D161-park district pact tweaked, lunch program to continue
Summit Hill School District 161 revised some aspects of its agreement with the Frankfort Square Park District in order for the two entities to continue sharing services.
In a unanimous vote, Summit Hill officials authorized a set of revisions to the shared services pact, including some to insurance and maintenance.
Board President Rich Marron said that the main drivers for the adjustment was the park district’s insurance cost.
“Over the past 12-18 months, the park district has had significant claims with their insurance carrier, and their insurance costs have more than doubled for liability insurance,” Marron said.
Much like the school district, the park district participates in a cooperative to purchase insurance. That arrangement, Marron said, is extremely rigid for park districts.
“One of the items that [the cooperative takes] issue with is the park district providing services off-hours for other entities,” he said. “That would call into question mainly the snow plowing because that happens over the evening.”
Other changes involved maintaining and insuring large vehicles for snow removal, cleaning up insurance contractual language, clarifying hiring practices and regulating overnight work performed by staff.
The park district calculated their costs for providing services to Summit Hill and sought an informal bid for snow removal from Bill’s Landscaping, which is currently under contract to perform landscaping for the school district. The contract would cost $15,000 per year, and on average, the park district pays just less than $25,000 per year for snow removal.
However, Marron said that Summit Hill does not have a foreman on staff overnight to determine if schools will close, meaning the school district would require additional snow removal services. That coverage would cost between $30,000-$35,000 per year, according to an informal bid that Summit Hill officials sought from Frankfort-based Arctic Snow and Ice Control.
Marron said the park district offered $30,000 as compensation for snow removal services.
Summit Hill to remain in National School Lunch program
Summit Hill will continue to participate in the National School Lunch program next year despite low participation among students, according to Superintendent Barb Rains. After discussing the future of the lunch program in recent weeks, Summit Hill School District 161 officials came to a decision, its superintendent said.
“We will evaluate continued participation during that year to bring forward a recommendation for 2018-2019,” Rains said.
Under the program, the school district will continue to seek reimbursement.
Summit Hill officials will work to address concerns raised over low student participation. That will be addressed through administering a survey and hosting a taste testing in the fall.