Superintendent Steve Wrobleski during a board meeting Wednesday night complimented director Ritchie Kowalczyk for finding a way to save about $24,000 per year in energy costs, along with other cost-saving steps that have been implemented by the buildings and grounds staff.
The district can achieve those savings by purchasing electricity through an alternative supplier than Ameren, similar to the process a number of local communities have done through the electrical aggregation process.
The school board approved a two-year commitment with Integrys Energy Services, beginning May 14.
“It’s a pretty good deal and if the prices go up or down we’re promised the highest we’ll pay is what Ameren pays,” Kowalczyk said.
This agreement only impacts the portion of the campus in La Salle. Buildings located in Peru receive electricity through the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency .
In regards to other budget concerns, Wrobleski said previously proposed budget meetings with staff members have been underway. As a result of those meetings, he said he already has received six pages worth of recommendations. He is now reviewing and prioritizing those recommendations and will present them to the board’s finance committee soon.
He said first priority will be given to ideas that can be implemented immediately to both reduce costs and generate revenue.
“It’s a both-and not an either-or,” Wrobleski said.
New board member Dennis O’Keefe wasn’t sworn in Wednesday as originally planned. Board president Jim Quesse explained that the La Salle County vote canvass hadn’t been fully completed in time for the meeting, so O’Keefe will be seated during a meeting next Wednesday, May 1.
O’Keefe, who was not present last night, will bump Rick Sipovic off the board.
“We’re actually losing a very good board member due to the election,” Quesse said.
The board thanked Sipovic for his years of service and presented him with two gifts.
In other business, the school board:
* Agreed to purchase a house at 548 Creve Coeur St., La Salle for $18,000
* extended the school calendar by a day to make for the day of school cancelled last Thursday because of heavy storms and flood conditions in the area. The last day of school for most students will now be May 23
* Recognized Mathew Halm for academic achievements.
Matthew Baker can be reached at (815) 220-6933, or firstname.lastname@example.org.