APS agrees to deal with Meijer for land sale option

ALPENA – Alpena Public Schools Board of Education approved a land sale option of 1.44 acres to Meijer Inc. of Grand Rapids on Monday. This piece of land is located parallel to the old railroad grade behind Thunder Bay Junior High.

Meijer recommended a purchase price of $75,000. The approval is for an option to sell and the company has six months to buy the land. The sale of the property is based on the due diligence of Meijer and can be terminated if problems arise with the site.

Diane Block, assistant superintendent for operations and Title I Director said the contract has been examined by attorneys, and recommended that the board move to pass the option to sell. Block also said the property originally was purchased with bond issue funds and therefore the funds potentially acquired from the sale could be used toward whatever the board would approve for the schools.

“The original purchase was $3,000 for 30 acres, and that was 16 years ago” Block said.

The board also discussed the effects of Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed budget. Superintendent Brent Holcomb said Snyder’s recommendations would not amount to an increase in funding. He projected the school would lose approximately $2 per student which, added to the loss from lower enrollment, would put the deficit at the end of the year to around $500,000.

Block said the schools are “probably looking at an all-time high of $275,000 in diesel fuel costs if prices stay as they are.” She also said whether the millage passes or fails, the board still will have to file a deficit plan, it is just the content of the plan that will be determined based on the millage outcome.

In other business:

  • MEAP scores in math were up from last year, due to the Math Achievement Promise program implemented in the K-12 curriculum. Family Math Nights at the elementary schools and a Facebook page offering helpful resources for parents have been tremendous outreach tools to keep their kids at higher math levels, Lee Fitzpatrick, parent involvement coordinator, said.
  • the board approved Integrated Designs Inc. of Marquette as a potential free study for a future architect project and also approved DeVere of Alpena as the potential construction manager.

Gifts that were accepted with gratitude include:

  • Hinks PAC donated a new classroom projector valued at $319.99 and soccer nets valued at $71 to the staff and students at Hinks School.
  • Child & Family Services donated a copy machine valued at $3,000 to Wilson School.
  • Dan Zarske continued his support of Science Olympiad by donating $50 to the Alpena High School team.
  • Bob Thomson, Sanborn School teacher, received two grants to fund the Rusty Raiders Project: $1,000 grant from Toshiba America Foundation and $2,300 from MEEMIC Foundation.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at ngrulke@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687.