IRON RIVER—West Iron County’s School Board has decided to hold off on a new security camera system, at least temporarily.
Superintendent Chris Thomson made the recommendation at the board’s Nov. 11 regular meeting. A few days earlier, board members had a chance to see possible camera systems.
Right now, Thomson said, the district has 21 cameras on two separate systems. With the revision, it would have 47 cameras and use one system.
The big problem is money. District officials had thought West Iron would be able to pay for the project from its sinking fund. But they learned recently that state rules won’t let the sinking fund pay for the full cost—the wiring is eligible, but the equipment (including cameras) is not.
“We’re being very cautious with the sinking fund money,” Thomson said. “I do not feel comfortable at this time authorizing Brian [Rippey, technology director] to put out bids until we can tell the board where the money is coming from.”
If the project costs $60,000 and the wiring costs $21,000, it means the remaining $39,000 has to come from the district’s general fund—forcing cuts to other budgeted items in the operational budget.
“We do not know where that money is coming from,” Thomson said, adding that he will bring the matter to the business committee. Thomson said he hopes to have an update in December.
• The district bought a new John Deere tractor in 2010, and now it hopes to sell its old one in favor of a zero-turn mower.
The plan is to sell a 1993 tractor, which is still being used out at Bates. The zero-turn mower would be more efficient in mowing around the school buildings.