Strasburg Express, School Board reach accord

WOODSTOCK – The Shenandoah County Public Schools School Board has approved a three-year Strasburg Express memorandum of understanding.

The memorandum is an understanding between Strasburg Express and the Strasburg High School athletic department about the usage of the Strasburg High School baseball field.

A draft agreement was presented to the board in November, and in December the board requested that the document receive further review. In January, Superintendent Jeremy Raley and Vice Chairman R.L “Rick” Koontz met with representatives from both sides to negotiate an agreement.

Koontz said, “There really wasn’t anything agreed on at that meeting.”

“One thing I did hear at the meeting, and I was pleased to hear, that last year was one of the best years for both as far as working together, and making things work,” he added.

“Based off of that, why tweak things if things are working good?” he said.

Minimal changes were made to the agreement after that meeting.  One change was moving from a one-year agreement to a three-year agreement.

The three-year agreement was approved by the board on Thursday.

Raley noted that the three-year agreement is best “So this doesn’t become a conversation every year for us.”

Another change states that Strasburg Community Baseball Inc., will pay Strasburg High School up to 33 percent of the cost of repairing or replacing equipment and supplies at the facility up to a maximum of $1,000.

Strasburg Community Baseball will also pay Strasburg High School $4,270 for each year advertisement signs are placed at the facility. This is a drop from the $7,000 requested in the previous agreement.

Also discussed at the meeting:
• The board learned that there is a $413,304 fund balance from the division’s operational budget, which Raley said was the result of under-expending the budget and having a little extra revenue. The board will vote next month to ask the Board of Supervisors to reappropriate those funds back to the school division to complete projects that had to be put on hold after multiple boilers in the schools broke down.

• The board heard the audit report results from Saidee Gibson, a representative from the firm Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates that completed the audit for the 2015 fiscal year. The county received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, and received an unmodified opinion, the highest opinion that is offered, she said.

• The board approved the substitute custodians proposal, allowing students 16 and older to work as substitute custodians in the schools, helping to alleviate a custodian shortage.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com