County wants backup generator at SRHS

THOMAS — At the Snake River school board meeting Wednesday, Craig Rowland, Bingham County Emergency Management Services, asked approval from the trustees to continue looking into obtaining federal grant money to purchase a backup generator for Snake River High School.
"If in case of an emergency, the county would need a shelter to house a lot of people in one location, the Snake River High School would be ideal," Rowland said, "except it doesn't have a backup generator.
"No school district in the county has a backup generator," Rowland said. "One church in Aberdeen is the only church in the county with a backup generator.
"Walking through the high school with [assistant principal] Ray Carter, the new addition to the high school fits the model perfectly," Rowland said. "A shelter isn't just a place for people to be; the biggest thing is the activities."
The library has books and videos; restrooms are available and the new kitchen could assist the county by feeding many people, he said.
The county building has a backup generator, Rowland said. Lights are out for about 10 seconds and "it messes up your computer." People must restart their computers.
How would this backup generator be funded? asked board chairman Julie Van Orden.
"There are in-kind match grants where the "In-kind" could be preparation of the grant or laying down a concrete slab for the generator," Rowland said.
After the generator is purchased, it would be the property of the school district, Rowland said. It would be the responsibility of the school district to maintain it.
Superintendent Russell Hammond and the trustees will meet with the public to discuss the special levy requested by the district.
The proposed levy will convert $375,000 from the previously approved $500,000 plant facility levy to a supplemental levy for two years. This supplemental levy would be from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2013.
Absentee balloting is available at the Bingham County Clerk's office in the Bingham County Courthouse. This levy election is set for Tuesday, March 8.
Trustees approved a resolution calling for trustee elections. In the Snake River School District, two trustees will be elected. These positions are for Zone 2 in the Rockford-Thomas area and Zone 3 in the West Moreland area. Carol Hepworth currently represents Zone 2; Randy Jones represents represents Zone 3.
The election will be Tuesday, May 17.
Candidates may pick up the declaration of candidacy at the school district office. The declarations must be returned to the district office between March 7 and March 18.
Policy changes were updates on forms required by the federal government. There is an affidavit of birth that can be completed in lieu of a birth certificate. If parents do not want their children immunized, there is a school immunization requirement certificate of exemption to be completed.
There was a lively discussion about Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna's "Students Come First" plan.
"It will change labor relations," Hammond said. Luna's plan would decrease the number of teachers and increase the use of technology and class size.
"There is still a long process this plan needs to go through," Van Orden said.