Saturday, January 25, 2014

Huff to ask R-8 Board to spend at least $108,000 to extend EMS warehouse building lease

Whether it was ready or not, students and staff have already moved into the new East Middle School. That accomplishment is scheduled to be recognized tomorrow during a ribbon-cutting ceremony which reportedly may be attended by Gov. Jay Nixon.

One day after that and more than five weeks after the last classes were held in the warehouse East Middle School, Superintendent C. J. Huff will ask the board to extend the lease on that warehouse for at least three more months and possibly more, so the district can get the property back into the shape it had promised for its owner.

The current lease for the building, which has housed East since the original building was damaged by the May 22, 2011, Joplin Tornado, is set to expire Friday.

The following information was provided to the R-8 Board of Education prior to its 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Administration Building at 32nd and Duquesne:

The verbal agreement to remediate the building when temporary school use ended was inadvertently omitted from the initial lease. The proposed lease includes a remediation provision and an extension to April 30, 2014, to allow for the contractor to perform the remediation. If remediation by contractor, FEMA, or Joplin Schools requires additional time to complete, the lease date will be extended further to accommodate the project.

Despite the fact that the district has indicated in previous information released to the public that it is paying $36,000 a month for the temporary East Middle School building and will likely be paying a contractor or school personnel to do the work, the district's Chief Financial Officer Paul Barr attached a fiscal note which indicated it would not cost a cent:

Fiscal note- No cost to adapt this amendment. Lease cost and provisions to continue per previously approved items.

Simple math would indicate that the extended lease alone will cost at least $108,000. FEMA's part of the remediation will be to remove the buildings which were used for the gymnasium, music classes, and the safe room.

(Note: FEMA will likely pay a portion, at least, of the rent, but as hard as it may be to believe this, that's our taxpayer money, too.)


Anonymous said...

Haven't we wasted enough of the tax payers money? What have they done for the last 5 weeks???? Poor planning upon the districts part all the way around!

Anonymous said...

Planning and R8 don't go together, or they wouldn't be having to sell off the classrooms to the highest bidder in brand new schools. They wasted so much money on trips, excess personnel, and ridiculous and wasteful new programs that rarely last longer than a year that they've had to cut corners on those new buildings, which are not what the voters were told they would get. They'll think nothing of continuing to waste tax dollars since no one will stop them.

Anonymous said...

They've been busting tail the last 5 weeks on East but not doing anything to the warehouse. Maybe they forgot about that part. Of course, they got rid of all the people like painters & carpenters who could help so they could pay 4 more administration jobs. After all, they can probably have Huff cry & ask for volunteers to do it. Then they don't have to pay those people they don't consider to be as good as themselves.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Turner, surely you jest! No one at R8 would lie! Certainly not about something as important as money provided by hard working taxpayers. Shoot. There must just be some little clerical error somewhere to make someone think that an extra three months time would cost more. We know the laborers won't get paid anymore, so that much might be true, but that rent is surely being covered by some magic fund somewhere. We'll call it a "grant." That's the magic word.

Anonymous said...

So, they keep chipping away at the money they have. What are they down to now, 2%? They better ask a lot of money from the rich parents to put their names on those classrooms in exchange for leverage for good grades. They won't get money out of the rest of us by a bond issue or tax levy, that's for sure. Another botched up mess thanks to the board and admin. If only it came as some kind of surprise.

Anonymous said...

As long as the tax payers in Joplin will contend with their money being wasted, you can bet it will be. It's up to Joplin to put a stop to it. Call for an audit and vote out the board. Demand your elected officials do their jobs or vote them out too. If you do nothing about this, you have no right to complain about it. The ball is in the court of the voters and taxpayers now.

Anonymous said...

"Fiscal note- No cost to adapt this amendment. Lease cost and provisions to continue per previously approved items."

No cost to adopt might mean we are paying one way or the other.

"The verbal agreement to remediate the building "

"Verbal agreement inadvertently omitted "


Anonymous said...

Verbal Agreements with a Public Tax Entity are not enforceable under Missouri Statute Law and anyone honoring same is guilty of Malfeasance of Office.