the park district used portable outhouses rather than repair the toilet facilities at the high school fields.
Mosier responded that it was more economical to rent the portable outhouses mainly because the company provided cleaning and maintenance on them adding, “They even come by and set them back upright and clean them if they are knocked over.”
Discussion then moved to the subject of drainage of the high school fields with a variety of solutions being considered. Superintendent Richard Morgan noted that because of the slope of the land near the school a great deal of rain water drained to the south, past the school on to the ball fields.
Mosier favored widening the existing ditches, while several board members brought up the possibility of adding two to three more ditches and linking them into the existing village drainage system. The possibility of constructing a small impoundment and ditch system to collect run-off was also discussed. The board decided to study the possible solutions and implement improvements after the most practical solution was decided on.
The topic of sports equipment generated more debate with several parents expressing their views. Brad Thomason asked why the girls’ softball team had a pitching machine but no balls to be used in it and why some of the girls’ equipment was old and in poor condition, adding that he thought that some of the softball equipment is missing from year to year.
Morgan responded that the pitching machine was purchased used and did not come with the proper sized balls, explaining that the balls used last year had been a loan from a village citizen and had been returned to him at the end of last year’s season. Brad Thomason then asked that an inventory and check-out system be instituted on sports equipment to prevent further loss.
Page 2 of 2 - “I teach my kids to put things back where they get them.” Thomason said. “I don’t see why this can’t be expected with the school equipment.”
Scott Figg stated that he thought a basic set of equipment, consisting of 4-6 batting helmets, catchers gear and a sufficient number of balls should be purchased for the girls’ softball team and kept available at the school. Brad Thomason also questioned the possibility of limiting access to sports equipment with the board agreeing there were too many sets of keys in use.
The board decided to further study the situation and to implement changes as necessary.
In response to parent Roshima Shelton’s question about volunteer positions open at the grade and high school and Brad Thomason’s question about the need for more volunteer coaches for the girls’ softball team, Morgan stated that all volunteers were welcome and the board always approved volunteers after successful completion of a background check.
The subject of mowing the school grounds resulted in the board selecting a new service provider. John Cranks Mowing Service was selected mainly for reasons of liability. Last year the board had retained Dexter Parks to mow and trim the school properties but Parks was not insured for the job, it was said at the meeting. Parks, in a call Thursday afternoon to the Daily Register/Daily Journal said he does have insurance for his work through Country Financial. Crank was selected because his service was insured and certified against damage and injuries. Morgan stated that Crank had a reputation of good, reliable work. The board accepted Cranks bid to mow and trim the school properties for $300 per mowing.
In other action the board:
- Accepted Diane McDermott’s resignation as Dance Team coach. McDermott will remain as Dance Team coordinator.
- Accepted the resignation of home economics instructor Alexa Ferracane.
- Accepted the resignation of Nancy Knowles, a special needs aide.
- Accepted the four year notice of resignation of music instructor Daryl Varbel.