Florence council shows support to special ed cooperative

Staff reporter

As a sign of solidarity and commitment, the Florence City Council attended Marion County Special Education Cooperative board meeting Monday evening to implore the board to keep programs at the Florence facility.

Mayor Greg Winn distributed copies of a resolution that was adopted July 2, 2007, by the council that accepted an offer from USD 408 which would transfer ownership of two buildings used by the special education cooperative.

The gymnasium building used for the OASIS program and former home economics building used for Life Skills class will be deeded to the city for $1. The administration building will be retained by the school district.

As a condition of the transfer of property, the city will honor the current contract between USD 408 and the special education cooperative through the end of the year.

"Money from the lease will not benefit the City of Florence," Winn said, but be deposited in a special account for building upkeep, maintenance, and insurance.

The document stated that as funds are available the Florence City Council will improve an upper level ramp to become ADA compliant, and make upper and lower level bathrooms ADA compliant.

If the cooperative should decide to relocate all of its programs, the council included clauses in the document that would allow it to sell the property.

Winn said the contract should be finalized by the middle of April.

Marion USD 408 representative Lyle Leppke asked if a new contract would be drawn. The current lease between the school district and the cooperative would stay in place until it expired. A new contract would be negotiated with the city.

"We want to keep you here," Winn said. "We want you to be in the city."

Councilman Randy Mills concurred.

"We want this board to know that we're interested in working with you," Mills said. "We'd hate to have you arbitrarily pick up and go."

The other council members nodded in agreement.

In other business:

— The board approved the classified staff resignations of Julie Brosemer, Katie Baird, Gail Burns, and Betty Sanders.

Classified staff appointments were Amy Zeller and Audrey Ediger.

Licensed staff resignations were Debbie Oelke and Margaret Bennett.

Licensed staff appointments were Debbie Allen.

— The board heard information from Cezar regarding student performance plans.

— The board entered a 30-minute executive session to discuss personnel with Cezar. When the meeting reconvened there were no decisions.

— The board entered a 30-minute executive session to discuss acquisition of property. When the meeting reconvened there were no decisions.