PAXTON — The Paxton-Buckley-Loda school board is expected to vote Wednesday night on a proposed lease agreement with the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce allowing the chamber to place a gigantic flagpole with a 30-by-60-foot flag on PBL High School’s west side, a couple of hundred feet north of the PBL Panthers’ football field.
PBL Superintendent Cliff McClure said the school district and chamber of commerce have exchanged drafts of the agreement, but this will be the first time the board has seen it.
As currently outlined in the agreement, McClure said, the chamber would lease the ground where the flagpole is to be located for 20 years and would pay the school district a “nominal” fee of just $1 each year.
The chamber would also be required to provide liability insurance for the flagpole, with the school district named as additionally insured under the insurance policy.
Responsibility for maintenance of the 150-foot flagpole and 1,800-square-foot flag would also be covered under the agreement.
The president of the chamber of commerce’s board of directors, Cody Kietzman, said a few school board members have expressed concerns about putting the flagpole on school district property, and he hopes a final decision can be made Wednesday on whether the project can proceed there. If not, Kietzman said, an alternative location will be found.
Kietzman is expected to be in attendance at the meeting, which is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m. in the board room in the unit office in Paxton. Also expected to be there is Paxton Fire Chief Denny Kingren, who has been working with the chamber to pursue the project since November.
Kingren said that once the school district gives its approval of the project, he expects to launch a fundraiser to generate the initial $35,000 to $40,000 needed to fund the project. The fundraiser would involve selling at least 600 4-by-8-inch bricks for $100 apiece, as well as some 8-by-8-inch bricks for $200 each, to memorialize veterans, police officers or firefighters, for example. The bricks would line a proposed sidewalk leading to the flagpole.
Kingren said in February he was hopeful that fundraising efforts will go well enough for the flagpole to be installed by the middle of next year.
Kingren said the flagpole’s proposed location in the grassy area north of Zimmerman Field would make it clearly visible to fans attending the Panthers’ home football games. The huge flag would also stand out as one of the most noticeable landmarks along the highly traveled I-57 corridor.
Donations toward the purchase of the flagpole and flag are already being accepted at The Frederick Community Bank in downtown Paxton. The account is under the name of the nonprofit organization Paxton PRIDE to allow the donations to be tax-deductible. To donate, checks may be written to “Paxton PRIDE” with “Grand Old Flag” or simply “Flag” listed in the memo line.
Also during the meeting:
➜ The board will hear an update on the progress of construction of the two-story addition being built on the east side of Clara Peterson Elementary School.
➜ The board will vote on the purchase of security, communication and technology hardware at Clara Peterson Elementary School.
➜ The board will hear a report on the school district’s 1-to-1 technology initiative.
➜ The board will vote on the approval of 2019 maintenance projects planned in the district for this summer.
➜ The board will vote on the renewal of an intergovernmental agreement between the school district and Paxton Park District, which allows the park district to use school district facilities for its various athletic programs.
➜ The board will discuss the district’s 2019-20 student handbooks, faculty handbook, athletic code of conduct, coaches’ handbook and acceptable-use policy.
➜ The board will discuss 2019-20 student registration fees, lunch prices, breakfast prices, Advanced Placement and dual-credit fees, driver’s education fees and Early College and Career Academy fees.
➜ The board will vote on student insurance fees for the 2019-20 school year.
➜ The board will discuss the proposed purchase of a repeater and a lease with Ludlow Cooperative Grain Elevator Co.
➜ The board will vote on the reduction-in-force of educational support personnel.
➜ The board will vote on an “ESS Will Subcontract.”
➜ The board will vote on placing the district’s second amended budget for fiscal year 2019 on public display and the scheduling of a public hearing on the second amended budget.
➜ The board will vote on an Illinois State Board of Education consolidated district plan for 2019-20.
➜ The board will vote on the renewal of an human resources agreement with Doug Bushue.
➜ The board will vote on the disposal of items deemed no longer useful to the district.
➜ The board will vote on a superintendent contract.