Ionia school board OKs more security cameras | #Education

Ionia Public Schools Superintendent Benjamin Gurk asked the Board of Education for an additional $72,152 for more security cameras to cover “dead spots” during Monday’s Board of Education meeting. — DN Photo | Tim McAllister

IONIA — The Ionia Public Schools Board of Education did some hiring, approved security improvements and received a financial audit during Monday’s meeting.

The board voted to approve installing more Aviglion security cameras and vape detection systems in all buildings throughout the district. The additional units will cover areas not currently surveilled remotely.

The $72,152.60 project will be completed by People Driven Technologies, who recently completed a $465,452.60 security camera installation. The money to pay for the project will come from the district’s sinking fund.

“Safety and security remain our top priority,” Superintendent Benjamin Gurk said. “The principals have corresponded with us and the tech team about some dead spots — or areas not covered by cameras — in their schools and on their campuses, and we have a list of those areas.”

The board also approved hiring Ethan Groom as a one-on-one paraprofessional at Jefferson Elementary School, Donna Houts as a crossing guard at Rather Elementary School and Ionia High School and Amanda Maluchnik as social worker at Boyce Elementary School. The board also approved creating a new behavioral specialist position that will work at Ionia Middle School.

Kim Lindsay, an accountant with Rehmann, delivered an “unmodified or clean audit opinion” of the district’s finances at the Ionia Public Schools Board of Education meeting on Monday. — DN Photo | Tim McAllister

“They would assist students in resolving personal, emotional and social problems, which interfere with their adjustment to school and ability to succeed in the learning environment,” Gurk said. “This person would also consult parents, administrators and teachers, craft support plans for students, families and teachers, and then help provide appropriate student management and supportive classroom environments.”

Kim Lindsay, an accountant with Rehmann, presented the school board with the results of the company’s latest financial audit of the district. Lindsay delivered an “unmodified or clean audit opinion” and reported “there weren’t any findings or reportable conditions.”

The audit found that the district had $41.8 million in revenues and $31.5 million in expenses during the last fiscal year, as well as $20,573,821 in assets and $7,786,320 in liabilities — a difference of $12,787,501.

Lindsay also pointed out that 78% of the district’s funding comes from the state, 11% from the federal government, 8% from local taxes and 3% from other sources. Of the district’s expenses, 57% went to instruction, 35% to support and 7% was transferred or spent on paying down debt. The district currently has $26.5 million in outstanding bond principal and installment debt.

“I would just like to congratulate the finance office and the district for a clean audit, which is what you’re looking for, and for good financial results once again,” Lindsay said.

Monday’s meeting lasted 40 minutes, Board Secretary Margot Cook and Trustees Shawn Diebel and Roger Hull were all absent and there were five people in the audience.

The board’s next regular meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 19.


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