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District 17 board congratulates bee winners

It also approves three resolutions during meeting

CHANNAHON – The Channahon District 17 School Board recognized this year’s school district Geography Bee and Spelling Bee winners. Sponsor Kim Yonder introduced Geography Bee winner Ella Benhart and runner-up Adam Platt to the board members, who shook their hands and congratulated them.

Spelling Bee sponsor KC Tonelli introduced first-place winner Donna Koreczak and runner-up Arianna Karnezis. The students will move on to regional competitions after winter break.

Public hearings were conducted for three board resolutions Monday evening, as well, and all three were approved during the meeting, with two board members – Derek Breen and Julie Bankes – absent.

One of those resolutions was to give an abatement of $1.3 million in property tax dollars back to taxpayers. The mechanism of the abatement is through the payment of some of the school district’s outstanding bonds.

The district has a history of giving abatements when it can to reduce property tax rates. In 2012, the district abated $442,000; in 2009 it abated $138,500; and in 2006 it abated $200,660. The current abatement is expected to reduce property taxes on a $210,000 house by about $135 for this coming year.

The board also approved a resolution to set aside $5.5 million of the district’s funds to place into a special capital improvement fund that could eventually be used to do some work on three of the district’s four schools. No specific projects have been approved by the board, but board members are expected to take a walk-through of two of the district’s schools prior to the next school board meeting, which is Jan. 27.

The other resolution approved was liquidation of $1.3 million of the district’s unfunded liability in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. The move is expected to save the district around $750,000 in operational funds over the next 10 years.

The school board also:

• Approved some personnel matters. Deb Ashley was approved as a substitute teacher’s aide, and Janine Milles was approved as the Homework Club sponsor. Mary Ellen Michaels transferred from substitute custodian to a part-time night custodian at Three Rivers School, and Anita Freehauf was approved for family medical leave from Dec. 11 through early March.

• Approved resignations for Ben Johnson, a night custodian and for Brett King, a substitute custodian.

• Approved salvaging a 1998 GMC Microbird 19-passenger bus for $1,800. Approved a bid of $3,060 for a 1998 Chevrolet 2500 plow truck by James Bryce. Rejected a bid of $777.77 by Yellow Checker Cab for a 1998 GMC Microbird 19-passenger bus.

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