Board restructures Ness’ contractPublished 11:03am Tuesday, February 11, 2014
School district will save about $60,000 over present agreement
The Fergus Falls Public School Board voted Monday to restructure Superintendent Jerry Ness’ contract.
Ness will resign effective June 30 from his current contract and be rehired July 1 for three years under a new agreement.
Board Chairwoman Melanie Cole said Ness approached the board about the move, which will save the district about $60,000 over the life of the contract.
“It eliminates our need to pay for his retirement and a few other contractual obligations we have now,” Cole said. “It’s a bit of a budget-savings move.”
The move was influenced by similar systems in the Underwood and Ashby school districts, according to Cole.
Ness, who took the superintendent’s position in 2006, will continue his present duties with the district under the new agreement, though he will officially be contracted through a different company. He will still receive his retirement benefits from the district through the procedural move.
Board passes bond referendum resolution
Also Monday, the board passed a resolution on the bond election set for May 13.
The one-question bond asks district residents to decide on a $2.725 million facilities improvement project at Kennedy Secondary School.
The project would include improvements to the school’s football field and outdoor track, as well as its indoor pool and auditorium, among other things.
Two previous improvement referenda have failed to pass the public vote, so the board drastically slashed the cost of the project for this third attempt from $5.475 million on the second try.
Ness said the board hopes to have a public hearing on the bond on April 17 on the football field, weather permitting.
Board OKs salary agreement with teachers
The board also approved a master agreement with the Fergus Falls Education Association. The deal, which sets compensation levels for district staff, was agreed upon by both sides earlier this month pending approval of the teachers and the board.
The agreement will be in place until July 1, 2015.