Howard board approves donating CARES Act items to school district
By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – To help the Howard-Suamico School District recover costs in preventing the spread of COVID-19, the Howard village board unanimously passed a motion Monday, Sept. 28, to donate more than $73,000 worth of items to the district for reimbursement by the State of Wisconsin with Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act money.
Those items and their respective costs include:
• Meadowbrook Elementary School Wi-Fi access project materials, $16,243, with the school district covering the installation cost to best align with the grant.
• 12 cafeteria tables for continued social distancing, $28,800.
• Four electrostatic sprayers for cleaning and sanitation, $5,000.
• Changing out filters for air quality districtwide over a three-month period, $23,000.
The board’s action comes two weeks after it directed staff to work with the school district and the state to donate items to the district the village would purchase with its leftover CARES Act money.
Village Administrator Paul Evert said Howard is eligible for $319,948 in reimbursable expenses related to COVID-19 and so far has submitted a total of $77,248 for reimbursement.
“We’ll be looking hard at our additional things we might want to look for (to reimburse with the CARES Act funds),” he said.
Evert said the village doesn’t expect to incur costs anywhere near its reimbursable amount and could donate items it purchases with CARES Act funds to the district, based on information State Sen. Rob Cowles obtained from the Wisconsin Department of Administration, which manages the reimbursement program known as Routes to Recovery.
Independent of assistance from the village, he said the district is going ahead with the purchase of iPads for teachers at Bay Port High School to use as an instructional delivery mechanism, which school officials previously suggested as a donation.
The Village of Suamico, which was allocated $207,040 in CARES Act funds, is also planning to purchase items for the district with its leftover amount.
The Suamico board passed a motion Sept. 21 to direct Village Administrator Alex Kaker to work with district staff come up with a list of items the district needs for the village to donate unused CARES Act funding.
The motion authorized one project for reimbursement estimated to cost around $7,700, Wi-Fi service outside Suamico Elementary School, where those picking up students could be contacted to reduce the number of vehicles waiting and keep them off County Highway B.