Herald and Journal, Feb. 26, 2001

School site process still in progress

By Lynda Jensen

It wasn't so much what was discussed at the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Board meeting Tuesday - it was what wasn't.

Superintendent Riley Hoheisel carefully avoided making any statements about the proposed new high school site location issue, saying only that the district was still collecting information on the two locations "to compare apples to apples."

The three-man committee formed to deal with the site location issue asked the city of Howard Lake to supply additional information about its offer.

The committee, made up of Gene Lorentz, Jim Raymond and Charles Weber, plans to meet with the architect in the coming week about the site locations.

The information was needed to make both offers more comparable to each other, Hoheisel said.

The board is looking at the Ray Fiecke property, located 1/4 mile north of Winsted city limits, and the Edna Frank property, which is on the southwestern edge of Howard Lake city limits.

There are 101 acres on the Frank property, at the southwest corner of Howard Lake, at a cost of $10,000 per acre.

If the board decides to purchase both sections of the Fiecke property, the land will cost $4,500 per acre.

If the school board decides to purchase only the west section of land, it will cost $5,000 per acre.

Aside from the site selection subject, the meeting was "an historic moment," because it marked the last bond payment for the district as Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, Hoheisel said. This makes the district debt free.

This event was marred somewhat by skyrocketing fuel prices, which cost the district $19,805 in just one months' time. Electric costs alone increased by 40 percent, Hoheisel said.

Problems reported previously about the boiler room also came in more than expected, at about $20,000.

To offset this, Hohesiel suggested a number of cost saving measures, including holding off with a voicemail system until it could be budgeted again.

Despite Governor Jesse Ventura's budget, the school district is in fairly good shape, Hoheisel said.

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